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Help with my sons Christmas trip to Venice :(

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Hey all from Georgia. All year long my 13 yr old son has wanted to get to south Louisiana to catch big Reds, but my job has kept me from being able to go. Well I finally have some time to take him, but I have no idea where to go, what to catch them on or where to begin. This will be a early Christmas gift for him and he understands this. Also he does understand unfortunatley we do not have the funds to have a guide. I do have my own Flats and Bay boat that should get us where we are needing to go, but that's about it. We will be staying at the Venice Inn and from there I am shrugging my shoulders of what to do. Any help at all will be great. I have an Elite 5 dsi gps, but I generally just use my IPAD for navigation. I hope this finds the right people to help me out. Thank yall.
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venice
launch at marina, run down the river to jetties at south or southwest pass and u are good to go. Only fished there a couple of times due to the distance, but were never disappointed. got to becareful of running in the fog though.
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Discussion Thread
Here's a link to a thread on another website that discusses redfishing around Venice:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/gulf-coast/328352-venice-la-redfish.html
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no guide
With out a guide and not being from here, going out of Venice would be dangerous. The Mississippi isn't something to play with. My suggestion would be to go to Grand Isle. You could easily fish the pass at Caminada (Grand Isle) or at Port Fourchon (close to Gand Isle). You can fish the main pass in Grand Isle on the east side Lots of cheap lodging there, and both places that are known for big reds are very close. You can kayak to Caminada pass, so getting there in your boat would be easy. Fourchon pass is very easy to get to from the launch. Bring the bay boat and come stay in Grand Isle. We fish 1/2 of a crab or 1/2 of a mullet on a bottom rig for really big reds and drum. Grand Isle is the safest and easiest to figure out with out a guide.
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You may want to check the price of trip
With the price of gas and the cost of lic. the guide may be your best bet. If you are running around looking for fish you will be burning up gas at 4dollars a gallon. You need special baits and if you catch a cold front all will be lost without some special knowledge guides have.
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One more thing
Just get in your boat and run down the river from the landing sounding simple right. Well I have fished many and I mean many places but believe me Venice is like no other place. The run from the landing to the river is your first adventure in any size boat. Then you have the river and fog. When the wind blows against the river current you have a wave action that will give you fits. Again I would think guide.
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Buras?
Well like I said. Do not have the money for a guide. Wish I did as it would be easier, but I don\'t. I have everything else though. How about Buras? Any better there? We went to the keys for 2 weeks in august And I got around fine there so I would not think it would be too much trouble.
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Reds
I would have to agree w/ boots. Caminada pass at grand isle Is a much safer place and NO long runs to the fish .You can see the areas you will be fishing from the launch. Plenty of lodging , bait and tackle right there. room will run you around 90 a night. If the wind is bad you can fish inside the pass or under the bridge if raining. also plenty of lights on the bridge if you want to soak a bait at night.
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Back country?
What about the areas just south of Venice Marina like Buras Pond, Bayou Tony and Tiger pass? Is that doable and can I put him on good size reds in these areas?
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Redfish
If you want redfish, go to southwest pass. You'll have all the redfish you can handle. If the weather is really cold, you shouldn't have a problem with the fog. My advice, is DO NOT run the river in the fog. I've been fishing offshore in venice for years. Even with radar on my boat, we never leave until the fog breaks. No fish is worth risking running the river in the fog. If you can go to grand isle, do it. Huge bullreds just minutes from bridgeside marina.
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Venice
Since u already have a room there I guess Venice will have to do. For a newbie I wouldnt advise running off of the river into unfamilar territory or u may hit a mudflat and end up spending the night out there. Make sure your boat is big enough to handle it. The river is runable assuming there is no fog and little wind. There are so many boats that run out of there during peak times that you can always follow the caravan. The rocks are the easiest structures to fish but whether u catch anything worthwhile depends on so many different factors.
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Venice
When are you going? Might be able to help you out.
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venice
I agree with Justin, when are you going? I have been fishing in Venice for 5 years and fully admit I don't know near what the guides know who do it for a living and probably never will. And unlike some others I have absolutely no problem with the guides who work very hard making a living. That being said, if I am down the same days you will be down I would be happy to let you follow me and see if we can't get your son on some Redfish, as many people have done for me. CapLsu
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Venice
Thanks everybody for your response. It is much appreciated. I will be coming down November 22nd and staying until the 26th. Another question I have is I run the Navioinics app on my IPAD. It's better than any over the counter GPS I have delt with. Is there much cell service in venice?
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becareful
I do not mean to be a a nay sayer. Please for the sake of your safety and more importanly your son's take the above post seriously. I am not sure your experience with waters in south Louisiana much less Venice. And excuse my judgement but by reading your post about relying on an ipad for directions its probably not much which I wouldnt rely much on that.. Trust me when I say we are all warning you. The waters around Venice are nothing to play with, with or with out the large off shore vessels blowing past you nearly sinking your boat (which is probably smaller than their life boats). Becareful, stay safe, and have fun. I wont tell you what or what not to do however the above post about following the caravan of other boats is true you will probably be ok doing so. I dont believe you need a guide although i would reccomend it. I would just had to read an artical saying you and your son where in a boating accident we see to many of them.
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danger
drag screamers is right. You have no idea what you are getting in to going anywhere near the Mississippi River. You need to be in Grand Isle. What you are attempting in very dangerous.
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Back areas
What about the back areas like if I take right out of venice marina and head down to Pass tit Francois area. Is that safer and does it hold reds? Looks like some areas out of there will hold some just from looking over head.
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Boat?
What size boat are you running? Fished out a Venice a few times and ran a 18 foot bass boat down the river. Was windy and raining and just took it easy and stayed close to the shoreline with no problem. I would not run anywhere in the fog though. If you turn right out of the marina and fish the cuts and rocks by the Plant, should pick up some decent reds. Might even find a bull. Get you a couple packs of Matrix Shad in various colors and different size jig heads. Focus on points and run outs and just jig a matrix shad on the bottom and hold on tight. Green Hornet color seemed the best last month.
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Boat and info
It's a 16' 6' Flats and bay. It is wider than your normal flats boat. It handles ruff water pretty good. Maybe if I hang near the banks it will be ok.
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Venice
The river is a dangerous place for a 16ft boat. I know guides , if they see someone following, they will take on a journey that will get u lost or stuck. there are channels that are only 5 to 10 feet wide and if to either side, u will be in trouble. Phone service is sporadic outside of venice, I would not rely on iPad or phone, I would not leave the dock without a VHF either.
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Stay near home
As long as you stay near the landing you should be ok. But some of the post about running the river could be a mistake. I would make sure you have some shrimp and live would be a plus if you can get them. If you have East or NEast winds Yellow Cotton Bay would be a sure bet for some reds and great fishing. This area would fit your boat great as best fishing is only a mile or two from the landing. My best bait for Venice has been a raddle trap. You will see numerous rock piles along the canals and river and the trap is a killer along those rocks. I only fished Venice when the river was low like it is now and always had great trips within sight of the landing. On one trip we caught over 10 different type fish.
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Thank you all
All the help is awesome guys we thank yall. I probably would feel more comfortable staying close. As far as yellow bay. Which marina would best to access it. Just staying close is fine with me as long as I can get him some reds is my goal. Any other closeby areas. What is the normal depths in the marshes and bays?
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You're ok
Many of the posters have given you proper caution to the dangers and headaches of Venice. True that running the river or the narrow unmarked channels is best left to big boats and those who know the area. However, there are areas that you can fish from your boat with relative safety. I fish down there in a little 15ft flats skiff and learned quickly where to go and where NOT to travel. First off, bring a push pole, although some of the shallow bar areas are hard/sandy enough to get out and walk. I would not run between the passes, as the river tends to deposit sentiment/sand there. You asked about water depths. In Venice they vary greatly and without any warning. Stay in canals, bayous and passes. I would then take a cut off one of those to a pond like area. Never just run on plane out into such areas. I would get on your trolling motor or push pole and pick a cane shoreline on a leeward bank. You picked a good time of year for water clarity. Bring some polarized sunglasses and have your son up front with you to pick off/intercept fish. You can always throw a spinnerbait or similar lure if/when conditions do not allow for sight fishing (i.e. waiting for a cloud to pass, etc.). I wouldn't be doing anything but sight fishing if it were me. Where would I go? I would try the ponds/shorelines off red pass and tiger pass first.

Good luck!
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delacroix
I know your plans are venice, but if you switch to Delacroix, shorter drive, lodging available too, everywhere you go will be protected waters, the boats you see will be more or less the same size as your boat, sweetwater marina will tell you exactly where to go, and your catch will be the same and probably better for a novice to the area.
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Venice
Double Hauler,

Good recommendations by everyone and I would heed those that are giving you advice concerning safety. I live out-of-state and have taken many trips to south lousiana fishing the Hopedale, Delacroix, Buras, Venice, and Dularge areas. I fish out of a smaller boat and I do not recommend Venice on your own. Each time I have fished Venice I have gone with a guide and I am thankful that I did. Not because I could not have done it on my own but it is just a different area in a lot of ways compared to other areas in south louisiana. If you are dead set on doing it on your own look at the other areas mentioned in these post. Biloxi Marsh, Hopedale, Delacroix, Grand Isle, and Dularge are all great places for your first trip and are hard areas to not catch fish. There are also a lot of great folks on this forum and launches in these areas that will help you out and make your trip a success. If you are stuck on Venice hire a guide and enjoy the trip.
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delecroix
been looking at the delecroix area as well. which areas are best for access and redfish. just looking on google earth, Delecroix looks more confusing than Venice by far.
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Delacroix
Delacroix is the place to go -no question. I know you want to catch reds, but in Louisiana speckled trout fishing is king. You can keep 25 measuring over 12 inches per day. The reds are very thick as well. Call and book a room at Sweetwater marina. The place is new and the owner Capt. Jack Payne will show you where to fish less than 15 minutes from the marina. If you have room in your boat you can ask for a local to come along to help put you on the fish, but that's not necessary because it's easy limits this time of the year.
tight lines and light winds.
Big Lugger
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delecroix.
well I checked into the lodging in delecroix. not much and alot of it is already booked up. plus it is twice as much than what I am paying in venice. I was leaning towards delecroix, but it seems the lodging and rates may
sway me otherwise.
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delacroix
for a small boat, delacroix is the place to be until it gets real cold ie before christmas. this time of year we go catching, not fishing. if u factor in the savings for the entire tripi think u will come out ahead as compared to running all the way to venice.
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Guide !!!!
If you decide on a guide Ronnie Granier is one of the best in Venice Area , he will put you on some monsters !!!!!

For More Information Call or Email
Ronnie & Mary Granier's
Mississippi Delta Guide Services
Specialized in Speckled Trout, Redfish and Largemouth Bass Inshore and Close Offshore
A Professional Fresh & Saltwater Guide,
Venice, Lousiana
(504) 430-2845, (985) 331-2511
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delacroix lodging
Delacroix lodging 50/person.Call Freddy at 504-616-8958.He is right next to Sweetwater and you can keep your boat there.
If you decide to go to delacroix i will take you for cost of the trip (fuel,bait and ice),happy birthday.
we will catch fish till your arms fall off.....
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thank u
thank you very much kim. I will check on it in the morning.
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buras?
just wondering how buras is. a good alternate to venice just a little ways up the road? Any input on this location is it a little safer?
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all the same area
I know your looking on google earth and it might seem a good distance but you still have the same dangers in buras as in venice. The river is very foggy at times, floating/half submerged logs, sand bars, container ships, crew boats, etc... it could be a very dangerous trip in a small boat if the weather decides to get nasty. I would look into other areas like Leeville or Fourchon. Try Boudreaux's Motel in Leeville or Moran's Marina in Fourchon, Boudreaux's is a nice place and the owners at Terry's bait shop will point you to the fish. Trout and reds have been very plentiful in the Leeville area lately, most people catching limits daily down there right now.
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Buras to Yellow Cotton
Joshua's marina is across from the big flag pole in Buras, over the levy, and you can launch there. The Buras canal passes in front of the marina and runs down a number of miles to Yellow Cotton Bay. There is good spec and red fishing along the canal especially at openings and flats on the sides of the canal, all the way down until you reach Yellow Cotton which is a big open bay. In years past, before the big hurricane, Yellow Cotton was a world class spec fishing bay. I hear that it is not as good as before but still produces limits of specs. Good fishing
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You will not run out of places to fish
In Venice you will not run out of places to fish believe me. Joshua's Buras landing is right up the road from Yellow Cotton Bay and Then you have Empire landing. All these are on the West side of the river. Then you have all the east side to fish along with miles of the river. Again your problem will be weather more than places to fish. There are many canals within a mile of the Venice landing and they always hold fish of all kinds under any kind of weather. The old Wagon Wheel has numerous canals and dead ends for fishing in all kinds of weather. In your small boat with a push pole and taking your time should be no problem just don't run fast. PS All most every canal you will find will show no water as you enter but after a few feet they will get deeper again take it slow. Now listen to this look for crab traps and you can feel safe with regard to water deep a trick we all learn in fishing La. coast.
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Venice
Can the river be dangerous at times? Yes. Is it most of the time? No. Just fished Venice this weekend in a 16' Express with a 60 hp. All the way down off Pass A Loutre. Been fishing there for many years and know the area, but there are plenty of places to catch fish that a new user can be safe in. As long as there is no fog or big winds you will be fine. Many areas near the landing to catch reds. Trout are everywhere right now and will be next week as long as the river stays down. West Bay, both spillways, and cubits gap have been giving up easy limits. Talk to guys at the marinas and they will help you out.
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reds
Double, I would agree with a few of the others, go to Yellow Cotton Bay. The launch is just past the Yellow Cotton Bay Cabins on the west side of hwy 23. Launch your boat and go straight out of the canal. Once you exit the canal and enter the bay turn left and work the shore line all the way down. We have caught tons of Reds doing this and it is definitely safer than the mighty Mississippi. We always use bait shrimp about 1 1/2 foot under a popping cork. Hope this helps. CapLsu
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Yellow Cotton Bay
At the right time you will actually get tired of reeling in fish there and the fall months is usually the right time , I think the biggest thing that will trouble you is you may not want to go back to Georgia !!!! Still be careful & catch lots of fish 'HAPPY FISHING' !!!!
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Let's hope weather man is wrong
My 3 sons and I have fished the Wed. before Thanksgiving for over 42years never missed. Just checked the weather and a major storm is predicted to arrive Sat. noon and cold all next week. They are only right a few times sure hope this is not the one or two times they are correct. Would be great for reds though with low cold water. Dead shrimp at run outs and dead ends of canals would be a killer dress warm.
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Let us know !!!!
Keep us posted on how you are doing !!!! Would like to know that you & your son are catching fish !!!!
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Baseball rules for us
Our family have changed our plans for regular thanksgiving trip, We will head to the hunting camp where we have covered blinds and heaters. Boy this looks like a bad weather week rained all day in BR. Baseball rule 3 strikes and your out rain, wind and cold.
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status.
well after the first day we have 6 Reds and 1 spec. One of them was a 36' Bull. They were eating hard up until 10:30am and than the lights went out. We went different places but without being able to see bottom because of the wind and mud we could not use the trolling motor efficently and drug bottom alot of the day. We caught them near the bottom of what the locals call down here ' The Wagon Wheel'. Many were very surprised we even caught fish today which made me feel perty good. I will have pics soon. tommorow looks horrible for weather, however sunday does not look too bad.
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Sunday
If you caught fish Sunday, you are a master fisherman. We went down for a suicide trip and had 2 trout. Wind was blowing 30+. All our spots from the last few weeks were unfishable.
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