For those who enjoy fishing, there are places to check out all over the world. For those who take fishing seriously, and in particular, ocean fishing, one place consistently stands out as the best in the world. That place is Venice, Louisiana. Venice isn’t even technically a city, but it’s got a worldwide reputation as being the epicenter of some of the world’s best big-game sportsfishing.
At the southernmost tip of the last road that extends to the mouth of the Mississippi river is the unincorporated area of Venice. People literally flock to Venice, from all over the world, for just one reason - big game sportfishing. Venice is known worldwide at a top fishing destination.
Among the extensive list of sportfish that can be caught here, the real big boys are the Yellowfin Tuna, the Blue Marlin, the Swordfish, and the Sailfish.
There are others, but these are known to be the largest and/or most challenging to land. The gulf is the 9th largest body of water in the world, covering about 600,000 square miles, with well over 200 different types of saltwater fish to catch.
Mexican Gulf Fishing
In addition to kayaking fishing, many fish are caught in the open ocean, while others may congregate around the numerous oil rigs. The rigs unintentionally provide a desirable habitat to certain big game fish. Lights from the rigs bring in smaller baitfish, which ultimately draw in more, larger fish, and eventually, the highly prized big-game predator, the Yellowfin tuna. Many of these beasts average in the 350 lb range, while monsters can grow to 500lbs or more. And they love the oil rigs. Landing a giant yellowfin can be an exhaustive effort, but one that you’ll never experience anywhere except the Gulf.
Gulf of Mexico Fish
Yellowfin Tuna have exceptional eyesight, and can see a fishing line tied to a hook. It’s important when fishing for these trophies to outsmart them. The yellowfin is an extremely fast swimmer, which helps it avoid being eaten by sharks - funny, but true. In order to keep up their speed, they must eat constantly. Knowing their regular hunting grounds can be helpful when stalking them in the open Gulf. Yellowfin also hunt near the surface, making them sometimes easy to spot. This is where having an experienced Gulf of Mexico charter boat fishing captain on your side can tip the odds in your favor, and most seeking the prize come out with the reward.
Another hard-fighting trophy fish that comes out of the Gulf is the Swordfish. Unlike the surface hunting tuna, swordfish are creatures of the deep and require special equipment and techniques to catch. Their primary food source is believed to be squid, and they live and hunt in canyons at the depths of the ocean floor.
Swordfish compare in weight to the large tunas, but they are often spectacular just to hook, as they are known to jump and thrash at the surface, aggressively swinging their sword in the air in an effort to break free. Catching a swordfish is like roping a bucking bronco and can be quite the show!
But knowing how to catch these monsters is tricky too. Many charter captains use high tech sonar equipment to scan the ocean floor, looking for places the swordfish likes to hide and hunt. And since water starts becoming black around the 600-foot range, using lights on your bait can be especially helpful in attracting swordfish down around 1200-1500 ft. Since the swordfish can be so tricky to find and catch, having the best equipment will improve your chances. But if you hook on, get that camera ready because you’re sure to see a great show on the surface.
More Gulf of Mexico Fish Species
Like the Swordfish, another prized trophy fish is the Blue Marlin. Marlin can be found all through the Gulf, and like the Swordfish, are also a spectacular fish to hook into. Many fisherman consider catching a Blue Marlin akin to the “holy grail” of sportsfishing, as it is a formidable adversary! It just doesn’t get any better!
As with many fish, females get bigger than males, and it can take up to 30 years for a blue marlin to reach a thousand pounds. Like other billfish, they can be tricky to track and catch, but with the right fishing equipment, your odds begin to improve. They are known to swim closer to the coastline in warmer months, which helps narrow down their hunting territories. Typical Gulf blue marlin catches average around 200-300 pounds, on the average. As with many fish, females get bigger than males, and it can take up to 30 years for a blue marlin to reach a thousand pounds. Like other billfish, they can be tricky to track and catch, but with the right fishing equipment, your odds begin to improve.
Next on the list is the Sailfish. Another billfish, similar in size and speed to the Blue Marlin is the Sailfish. While there are several minor differences, the main and most noteable difference is the size of the pectoral fin on a sailfish. Used not only for agility, but also for show, the dorsal fin is significantly larger and more striking. The sailfish has a diet and behavior patterns similar to the blue marlin, so finding one is the same process for both. Again, a good use of modern equipment along with some fishing experience on your side can help you land the sailfish of your dreams.
If you’d like to fish in the Gulf, but don’t have your own fishing gear, don’t worry. Most charter boat captains are able to provide you with all the necessary supplies and accessories. And depending on what’s biting, it may be one type of fishing rig or another. The captain will have all the equipment to make your trip a success. If you do want to purchase some of your own supplies, many have small tackle & gift shops so you can stock up on the latest fishing equipment and attire yourself. Venice is built on fishing, so one way or another, you’re sure to be covered.
If you enjoy fishing and want to experience the pinnacle of ocean sportsfishing, check out Venice and the experienced Gulf Coast charter boat captains available to make your trip a winning and lifelong treasured memory.