What: Bass (with some bonus redfish)
How: With the Mississippi River nearby, Venice is known for having a great bass fishery. While kayakers cannot get to some of the more popular areas, there are many under-fished spots accessed by easy combat launches off the side of the road. A wide variety of basic bass lures will do the trick, including Texas-rigged plastics, spinnerbaits and topwater baits, including frogs. Look for bass piled up in small schools near the mouths of drains and ditches. Work weedless frogs and plastic worms near grassy areas and the edges of roseau cane patches. Use lures with beefy hooks, as redfish are in the area and will destroy lighter ones.
Launch: Find a spot along the road to combat launch into the marsh. The marsh and canals of the famed Wagon Wheel off of Tidewater Road are always a good bet.
Insider tip: Although you don’t want to tangle with the offshore fishing vessels or worse, giant oilfield supply boats, launching later in the morning and fishing the confines of both Venice Marina and Cypress Cove Marina can lead to an easy limit of bass by targeting docks, pilings and shorelines.
Where: Port Sulphur
What: Speckled trout, redfish
How: With lots of protected marsh, deep canals and larger bays, the Port Sulphur area offers good wind protection and deeper areas for fish to congregate if water temperatures drop significantly. Although usually considered more of a redfish spot, trout move in for the winter, offering an opportunity for a good mixed bag. Look for reds along grass banks, which will continue to thin as the water cools. Plastic tails, weedless gold spoons and dead shrimp under a popping cork are good choices for reds. Look for trout in the deeper canals leading to larger bays. Throw suspending hard baits and plastics under a cork to target trout. MirrOLure Soft Dines are a good choice when the bite turns subtle in colder water temperatures.
Launch: There is an unimproved launch behind Port Sulphur High School off of Highway 23. There is no fee, but be sure to park your vehicle on the river side of the levee to keep the launch area clear. *Note: There are two launches in this area, the one to the left is private and cannot be used by the public.
Insider tip: The area is popular for duck hunters. Launch later, and give hunters space to avoid any conflicts.