Venice Yellowfins

Felt great to shift gears after 5 months of steady wingshooting.  Needed some diversity in the freezer, too. Unseasonably perfect February fishing conditions were enjoyed - plenty of sunshine, 2 ft seas.  Typical  for this time of year, there were hundreds of other boats occupying the square-mile area above the "Midnight Lump".  The Lump is the top of a large salt dome located offshore, about 50 miles southwest of Venice, Louisiana.  It is legendary for great bluewater fishing: the combination of shallower waters (depth ranges between 200 and 250 ft.) and large schools of bait fish swept along in current makes for magnificent fishing.  It is a major feeding site for some of the largest yellowfin tuna found in the Gulf of Mexico.

We again fished with Capt. Darryl Couvillon, Reel Peace Charters.  Have heard Capt Couvillon's ancestors were among the first to settle around the Venice area.  They certainly know their fishing.  Live mullets tossed into the chum slick.  The largest fish of the day, a yellow fin tuna, weighed a modest 164 pounds. It had the heart of a true fighter: stripped off line for several minutes, but I quickly earned most of it back.  Right about the time I had regained a little over half of the spool, the fish got its second wind.  It then became an earnest battle. Of inches.  Pound for pound, tuna are among the mightiest fighters in the Gulf, diving deep to gain leverage instead of dancing across the water and quickly giving it up. Gaffed him a little over 2 hours after the hook set. One good yellowfin was all it took.

Ramsey Russell, GetDucks.com


Boys’ Spring Snow

Back in the early to mid-1970's, when I was nearer to the single-digit age my sons are now, snow geese were just those noisy, stratospheric little V-formations we kids watched while waiting for the carpool to come pick us up on cold mornings in Mississippi's delta. Times sure have changed since then.

None of the local men I knew back in those days hunted them.   Everyone hunted ducks and the few migrating honkers that occasionally ventured that far south. A burgeoning, mid-continental snow goose population, ever-fattened by the increased agricultural landscape that has evolved since the 1970s now threatens the existence of their breeding grounds, the fragile Arctic tundra.

Hunters have been called on to reduce this population well into the spring months, long after traditional waterfowl seasons have closed.  It's created a great opportunity to hunt this marvelous creature, to spend more time at hunting camp, to further train retrievers in a live hunting environment.  It's also a great time for Dads to spend more time with their young hunters.

Ramsey Russell's GetDucks.com