Switch from bull reds leads to fish of a lifetime out of Venice
Capt. Rich McCloskey and his clients headed out fishing from Venice Marina on Friday, April 25, an almost daily routine for McCloskey, operator of the Blue Line Charter Service. This day would wind up being extraordinary though. One of McCloskey’s clients for the day, Brett Plummer from North Carolina, would land the trophy of a lifetime that will be the eighth largest tripletail ever landed in Louisiana.
McCloskey is no stranger to large tripletail, having landed some giants in the past and regularly targeting them. On this particular day, his clients wanted bull redfish so they started the day off fishing for them instead.
Capt. McCloskey wasted no time and quickly had everyone on board hooked up to some bulls. They caught bull reds until they were exhausted, and then decided to mix it up by targeting big tripletail. McCloskey had been on a solid pattern, and he brought them to some shallow water wellheads just off of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The first string of wellheads yielded no fish, so McCloskey made a “half time adjustment” and relocated to a slightly different area that he was confident would produce better results. This would prove to be the right move.
The right cast
The first well head in this area was unoccupied as well, so they headed to the next one. At McCloskey’s direction, Plummer cast to the corner of the wellhead. His live shrimp suspended five feet under a Four Horseman Popping Cork drifted out from the rig. As it reached around 20 feet away from the platform he was about to reel in and recast when his cork went down. As soon as Plummer set the hook the fish swam away from the rig smoking the drag of his Daiwa BGMQ 500 spinning reel, and everyone on board instantly knew it was a good one.
Plummer had the fish boatside three times only to have it make another run.
McCloskey said “We all knew it was a monster, and we were on the edge of our seats.”
The fourth time Plummer brought the fish to the boat was the charm as McCloskey was able to net it and seal the deal for good.
McCloskey and Plummer had teamed up to land a 31.6 pound tripletail that will be No. 8 in the top 10 Louisiana State Fishing Records. This is a fish of a lifetime for most people, but it isn’t the first time McCloskey has flirted with the record book. Last year one of McCloskey’s clients landed what would have been a World Record tripletail (for artificial lures) had it been entered.
Targeting big tripletail
I asked Capt. McCloskey for some tips for those wanting to try their luck fishing for big tripletail out of Venice. He said he usually targets shallow wellheads in 15-25 feet of water, although this fish came from a wellhead in 12.5 feet. He uses a Four Horseman popping cork with a 4.5-5 foot long leader of 60 pound fluorocarbon tied to a ½-ounce jig head. Interestingly enough, McCloskey said that although this long leader is hard to cast, it seems to work much better than a sliding cork setup.
A live shrimp is threaded onto the jig head through the back with the hook protruding from the tail. Obviously this setup works well for him!
Venice is a tough area to go at it on your own, so if you are interested in trying your hand catching these prehistoric looking giants, consider using a guide. Capt. McCloskey and his Blue Line Charter Service fleet, captained entirely by retired law enforcement officers, can put you on the fish of a lifetime. He can be reached at (225) 276-5263 or at www.bluelinecharterservice.com.
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