Innumerable fish species migrate into the waters of Venice especially in the summer months of July to September. Included in such fish migration are the monster-size tarpon. The best time for tarpon fishing off the Mississippi River mouth begins normally after lunch. Anglers can get their tarpon rods bent a few miles outside of South Pass for some really big fish. And when frigate birds hover in tight circles, it’s an indication that something humongous is feeding below. Anglers inspecting the hovered area will discover loads of tarpon – the silver kings of Venice waters, in a piscatorial parade entrancing and majestic in all sense.
Tarpons gather around sunset during summer days at the mouth of the Mississippi River and while the sun casts down a warm glow over the Delta, hungry tarpon numbering in thousands invade the Gulf Coast’s shallow doorstep. In Venice, anglers call this scene, “Afternoon Delight” – a sort of a last hour or end-of-day fishing opportunity near the South Pass Mud Lumps, which despite the changes that occurred in the area over the years still manage to attract the silver kings. While the lumps are mostly submerged in water due to erosion, tarpons still find their way to the irregular bottom contours.
Anglers and fishing enthusiasts are aware of the behavior of tarpon. If they are able to hook a tarpon, the tarpon rod will bend because of the 130 to 140 pound that pulls down the rod. Tarpon weighing 200 pounds may also be caught although it is not that common. What is common is the big number of tarpon that can populate the waters at any given time after lunch. Expert and experienced anglers are enticed by food offered by the delta’s cupboard. The great Mississippi River never allows a hungry tarpon go without food. The mud lumps serve as food factory that supplies the tarpon with their daily ration of baitfish and crabs.
Anglers will have a spectacular view of tarpons on the surface gobbling up the crabs, ribbonfish and rain minnows. The waters in this area will form like a blanket of baitfish on the surfaceand the humongous tarpon will ball them up equivalent to a five-gallon bucket full of each bite. Tarpon fishing is one of Venice LA fishing experiences that is not offered in other fishing destinations. Tarpon fishing in Venice is more of a run-and-gun deal.
The besttime of year for “Afternoon Delight” is during the months of August to October. While tides do not have that much of an impact, windless days are suitable for a more enjoyable tarpon fishing. Bad weather conditions will reduce visibility on the surface and that would make tarpon sighting quite difficult. A typical routine begins at the point just beyond the Mud Lumps until the drop-off in the 40 to 80 foot range. Around this area, birds should be circling around the surface, baitfish showers and the obvious splish-splash of feeding fish. These are all indications of tarpon activity happening. With tarpons feeding on live baits, savvy anglers will stick with artificial baits. The huge number of fish that thrive in these waters will most likely waste natural baits. Instead of the tarpon biting on the bait, other hungry mouths may be faster to feed on the live baits.