They say fishing isn’t for the faint of heart. Exacting patience for a slow bite and the stamina to combat the brutal summer heat wave are traits that not every angler possesses, but a big reward has arrived.
While the oppressive temperatures drop and we move into October, Venice fishing not only heats up but continues to sizzle through the end of the year.
Local guide Captain Kyle Maher of Dirty Habits Charters sees the month of October as the beginning of more accessible fishing that produces a significant catch.
The secret lies in the Mississippi River dropping in depth resulting in the fish of the Gulf of Mexico getting sucked into its passage. The mouths of the various bayous intersecting the Mighty Mississippi become prime holding areas as fish move into the marsh to initiate wintertime feeding.
According to Maher, the Mississippi River system offers something for everyone. Flounder, black drum, and sheepshead can all be the day’s catch. Speckled trout action brings significant results as well. Fishing enthusiasts can pick their poison between live or dead shrimp. Maher said it makes no difference if it is fished on the bottom.
“You want to fish the mouths of different bayous and look for about eight to 10 feet of water,” Maher said. “That’s where you’ll find the speckled trout and keepers.”
Venice has a legendary history when it comes to fishing for redfish. After all, it is often touted as the Redfish Capital of the World. Maher said the redfish action significantly increases in October along with the speckled trout and flounder, and he sets his eyes on the trophies.
Plastics work great
Bull reds are large redfish over 27 inches long that spawn in September, so the species makes a viable target in October. Maher bends the rods on even larger specimens over 40 inches long. But with the trout, reds, and flounder come the undesirables.
“Old school cocahoes in purple and chartreuse work great,” he said. “Plastics are a great way to cut out the trash fish and catch the reds. Just pop that cork hard and get the bait away from them.”
With the bait selected, anglers can easily find fish. Maher said opportunity exists from Venice Marina to Southwest Pass. With the abundance of marsh and tributaries available, Maher subscribes to a strategy rooted in simplicity and experience.
“Just stick to the river system,” he said. “You could literally just start fishing from the marina.”
Fishing strategy changes as we exit summer and enter the later fall and winter months. Anglers should line up a few hundred yards off the shore, but first and foremost, avoid the wind. If any questions arise, Mother Nature provides the best advice. Maher said to watch for the birds and run the boat right up into the middle of the action. The birds are there for a reason, and Maher said if they are swarming, there is no doubt it is for a feeding frenzy.
“It’s all about bait,” Maher said. “Find the bait, and you’ll find the fish.”