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  • Tiger Sharks prowl both the in-shore and open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and are tireless feeders that can attack anything, everything, anytime, anywhere. They are tenacious, acrobatic, and terribly strong when hooked providing even seasoned big-game fishermen a test of skill.

    The Tiger Sharks' eating habits make it a good bet for a ‘trophy catch’, but its aggressive tendencies in shallow water proves it is a predator that poses danger to humans.

    As fishermen catch and cut open Tiger Sharks; the source of their “eats anything” reputation holds true as fish, crabs, turtles, stingrays, birds, other sharks, nuts and bolts, lumps of coal, articles of clothing, boat cushions, tin cans, random garbage and even car parts have been found!

    Tiger Sharks even will sometimes attempt to ram or jump into a boat before they are even hooked in an effort to reach the source of the bait that drew them in the first place!

    Tiger shark hunters must treat this eating machine with utmost respect and once hooked, the shark should be fought until completely exhausted and then killed before being brought boat-side or onto the deck. A living shark brought close to an over-confident fishermen can cause serious injury as the shark can bite with strength until it draws it’s very last breath.

    Fish On!

    Captain Mike

    January 03, 2012 at 12:25pm

    Sunday's Tuna Were Large & In Charge!

    Venice Offshore Yellowfin Tuna fishing continues to be world class. Not only does the size of these Yellow Fin Tuna make me say world class, but the distance to these fish is less than 30 miles from Venice Marina. Combined with the very cool visual way we target these fish makes the experience a lasting impression.

    Saturday night I spent most of the night swapping from 30TW’s to 50 and 80 wides. I sharpened all the saws and went to bed dreaming about the morning to come. I knew if we only saw ½ what we had seen the day before it was going to be awesome.

    We departed Venice Marina and I slammed the Yammies all the way, she roared up to 5700rpm and we were cruising down the pass with a light glow of morning sun at 58mph. as we broke out into the gulf it was slick calm, I never stood up or touched the throttles, we rocked to the same area and we were fishing with the sun just breaking above the horizon.

    First boat was the mother load, it was one stop shopping. As we pulled into position we threw some cut chum right onto the port side of the shrimping vessel and hollered “There they are', someone get a hook into the water. We had 2 anglers ready, belts had been properly fitted, instructions given on what a bite feels like and what to do when the fish takes off. This time, this morning we were ready!! Sure nuf here they come cruising through the slick, they were large and in charge.

    We saw an estimated 100 Jumbo YF Tuna. Now, just to tell you how stellar that is, on most days we visually spot, watch and see about 10 up to 20 if you are lucky….AND on a bunch of days you will only see 2 or 3 and then some days none at all……. So, now do you see how stellar the visual is?

    I can’t explain the grace of these huge Tuna and honestly I don’t think I can convey the feelings and emotions these fish send through your soul. As a fisherman I try so hard to catch ‘em the chase is intense, preparation is continuous, thousands of dollars spent, conversations for hours and friends made because of *Fishing*… And it all comes down to times like this. This is the best of the best, it doesn’t happen every day.

    We doubled up on ‘em and even could have tripled up. As the anglers would fight the fish we would continue to chum and watch the graceful behemoths swim through the slick getting the EXACT perfect pieces of bait that they chose. This was a day that I will remember forever!!

    Good fishing-
    Captain Mike Gray

    November 29, 2011 at 12:32pm

    Too many times choosing your Offshore Charter Service is like going to an employment interview, you ask a few questions, make small talk and basically try to “Size” up the Captain. If you like him and he is pleasant BOOM you are sold and he has a trip. Not long into your marriage you find out there were a TON of questions you should have known the answer to BEFORE you took the plunge.

    So; to help maximize your day offshore I’m going to recommend some really intuitive ideas and peel the layers back so you can expose the Captain and/or the Charter Service.
    Most Charters booked are quality and professional operations. When booking through the internet it is wise to ask some TOUGH Questions. Although there may be some references or testimonials on his site still ask the Captain to provide you with the last 3 client’s name and contact information. This will give you a good idea of the last times your Captain has been on the water.

    Check the Captain and his Charter service at places he would not expect. For instance, call the Marina he fishes out of and inquire about him there. Get a decision maker on the phone; ask for the owner or manager maybe the dock/harbor master. Ask them the same questions you have already asked the Captain when you spoke with him: Does he fish regularly? When was the last time they saw him out? Did the speaker see his catch? What’s the word around the dock about his Charter operation?

    Another place to call is lodging facilities if your Captain recommends lodging you can bet they know him and his service. They too see his customers and they know if he caught fish or not, they know if the customers are worn out and happy!!!!

    And one final place you could check is local tackle shops, you can ask them what kind of gear your chosen Captain brings in for repair or if he has purchased his tackle there what kind did he buy. Generally speaking, ask if his tackle is top notch or sub par.
    These are just ideas and will spark honesty from one source or another.

    Look for a *Guarantee* and ask your Captain what is the policy for un-happy customers, ask him to provide his guarantee in writing before your trip.

    Ask your Captain what’s his typical day during the specific time of year you plan to book your trip and ask him what specie of fish he will target. Make sure he understands your wishes and desires. Ex. If you are a young gun and all you want to do is kill a TUNA make sure your captain is an expert at killing TUNA you don’t want a Red Snapper minded Captain. On the other hand, if you only want to target reef specie fish like Amberjack, Red Snapper and Grouper, make certain your captain understands and doesn’t haul you to the TUNA grounds, regardless.

    Let’s discuss some misconceptions, shall we? Flashy and fast boats are only impressive to their owners. This DOES NOT mean that a Captain with a nice sled isn’t a “natural born fish killer,” I’m only saying web site photos of the boat need to be considered with a grain of salt.

    Sponsorships DO NOT make your Captain a PRO by any means. Remember, these are all good, fine and dandy but what you really want is a Captain that will give you a pleasurable day offshore catching fish to make memories for a lifetime.

    If there is a bad or poor report on a blog or website this does not dis-credit your chosen Captain. Quite often poor reports are simply a matter of miss-communication between the guests. There is always one person who arranges the trip and everyone else just pony’s up their share. Sometimes they (the friends) don’t know what they are signing up for.

    AND FINALLY: Make sure the Captain and operation you are considering are insured and be sure the Captain is properly licensed. Make sure your Captain is USCG licensed (Coast Guard). I highly recommend checking references and credentials.

    To your day offshore-
    Captain Mike Gray

    November 10, 2011 at 10:26am

    Wind and Swell, Chlorophyll and Sea Surface Temperatures all work together to create premier fishing conditions on most days in Venice, LA. With our Current Conditions Map you are able to accurately gauge the sea conditions ahead of time to pick the best weather window for your deep sea fishing trip.

    Wind & Swell
    Wind plays a large role in fishing success as light winds push bait to the far shore, and of course game fish follow while strong winds pull surface water along with it as it blows across the ocean surface. The ‘hole’ left behind is then filled in with an ‘upswell’ by cold, nutrient rich water from below.

    On the Current Conditions Map, click on the Buoys for wind direction, wave height and other weather related information impacting upswells such as atmospheric pressure and air versus water temperature.

    Remember that prevailing winds are very important for those venturing offshore. When wind and swell are running in opposite directions, rough and often dangerous conditions can occur.

    Chlorophyll in the water is generally produced by plankton of which represents nutrient rich waters. So in effect Chlorophyll levels measure the amount of food in the water.

    On the Current Conditions Map you will see that high levels of chlorophyll are indicated by yellow/orange while lower levels of chlorophyll indicate cleaner, greenish water and the very low levels will indicate clean, clear blue water.

    The border between between high and low Chlorophyll levels is generally considered to be the best fishing location as the fish come from the blue water to feed.

    Surface Temp
    Most feeding activity is on or near the water’s warm surface. On the Current Conditions Map, warmer water is indicated by red/orange and you’ll notice that most of the Gulf of Mexico is consistently warm water.

    Warm fronts will cause surface water temperatures to increase putting fish into a feeding mode as they instinctively know that usually means a storms is on it’s way.

    So, keep an eye on the Current Conditions Map on our website to see why, on an average day, fishing Venice, LA presents superior fishing conditions with light winds, plentiful chlorophyll borders and warm waters.

    Catch On!
    Captain Mike

    October 27, 2011 at 1:07pm

    Ah! The open sea never ceases to amaze me... the wind gusts, the waves, the spray of salt water over the bow... AND it’s FALL! Prime time for action packed deep sea fishing!

    Your adrenalin will start pumping every time your line gets wet with the anticipation of that monstrous tug at the end of your tackle... knowing that your ‘big catch’ will take more than a few people to carry off the boat... and then, you’ll get to show off the pictures!

    Except for the consistent 'reeling-in of the trophy fish', there is never a fishing trip where we get the same results! That's why this is so much fun!

    Catch On!

    Captain Mike

    October 14, 2011 at 2:45pm

    From October to mid-November Venice Shrimp Boats bring action close in for angling opportunities of a lifetime. Shrimp boats are out day and night creating the largest chum slick on planet earth. This creates perfect opportunities for savvy anglers to catch record size fish right out from under the Gulf Shrimpers!

    As shrimpers drag the ocean bottom for shrimp they also trap smaller fish and crabs; this is called ‘by-catch’. Once the nets are hauled on board the fishermen separate the highly sought after “Ruby Red” shrimp from the “by-catch”. During the separation process the “by-catch’ is periodically pushed overboard and hungry Yellow Fin Tuna swarm into action.

    When I say by-catch; I’m talking about croaker, drum, white trout, eels, ribbon fish and all sorts of deep water crustaceans that I’ve never seen ! This is FANTASTIC bait for record size Yellow Fin Tuna.

    Chum Slicks
    Setting up in the shrimp boat’s chum slick puts anglers right in the middle of a feeding frenzy for record size Yellow Fin Tuna, ton’s of Black Fin Tuna and many other fish species. Fishing chum slicks in the wake of working shrimp boats can be somewhat specialized... so, it is important to book a charter with the proper experience.

    Shrimp boat captains can be quite vocal when an angler ventures too close to their nets. And an angler without the correct bait and tackle for the chum line fish may miss out on the catch of a lifetime!

    Make sure you bring a gun to a gun fight. Too often anglers bring smaller tackle and highly used line. The fish behind the Mighty Gulf Shrimpers are extremely powerful fish. There are only two times during the year when I bring out my 80 wides. One such time is during Blue Marlin Tournaments and the other is to catch Shrimp Boat “JUMBOZ”….

    When I’m fishing behind the shrimp boats my gear is as follows. Shimano 50wides/80wides spooled with 130lb Jerry Brown Hollow core finished with a LOOP to LOOP connection of 100lb or 130lb Yo-Zuri HD pink Fluorocarbon. I fish 50/80 Melton rods that are 5 ½ ft. in length. I have straightened out small hooks so make sure to use the 3x or 4x Mustad circle hooks in 8 or 9 ought.

    Good luck-

    Captain Mike Gray

    September 29, 2011 at 12:49pm

    Seven Steps to an Offshore Blue-Water Experience of a Lifetime
    By Hayden Perry

    What Are We Fishing For?
    1. Large Fish
    2. Offshore Fish
    3. Saltwater Fish
    4. Continuous Swimming Fish
    5. Top of the Food Chain Fish

    What Types Of Fish Are We Fishing For?
    1. Yellowfin Tuna
    2. Cobia
    3. Mahi-Mahi
    4. Redsnapper
    5. Triple Tail

    Where Is The Correct Area To Fish?
    1. Offshore Oil Rig Sites
    2. Mississippi River Drops Nutrients
    3. Deep Water Canyons & Salt Domes
    4. Warm vs. Cold Currents
    5. All of the Above is Proximal to Land (Venice Louisiana)

    How Do We Find The Right Captain?
    1. Research History
    2. Note Experience
    3. Survey Equipment
    4. Observe Safety of Boat
    5. Ask for References

    What is the Proper Equipment?
    1. Bait/Tackle per Fish Type
    2. Poles/Reels per Fish Type
    3. Line per Fish Type
    4. Rigs per Fish Type
    5. Sunscreen

    How Do We Catch A Fish?
    1. Let Fish Fully Sallow Bait
    2. Set the Hook Hard
    3. Pull Pole Up and Reel Down on Fish
    4. Gaff Fish
    5. Watch Out!!!!

    How Do We Prepare Our Fish?
    1. Fillet Fish
    2. Cut out Blood Line
    3. Cut Filets
    4. Clean Filets
    5. Package

    September 22, 2011 at 5:19pm

    If you are not a 'Serious' angler and you have not traveled the world over fishing; you may be asking the question, if Venice is so great - why am I just now hearing about it?

    ANSWER: There is nothing here... no tourism, no chain retailers, and since the storm (you know the one) the closest grocery store is 25 miles away. The marina is the biggest thing going in Venice... It is larger than the town itself and full of boats of every size.

    Most people visit New Orleans for fun, and likely have never heard of Venice because there is not even publicity! Unlike popular tourist destinations like Florida, there is no television budget for Venice to put out all sorts of commercials touting the area.

    Venice has remained a quiet fishing town for years. But make no mistake! If you are a serious about having a good time with some offshore blue water fishing, Venice is the place!

    Hey, It took the Saints 40 years to make the Super-Bowl, why should the word of fishing spread any faster? Who-Dat!

    Catch em Up!
    Captain Mike

    September 17, 2011 at 3:08pm

    Serious anglers experience phenomenal fishing out of Venice, Louisiana for a lot of reasons... and we are going to explore two of those reasons today!

    First, is the proximity to deep water. If you look at a map; one of the first things you realize is Venice Louisiana is located on that peninsula south of New Orleans. Being able to drive 70 or so miles on land puts you that much farther into the Gulf once you board a fishing vessel. That's right; when you leave port in Venice you already have a head start towards the deep canyon waters of the Gulf. Pelagic fish which include Yellow Fin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi and Blue-Marlin only live in deep nutrient rich waters that provide current, bait, and cover.

    Second, is cover. Just offshore from Venice are massive oil and gas platforms, which act as an artificial reef. South Louisiana has more structure than any other region of the Gulf bar none. AND the other areas don't even come close to having the structure we have. Oil Rigs create their own eco-system and produce the safe environment bait fish like to hide among. And if you've been reading you remember bait fish bring the big fish…

    So, Walla; you have the ingredients for world class fishing right here in Venice Louisiana.

    Many people do not realize this, but Venice Louisiana has the best offshore fishing in the United States.

    Catch On!
    Captain Mike

    September 13, 2011 at 2:49pm
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