At the Mississippi River Delta lies Venice, LA. A town formerly known to few, it now claims fame as one of the premier locations for fishing carters. Known as the “tuna town” of America, it offers a rare opportunity to interested sportsmen: catching tuna in the Mississippi River. Fishing for tuna is normally a sport reserved for oceanic expeditions, but the unique ecosystem created where the river meets the gulf has created an ideal environment for tuna fishing.
Just fifteen miles from the mouth of the river, the continental shelf reaches depths exceeding 5000 feet. Called the Mississippi Canyon, this region is home to many pelagic species. The large network of offshore oil platforms near the delta and great depths of water relatively close to the shoreline create ideal conditions for tuna fishing when combined with the attraction of the plankton in the Mississippi’s nutrient rich waters. For these reasons, it is no wonder that tuna fishing charters experience so much success in the region. Catching tuna in the Mississippi River presents recreational fishermen with an enjoyable challenge, largely because of the incredibly fast speeds at which tuna swim and their mass; yellowfin tuna are able to swim at speeds of 47 mph and can grow to 300 lbs.
Among the strategies used for catching tuna in the Mississippi River are live baiting, top water fishing, chumming and kite fishing. Live bait for tuna fishing might include whiting or herring and can also be used for top water and kite fishing. Particularly popular for Venice la fishing charters, kite fishing involves flying two kites off the side of the boat, each attached to live bait. The kite allows the bait to stay at the top of the water, causing the bait to splash and dive just as it would in the wild. Chumming, or the process of emptying fish parts and blood into the water in order to attract game is also a popular method of catching tuna in the Mississippi River.
In 2003, Venice louisiana fishing was put on the map when the world’s largest bluefin tuna was caught using the rod and the reel. Four men battled for 5 and a half hours before landing a 1,152 pound bluefin tuna. Though most tuna don’t reach such monstrous sizes, the fish stands in testament to the excellent fishing opportunities offered at the Mississippi River Delta. Catching tuna in the Mississippi River can provide not only an enjoyable expedition, but a whale of a good story!
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