Nestled just 60 miles south of New Orleans, the community of Venice is something special. It’s known as the “tuna town” of America and is largely supported by commercial fishing, charter boats, and oil field workers. Just west of the Mississippi River, Venice is in the heart of Sportsman’s Paradise, and many an angler has fond stories to tell of adventures in tuna town.
Only 15 miles from the mouth of the river, the continental shelf reaches depths of over 5,000 feet. This area, known as the Mississippi Canyon, is home to many pelagic species and attracts tuna in swarms. The area is largely populated by pelagic species because of the nutrients and sediments dumped into the coastal marshes and the Gulf of Mexico by the mighty Mississippi.
For those interested in catching tuna in the Mississippi River, we’ll provide a few tips for fishing for tuna. Tuna fishing in the Mississippi River isn’t much different from tuna fishing in other locations, except that the river provides more structure than open water which is generally considered an enormous asset. Read on for the best tips on fishing for tuna you’ll find on this side of the Mississippi.
Tips on Fishing for Tuna
In the Mississippi canyon region, you’re most likely to find Skipjack and Bluefin tuna. Skipjacks average about 3.3 feet and only 41 pounds, while Bluefin tuna can grow to over 9.8 feet and reach more than 1,400 pounds. They tend to use their weight to stay down and can put up fights lasting for hours.
Trolling for Tuna
Trolling is the most common technique employed when fishing for tuna, simply because it is generally the most effective. To troll successfully, remember these things:
- Try to stay between five and 10 miles an hour.
- Use live or dead bait, like squid, mackerel, menhaden, an balao. Pair them with a No. 9 or 10 hook.
- Fish the edges of a school if you can. That’s where the bigger tuna tend to stick, and it’s usually more effective.
Drift fishing can be a little trickier since you have less of a chance of happening upon a school of tuna. To draw more tuna to your location, try these two tips:
- Chumming: Throw out some bait to help attract tuna. Be careful, though, as other species will be drawn to the area, including sharks. Also be sure to respect any state laws regarding chumming.
- Bird watch: Birds look for baitfish and will land on the water where they see them. Baitfish usually mean that bigger fish are nearby, so if you notice a flock of birds diving into the water, hightail it over there.
Tuna fishing in the Missisippi River is a great experience and often yields great success. Follow these tips to make sure you stand a chance at hooking the big one. Read this website for more information.