Dear Capt. Paul:
Fishing info needed for wintertime fishing around Venice. I am going there shortly with some out-of-state friends.
I have not fished there in many, many years. I was wondering if you could give me a few spots to try.
Where are the Mud Lumps, and do you have the GPS coordinates for the Mississippi River’s Southwest Pass jetties?
Can please give me a general area or a few more GPS coordinates? Thanks for your help.
Capt. Paul’s response:
Not knowing the size of your boat or your experience in navigating the Mississippi River out of Venice, it will be hard to guide you to a “guaranteed” fishing spot.
Keep in mind that winter weather can be quite dangerous in that area and in the areas offshore. Any navigator must watch for flotsam coming down the river. I have even seen tree trunks floating in the river.
In addition, water levels can be quite low during this time.
Wintertime fishing in this area can be brutal and not always productive.
With that in mind, here are some locations for saltwater fishing that have been wintertime producers in the past. Again, there no guarantees, but they are always worth a try if you are in the area.
The Mud Lumps, South Pass
The Mud Lumps are just southwest of South Pass. They are usually hot for specks and reds throughout the summer, but also have been known for wintertime producers.
The Mud Lumps are about two miles southwest (205 degrees magnetic) of the South Pass Aid To Navigation light Green No. 3.
They are in located in what appears to be a rough circle of about three quarters of a mile, and are in water that’s shown to be 5 to 25 feet deep.
NOAA marine charts show several of these formations are above water:
The northern-most Mud Lump located closest to South Pass is at or about 28° 58.527’ N. Lat ~ 89° 08.802’ W. long.
Just to the southwest of the above formation is another located at or about 28° 58.339’ N. lat ~ 89° 09.114’ W. long.
South of the previously mentioned lump is another at or about 28° 58.272’ N. Lat ~ 89° 09.093’ W. long.
Depending on the tide, etc., there are several others, which might or might not be above the water surface. They are located at:
28° 58.508’ N. Lat. ~ 89° 08.807’ W. long
28° 58.233’ N. Lat. ~ 89° 08.817’ W. long
28° 58.160’ N. Lat ~ 89° 08.709’ W. long
Use caution when approaching the positions, as the readings were determined for the center of the mud lump.
The Southwest Pass Jetty east side at the lighthouse
I believe that the Southwest Pass lighthouse, located just inside the end of the east jetty, is at or about 28° 54.334’ N. Latitude ~ 89° 25.732’ W. Longitude.
Most anglers fish the end of the jetty on the east side.
Reaching all of these positions requires a boat of sufficient size and a person who knows how to navigate the river waters around the Venice area.
Be careful, as there could ocean-going vessels passing you at that location. Always be underway and in control of your boat when you see such a boat approaching your position; they can cause a severe drop and then a good-sized wave as they pass your location.
Red Pass, on the west side of Venice
Red Pass is at or about 29° 12.628’ N. lat ~ 89°28.380’ W. long. There is usually some activity along the shoreline at the mouth of the pass, especially at the locations were the twin pile lines were once located.
Sandy Point Rigs
If you make it to Red Pass, you are a stone’s throw away from the Sandy Point Rigs.
Sandy Point is located along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico between Red Pass and Bay Coquette. It is south of Bay Tambour and Sandy Point Bay.
The present position for the point is at or about 29°13.026’N. Latitude ~ 89° 28.971’ W. Longitude.
If you are fishing the area, there are a series of about 28 oil and gas platforms (some might only be a 8-foot-by-8-foot “Christmas tree” platforms) located about five to eight miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico between the Empire rock jetty and Sandy Point. They are in 15 to 30 feet of water.
These structures are commonly called the Sandy Point Rigs. Use caution, as some of the southern sites are in federal waters (although the state also claims these waters). There are different rules and creel limits in these waters.
The center of the area roughly three-mile circle in which the platforms are located is about five and a half miles from the Empire Jetty, at a bearing of 135 degrees magnetic, about 26 miles at a bearing of 116 degree magnetic east-southeast of Grand Isle and about four miles at a bearing of 236 degrees magnetic from Sandy Point.
The closest platform to the Empire Jetty in the Gulf is MX-WD 24-4. It is at or about 29°12.538’ N. Lat ~ 89° 32.375’ W. Long. It is just less than five miles from the Red No. 2 Aid to Navigation at the jetty.
Near the above platform, there is a flare platform, MX-WD 24-FLARE No. 1. It is at or about 29°11.962’ N. Lat ~ 89° 32.172’ W. Long.
The southernmost of the series of platforms, MX-WD 24-5D, and is at or about 29°10.707’ N. Lat. ~ 89°32.044’ W. Long.
The easternmost of the series, MX-WD 192-8, is at or about 29°11.451’ N. Lat. ~ 89° 30.411’ W. Long.
Two of the most-popular locations are near the southwest section of the group.
MX-WD 23-3 is located just more than five miles at a bearing of 159 degrees from ATON Red No. 2 and is at or about 29°10.524’ N. Lat. ~ 89° 34.559’ W. Long. The other, MX-WD 23-FLARE No. 3, is at or about 29°10.489’ N. Lat. ~ 89°33.099’ W. Long and is about 6.2 miles at a bearing of 146 degrees magnetic from Red No. 2 ATON.
The all-time favorite in the area is referred to as the Green Monster, WD-23-3 CMP, which I believe is located at or about 29° 10.525’ N. Lat ~ 89° 34.560’ W. Long.
All of these features may be viewed on NOAA chart 11361 Miss. River Delta.
Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 DATUM. All headings/bearings/courses are stated in magnetic degrees.
Keep safe, and be sure to have all of necessary safety items and a VHF radio. The trip from Venice to the Southwest Pass jetties is about 40 miles one way. So be sure you have enough fuel.