On Thursday, two good friends made the drive in from Ohio to get on some of the action. The last trip they had was also following a storm. I'm not sure we can call this last episode a storm at all though. Our trip last year was postponed due to a storm and then road closures for at least two weeks. This time none of that to worry about except the good fishing. It didn't take long to put our worries to rest this morning. Our day started out quickly with two nice fish on our first boat of the day. We then had to move a bit to find more boats but by the time we did we were too late. The fish seemed to be scattered at the time from all the pressure of so many fisherman. We had trouble keeping any significant schools of fish to play with us. We did happen to put one more nice fish on board while we continued to try to capture the schools of fish from the shrimp boats. After running and running and then returning to where we were once before, we finally managed to pull it off. Some fish decided to act right. They gave us the chance to do what we do. It didn't take long and we had enough. After all that we managed another limit of nice snapper all caught on our baby bomber jigs. Another day to be thankful for.
Capt. Andy Cook
The weather finally let up on Wednesday and let us back where we left off. We had a crew of three from the sunshine state who specifically came to tuna town for the tuna. We started out slow with a search for boats that had fish following it. All morning hitting probably fifteen different boats with no luck was a surprise for sure. Instead of catching nothing, we opted for catching. We moved to a nearby rig and quickly put a limit of snapper on board. Then it was time to get back at the search for the lucky shrimp boat. We kept traveling west with our eyes and ears open for any sign of boats coming our way. With no familiar sights on the horizon, I decided to hit another spot for some AJs. While jigging for jacks with our bomber jigs we hooked into to a real smoker. It made my Florida crew happy for sure. We ended up with a couple jacks and four kings. We probably would have had more, but I finally got word of some boats just ten miles north of us. Once again, we were back at it. Tuna hunting again. Once we found our boat we quickly put four nice yellows in the box and our crew was done and so were we. A long day of chasing boats paid off in the end.
Capt. Andy Cook
Been a while since reporting but I did happen to get on some of the shrimp boat action we all been waiting for. We started out last Friday with a crew of regulars who didnt need much advice when its come to filling the boxes. We managed to fill the board with Yellowfin tuna, AJs, snappers. Saturday we decided to race everyone else to the shrimp boats and won. We pulled up to the Lucky Tommy and immediately pulled a few fish off her stern. With just our cut bait it was difficult to get the big ones to eat. That first drift we managed three Yellowfin after about 45 minutes of drifting watching fish swim around the boat the whole time. Eventually we decided to run up to a boat that had its nets up to get us some better bait. We immediately turned the boat back towards our Lucky Tommy and squeezed our way in there. We began by hooking a monster on one of our choice baits recently acquired. We stuffed a 170 into our boat and finished strong. Early enough to finish watching the early game. Sunday, with our leftover bait and a confident feeling we left the dock with great expectations. No tuna on boats, but plenty to be found around where the boats should have been. We started fishing next to some birds and a few hours later we were headed in early again with a boat load of fish and tired anglers.
Capt. Andy Cook
After two days of horrible rain and cancelations I was happy to see Monday come along. Most people hate Mondays. Quite the contrary for fisherman though. Especially in Venice or anywhere else the fishing is phenomenal. I guess it's the nature of the beast though. We all know you have to take the good with the bad. This Monday was a perfect example of the good. Unfortunately though the bad showed up early as we traveled through the river and then probably 15 miles in open water. The bad happened to be some really heavy raindrops. As that wasnt bad enough, the seas were an easy 4 to 6 foot head sea. Can you imagine how much fun that was? We managed 15 to 20 mph for about 15 miles and the finally got the speed safely to 29mph. Good enough, and happy to be through the horror. Finally to the fishing. It started out slow with the bait. While fishing for bait we hooked up on topwater. Who needs bait? Funny huh? We eventually caught about six baits and decided we couldn't wait any longer. The whole while bait fishing it was non stop busting. Immediately doubled up and the again. Quickly we were out of bait. So second verse, same as the first. By 11 am we had 11 yellowfin. One was close to ninety pounds. So we picked up and decided to go jack fish. As we were leaving the only boat other than is to venture out showed up. The captains first question was ' were you'll on and overnight trip? I guess he couldn't believe we made it through that crap. As we drove away he was already doubled up as well. I guess they were starving. Anyway, first bait down for amberjack was crushed 15ft below the boat. I foolishly called out shark, because that's usually the case. Then I noticed the velocity and angle of its run and that's when I had no idea what it could have been. Suddenly a fifty to Sixty pound wahoo showed it face on the surface. Put a gaff in it and tried again. Immediately crashed it again, but this time no hook left. Oh well, we were all thrilled to have such a surprise on such a wonderful day. We took the good and the bad all on one day. Nothing good comes easy, and when it does its hard to appreciate it.
Friday I had the pleasure of fishing a crew that pretty much knew everything needed to know about Venice and all its pleasures. Only on this day the pleasure was hard to see as the day started out. We traveled through heavy rain the whole way down river and then probably twenty miles out as well. As we broke through, the site in our rearview mirror was intimidating for sure. In case you are wondering, Fountains now come with mirrors. The looks on our faces was scary too all of us dreading the ride back. While trying to avoid thinking of storms to the north we decided to fish. We kept telling ourselves it has to be worth it. We put some baits out and immediately hooked up. I love when that happens. Too bad it didn't last long. This fish was pissed and once he realized he was hooked he decided to unhook himself. I hate when that happens. Can't really explain it but have some theories. Next bait out nice yellowfin tuna. Then nothing for at least three hours. We tried numerous tricks and just were repeatedly punished by big yellowfin tuna crashing everything but our baits. After too long they decided to quit torturing us. Thats when we decided to put it on em. Instead of trying to fool em, we decided to feed em. Hooked up right away. I love when that happens. Next bait out, hooked up again. This is where it gets interesting. It started out a typical tuna fight. Sounded quickly then a run straight back up. The line all of sudden went slack, then the water just seemed to explode a big blue marlin. We took our time and had the 60 pound leader three times before we got the bill. Nice fish by anyone's standard.
Friday the 19th we set off with thunder and lightning on the horizon. Our group decided on this date for an overnight trip back in march. After some bad weather back then we all were praying for better fishing conditions. The seas were high all day due to the numerous boomers just off the coast. We procrastinated as long as we could. We finally shoved off to go check it out. As we approached the pass into the gulf we were delighted to see the storms moving off, and our opportunity was knocking. We made good speed in a good 2 to 3 foot head sea to the bait stop. We worked about thirty minutes collecting feed for our hungry yellow fellows. We were just about to move on to where I believed we had to be for our best shot at getting on them. As I was setting a course I noticed it was storming once again on our parade. We then decided to stay at bait spot which actually turned out to be only place we needed to go. We put out some baits and immediately doubled up. This process repeated itself numerous times as the evening wore on. We finished with 11 yellowfin tuna and took it in early as we watched the weather slowly regress the throughout the night.
On Friday after a long week of family commitments I finally made it out. Started early as usual. Being a Friday during the summer it was a must. Our bait came relatively easy, then we took off south only to find six boats already fishing where we expected success. We followed another captain to the spot, all the while thinking how the cat could have escaped the bag. Anyway, we figured we would stick it out knowing the fish were there. Obviously we weren't the only ones that believed them to be there as well. We seen plenty fish skyrocketing and continuously crashing on something we didn't have in our live well. We did however present our precious baits to them all day with no luck. All our tricks proved to be no tricks at all. After what seemed like a lifetime waiting for any action, the crew seemed ready for snapper. When everyone else had the same idea after a slow period we found ourselves almost alone. The fish changed their ways and I noticed. We then pulled out the trick bag and made it happen. After four yellowfin we took it north for our snapper. This was a day where patience paid off.
Capt Andy Cook
I fished the 3rd and 4th with the same crew. Fished hard in the morning for bait then landed a nice haul of snapper then took off for the tuna. Hit a few rigs on the way to where I knew they would be just in case I miss something the day before. No encouraging signs so we continued to move on. I figured it to be a late bite anyway. Sure enough, first bait out we hooked up. Good yellowfin, 60 to 80 class. Then as we were clearing baits to reset on the fish, a mahi came in charging on our bait. So we immediately pitched another bait out and we were on once again. What a evening we to remember. We arrived at the spot at 4:30 and caught fish until we left at 7pm. We had some good sunset pics as we traveled into south pass and were home safe for 8:45. Cleaned fish for and hour and then cleaned up and did the same thing the next day. Only difference is we were headed in by 6pm.
On Monday the 27th of may, we had the starting guard from TCU who happens to be the first team on our beloved Tigers schedule. This wasnt a problem for us today. If it were an Alabama player, well lets just say the report might be a little different. This biggest problem for us today was the 5 to 7 foot seas out of the south. After watching the eyes of our crew as we attempted to travel to the hotspot, I decided to take a beam sea to a place I knew would produce a good time for out crew from the lonestar state. Immediately landed a cobia then a few more jacks. To try to settle stomachs we moved north and hid behind a rig for some mangrove and snapper. Our crew was happy and so were we. Everyone caught some fish and we made some new friends.
Capt. Andy Cook
Friday took off with a group of local guys to chase the yellowfin tuna. Blasted off from marina with the fountain early since the moon was making fish stop biting early. We left all hopes of catching live bait at home. We decided it wouldn't be wise since the fish would quit eating early. Instead we made our way to the hotspot to see three boats already there. We decided to pass them up for greener pastures. Turns out though it was blue. Really blue. Our decisions paid off today, we landed three nice yellowfin tuna with a few more small ones as well as nice marlin hookup on a popper. It made for a great show as the fish tried over and over to shake the popper. We finished with a bunch of snapper and took off for the barn. I love it when a plan comes together.
Capt. Andy Cook
Took my son, Gray, and three of his friends from Fort Smith, Arkansas, fishing with Capt. Andy for their senior trip. The winds and seas were high and rough, but once again, Capt. Andy came through. He picked the right rig, and we limited out on red snapper in 30 minutes. The boys really enjoyed the experience of being in the Gulf and riding the surf with Capt. Andy. He is an extremely savvy and safe boat captain. We appreciate him starting the day with a prayer and ending the day by cleaning a limit of fish -- no matter what the weather does. Gray has had two memorable trips with Capt. Andy. Now his buddies -- Mason Fowler, Kolby LaBorn and John Spradlin -- will have their own memories of catching fish and living the experience of fishing out of Venice -- Sport Fishing Capital of the World!
We ran 3 trips over the last weekend...
all pretty much similar results with a really strong tuna bite... adding in wahoo a couple of days over 60lbs... Sunday we started out for wahoo since Andy had pick up 2 nice ones hours prior..., but bailed quickly seeing tuna marks on the sounder. Set up and 1st drift we got into some nice black fin, drift after drift hooking up with singles, doubles, and a triple with yellow fin mixed in here and there... once the guys got the hang of it, it was on... then small spanish mackerel starting busting running from something... moments later the 50 wide dumps 1/2 of the spool... 45 minutes later pull the hook... set up again and keep catching medium size tuna... have another reel dump, do an hour fight and the thing that everyone hates when it happens - happens... only feet from getting a gaff shot on a buffalo size yellow fin the hook pulls... not sure what happened other than he won that one... everyone was wore out - it was somber... but that's fishing... we stopped the black fin madness at 12 and brought back 6 yellowfin and amber jack... great trip and lots of fun.
Friday 3/15 I had the pleasure of fishing with a group of friends on a private boat. We set off early to beat the other birds to the worms. It didnt take long to get the action started. We worked hard all day and it seems like there was never a moment that someone didnt have a fish on. Obviously not all the fish were keepers or the targeted species. However, the big fish seemed to be more active as the day went on. We finished strong by landing a double of decent fish. We took on another and headed to clean em up. We finished strong to say the least. Five good Yellowfin, and a handful of Blackfin with some AJs and vermillion snapper made our dockshot shine. Another great trip on the Lotsa Wisdom with lotsa to be thankful for. Good friends and plenty fish.
Left late this day, 3/3, due to 20 to 25 knot winds out of the north. We had another local crew from the city celebrating a birthday. We once again were headed back to the spot that didnt treat us too well on Friday. We first stopped to pick up some easy jacks and to also waste some time. We planned on letting the seas lay down a bit so jack fishing was a good start. Once done we moved west with the seas at our beam. Not so bad. Once at the hole we set up and began with a flurry of blackfin tuna. After a few drifts we had more than enough blacks and few small yellowfin tuna. One actually came in eaten in half. I figure we lost a few good ones to sharks this day. We did go 0/3 on big fish. Fish that would only eat the lightest of leaders. All in all back at the dock we counted 3 AJs, 4 Blackfin tuna, 4 Yellowfin tuna. One half eaten.
After canceling all week we finally had a window to make it out. Our crew was eager and so were we. We didn't take long to hook up. Our first bite almost spooled us. What a way to start. We didn't manage to land that one but after a few more passes had a good wahoo in the boat. We moved on after a while and then tripled up on yellowfin. Landed two of the three tuna. Then no others. Moved once again we doubled up landing one of the two. Another wahoo in the boat. Then all of a sudden we had some boat trouble. We then managed an easier than normal limit of nice amberjack and headed for the house. Unfortunately we cut it a bit short leaving some room for more fish. Momma said there would be days like that. All in all we had a good day that seemed like it could have been great. We did get in safe and had plenty fish so we had plenty to be thankful for.
Fished on Sunday for a birthday trip with group from Louisiana some guys that enjoy fishing and the outdoors. We woke up to calm winds and beautiful skies after spending the better part of the previous day worried about the 6 foot seas. After a calm trip down the river we meet 2-3 seas. After a 30 min boat ride in the gulf we arrived at our destination. We started chumming and in less than five minutes we were hooking up. After a few misses we started landing a mix of blackfin, king mackerel and fat bonita. The blacktip sharks started showing up so we moved a little bit to start our drift from a different spot. The bonita and blackfin we the catch early. We drifted all day and towards the middle of the day, we landed a couple of yellowfin on chunks and some big king mackerel on jigs. The highlight of the day was easily the 10-11 foot mako that came by for a visit. Capt. Chris was ready for him and had a heavy duty rig already set up. We whiffed on a whole bonita as bait; he ate it like it was a crumb. Next pass we used a bonita filet and this time we hooked up. After about a 5 min fight, he snapped a rod in half but luckily he didnt swim away and gave us another shot. The third time we hooked up and after a couple of mins he spit the hook and we never saw him again. We finished the day by landing the biggest fish, a 100 lb yellowfin. We ran back in calm seas and got to the dock before it closed. The group had a good time and we hope to see them again soon.
Fished Friday with Chris and Blaine from Dallas, TX area
this was their first trip to Venice or fishing outside of Port Aransas the access to variety of fish in Venice is awesome so we made a plan to get a variety of locals and fish to give them a sample of what Venice has to offer. Ran out the Delta in flat seas which was such a refreshment from conditions most of the month so far
found 2-3 pass the river current which is also nice for winter fishing
rig hopped picking up nice Amber Jack limit and few Almaco Jacks for bonus. Set up and covered a lot of ground for Wahoo
they were chewing big time earlier in the week but must have been full from eating all night
went 0 for 2 pulling hooks on a schooly and a big boy got away due to lure failure lure separation, not a split ring or hook glad we are with Bomber going forward as they the real deal and dont let you down like some others
off to see if the lump was turning on yet
looked decent set up 1st drift and picked up some black fin and 50lb yellowfin
2nd drift another black, some bonita and solid hook up dumped ½ the reel and then pulled hook probably gut hooked
made some more drifts and hooked on to a 10ft Hammer Head not on the menu but the guys really enjoyed the fight and seeing him up close saying how the biggest shark they caught before only took 10 minutes
picked up a few more black fin and headed back in. Made the run back to the dock in an hour fun.
Capt. Chris Nail
Capt. Andy Cook
Yellowfin action from the lump yesterday!
First let me say Capt. Andy and Chris took the 6 of us out when no other captain would. I took my company on a sales goal trip and the captain I had booked backed out saying the seas were too rough..Not Andy he said it will be rough but we will catch fish,and catch fish we did ......8-10 seas and rain and we kicked butt. Rock on Capt. Andy and Chris I would fish with y'all in a hurricane --these boys know what they are doing. Again thanks for the awesome weekend trip.
Wesley K, The Woodlands, TX
See more or book your trip at http://www.captaincookcharters.com
After four cancellations in the last week of 2012, spirits were down for sure. Then the forecast for the first week of 2013 was released and nothing changed. All week long looking, looking, and more looking at NOAA wave forecast it seemed Saturday might be the only day of week to sneak out. Unfortunately no trip was scheduled for Saturday. It used to be in years past not only myself but every captain in Venice were geared up and ready for what is supposed to be the beginning of lump season. Now it seems only a couple of us diehards are still trying to get out there early and set the precedent for all others to follow. DUCKS fly and I don't care. DEER roam and I don't care. Call me crazy but I believe I killed enough dirty birds in my life. It seems Im always given deer sausage, so why wouldn't I be dying to swallow some salt water. Its absolutely my favorite thing to do in January. Anyway, we got a late call Thursday from a group from Houston who had never been to Venice. I explained the situation, which wasn't looking good at all. 15 to 20 knot winds out the Northeast. NOT GOOD. They still believed and insisted they could handle it. As much as I wanted and needed to fish I called Capt. Chris to see if he wanted to go. At first it was a definite NO. I told him and crew we would check the forecast again and go from there. Well after it didnt get any better and I realized our crew was on the way, we had no choice. We figured we could and would make the best of it. The 39 FOUNTAIN was definitely put to the test on Saturday for sure. We needed all 39 foot of it. We made it out about three miles and were surprised it wasnt that bad, but once we reached the rip where the pretty blue water was it was all that was advertised for sure. We started out behind a shrimp boat which we all thought was a blessing. All our hopes quickly faded after two drifts behind her with not even shark bite. Then out of nowhere another shrimp boat appeared. Same story though. NOTHING. Then we traveled to our first stop for some possible tuna action, floating big mullets around some close in rigs were our only option on a day like Saturday. With no results, we moved on to dropping down for some AJS but again had no luck. From there we didnt have to travel far or against the angry sea(thank GOD) for our luck to change. First, jig down and there they were. Anything on a day like this was good. Then next drop, tripled up on AJs. WOW! We only needed one more for a limit, which came easy. Easier than they been in a long time. I guess the big waves made them hungry. WHO knows? As we approached the structure I did notice on the sounder what seemed to be some wahoo marks. I knew that would be our next targeted species after our AJS. We finished jacks, tied on our favorite baits and then started surfing the waves around rig. First pass was hooked up. Reel was screaming and we were pumped. Sad to say, it was another AJ. Oh well it was fun for the angler. Then after drifting off the rig really fast due to the relentless wind and waves, we put out our winners again. Immediately we tripled up. I knew this couldn't be AJS again. We lost one of the three. But we put two nice HOOS in the boat. Then to my surprise, our group was ready and had enough. I still had some grouper on my mind. I figured we had a good shot at them, but couldnt talk them into staying out in that **** weather any longer. So we finished with five happy guys who were excited to see the calm of the river. Five good Amberjack and two nice Wahoo. One went 87 pounds. We still have plenty days open in February and few left at the end of this month. So if you want some, come and get it. http://www.captaincookcharters.com. We are geared up and ready to go.