Move Over, Wahoo. Tunas are Coming!

Posted on March 19th, 2019 by Captain Chandler

As I’ve been reporting over the past few months, the Wahoo bite has been epic on the legendary Venice, Louisiana fishing grounds. Well, somebody forgot to tell the Yellowfin Tuna because they’ve returned with a vengeance and want to reclaim their crown as King of the Gulf!

We’re hitting the Gulf of Mexico in our custom 36′ and 39′ Yellowfins with our livewells crammed with live mullet and hardtails. Our clients have been relaxing in comfort and safety as we rip it out to the tuna grounds to find the tunas.

Once we arrive at the target zone and get our baits in the water, we’re being greeted by huge Yellowfin Tunas ranging in size from 40 lbs to 80 lbs and larger! Book your trip NOW to get in on this incredible Tuna action!

You Can Bet on Black Too

While fishing – and catching- big Yellowfins, our clients are enjoying some bonus Blackfin Tuna fishing too. There are some stud Blackfins mixed in with the Yellowfin schools and these Blackfins are in the 30 lb to 40 lb range. They’re tackle busters too!

The Wahoo are Still on the Prowl

Even though the Yellowfins have retaken center stage, the Wahoo bite is still on fire around the oil rigs and other areas as we make our way to the Yellowfin grounds. That’s what’s great about operating our 36′ and 39′ Yellowfins: We have the speed and range to tap BOTH fisheries…and more!

We have been averaging 2 to 4 Wahoo per trip. Even though we’re fishing top-flight tackle, these Wahoo are melting drags and burning biceps! A Wahoo run is something that must be experienced to be believed. The same goes for eating Wahoo for dinner.

The springtime bite is only going to get better but you need to get out there with us soon as our March trips are nearly filled up and April is booking quickly too. Give us a call to reserve your experience of a lifetime!

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

The Wahoo Bite is Off the Hook!

Posted on February 18th, 2019 by Captain Chandler

As you know by now, Venice is one of the premier Yellowfin Tuna fisheries in the world. However, someone forgot to tell the huge Wahoo that we’ve been catching over the past month!

We’re hitting the Gulf of Mexico in our custom 36′ and 39′ Yellowfins with our livewells crammed with live mullet and hardtails. Our clients have been relaxing in comfort and safety as we rip it out to the tuna grounds to find the tunas.

However, on the way to the Yellowfin grounds, we’re getting into thick Wahoo schools. We’re getting shots on Islander lures rigged with ballyhoo, trolled at 7-9 knots. Right now, the colors that work the best are pink, blue/white and purple/black.

We have been averaging 5 to 8 Wahoo per trip! As you can see in the picture above, we’ve been coming back with many more. Even though we’re fishing top-flight tackle, these Wahoo are melting drags and burning biceps! Few pelagic species can match the scorching runs of which Wahoo are capable.

Don’t Worry. The Tunas are Still Around Too.

The Yellowfin Tunas aren’t going to take this Wahoo invasion lightly. The Yellowfins have also been ferocious and have not passed up any of our baits either.

As we move into the Springtime Yellowfin bite, we’ll continue to see more bites as the Yellowfins return to the feeding grounds that they left for the winter.

Once we arrive at the target zone and get our baits in the water, we’re being greeted by huge Yellowfin Tunas ranging in size from 20 to 40 pounds and larger!

There are also big Blackfin Tuna mixed in with the Yellowfins and they’re ready for a fight! Some trophy sharks are lurking for a slugfest once we catch our limit of tunas, which does not take long.

Come join me to take advantage of this unreal Wahoo action and jumbo Yellowfin activity. We’re running two custom We still have a few dates available in February and March is starting to fill up as well. Give us a call to set up your trip. Let’s get into the bite!

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

The BIG Tuna Are Here!

Posted on December 19th, 2018 by Captain Chandler

January Through March is a great opportunity for our clients to get on some of the biggest fish of the year, however the big fish have really been here all year long.  While the summer is known for small tuna around 50 to 80 pounds, we had many go over 100 pounds last summer.  But here in the winter, the fish are pushing 200 pounds!  Now is the time get in the books if you have some dates in mind.  You can be sure you found the best captain and crew to make an adventure. Here are some pics from the recent trips:

Thankful for Butterballs in November

Posted on December 3rd, 2018 by Captain Chandler

Throughout the past  week, family and friends will gathered together on Thanksgiving to take stock of their blessings and to be thankful for so many things. We at Champion Charters would like to take a moment to express our thanks to YOU for the privilege to serve YOU. Without YOU, we would not be able to do what we love: Introduce YOU to the amazing, world-renowned Venice Fishery.

It may sound a bit cliché but we Americans are blessed to be living in the greatest, most generous nation in the world. We should be thankful for all of the sacrifices of those who came before us so that we may be free.

During November, we’ve also been blessed epic Yellowfin Tuna fishing! We’ve continued our October successes by “going the extra mile” to stay beyond the Venice fleet to take advantage of the amazing Yellowfin bite!

We’re hitting the Gulf of Mexico in our custom 36′ Yellowfin, powered by our triple 300 Yamahas, with our livewells crammed with live mullet and hardtails. Our clients have been relaxing in comfort and safety as we rip it out to the tuna grounds to find the tunas.

Once we arrive at the target zone and get our baits in the water, we’re being greeted by huge Yellowfin Tunas ranging in size from 100 to 150 pounds and larger!

We have been averaging 4 to 6 Yellowfins per trip! Why not more? Because a) we run out of fish box and cooler space for any more fish and b) our anglers have had their fill of battling these giants!

Our by-catch is better than most angling excursions around the world as we encounter big Blue Marlin and Sharks.

As you can see, the Gulf is alive and the Fall Yellowfin Tuna action is red-hot for the Holidays. We still have a few dates available in December even though we’ll be out of town for a week for some much-needed R & R. Book your trip now so that you can put some sushi in your Christmas stockings. Give us a call to set up your trip. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

The Big Boys Are Back in Town!

Posted on September 26th, 2018 by Captain Chandler

As many of you know, my favorite time of year has arrived: Fall! The temperatures are starting to drop off, the days are getting shorter…and the Yellowfins are getting LONGER!

We have been running a little further out and getting away from the rest of the fleet but “going the extra mile” has been paying off with epic Yellowfin Tuna and Blackfin Tuna bites.

We’re hitting the ocean in our custom 36′ Yellowfin, our triple 300 Yamahas purring like a kitten, with our livewells “blacked out” with live mullet and with bycatch for chumming. Our clients have been relaxing in comfort and safety as we rip it out to the shrimping grounds to find the tunas.

Once we arrive at the target zone and get our baits in the water, we’re being greeted by huge Yellowfin Tunas ranging in size fro m80 to 200 pounds! As a matter of fact, I was able to “hand feed” a fish from the transom that would up weighing more than  200 pounds. What an amazing bite! Check out this monster of the deep:

As if the enormous Yellowfins weren’t enough to keep my clients busy (and well-fed), we are in the middle of an EPIC Blackfin Tuna bite right now. We’ve been catching 10 to 30 Blackfins each trip, with the fish averaging nearly 30 pounds! These bruising Blackfins have been screaming drags and leading to sore arms and backs. We’re catching so many that some of our clients are yelling “No mas!” like Roberto Duran!

For the angler who is fascinated with catching sharks, look no further. There are big sharks mixed in with the Tunas (sharks like sushi too) that will pull drag for as long as you care to fight them.

Simply put, the Gulf is alive and the bite has never been better. We still have a few dates available in October and slots are starting to fill up for November. For Thanksgiving this year, come join me to catch a Butterball to go along with your turkey. Give me a call to set up your trip. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

Overnight Tuna Fishing Trips in Venice La

Posted on July 3rd, 2018 by Captain Chandler

August is some of our favorite fishing of the year.  It gives us the opportunity to take advantage of predictable weather and the fish feeding at night.   We leave in the late afternoon and come back the next day. Fishing all night opens up a whole new opportunity for my August clients.  It allows us to not only target them during the dark when they are feeding, but also get that first light bite which sometimes is the best.  Call us to see what days we have available and let’s make it an adventure.

Fishing Report:

Our day trips are doing better now.  There was a lull period there for a while where the tuna were basically gone.  I hate when that happens, but that is fishing.  We want our customers to catch tuna more than they do, so it is really heart breaking when that happens, but I’m happy to report we are back in them.  When they were absent we were making up for it with snappers, mahi and even had a blue marlin we released.

 

Let’s hope it gets better everyday.  I have 11 trips in a row coming up and will be reporting everyday on Facebook, so be sure to follow us.

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

When is the best Time To Tuna Fish in Venice La.

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by Captain Chandler

I get asked this question just about daily.  And in fact, the best time to go is when you can go.

We catch tuna all year long here in Venice.  That is why we call it the “Tuna Capital of the World”.  Most of our customers prefer the summer season.  The seas are more likely to be calm and we have the opportunity of catching mahi, wahoo and snapper.   Calmer conditions allow us to run faster and get to the grounds sooner as well.  It is an ideal situation for most anglers.  Just look at these recent photos:


But if you are solely interested in Tuna, there really is no better time than the present for you go fishing.  Granted we get bigger fish in the winter, however an 80 pound summer tuna fish is no slouch!   Plenty of meat for the coolers and a hell of a fight.   In fact, sometimes even our 40 pound fish act like much bigger ones and put a hurting on our angler arms.

I recommend you don’t get so caught up in the whole “winter are bigger fish in Venice” thing.   Because you have to worry about weather then and there are no guarantees in fishing.

So if you are looking to go Tuna fishing, I highly recommend you book as far in advance as you can.  We do still have a few dates left here in June and some in July.   Let’s get out there and get tight!
Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

Venice Tuna Fishing Has Picked Up!

Posted on April 23rd, 2018 by Captain Chandler

The tuna fishing has started to really pick up, in fact we are in full swing!  We are catching them solid.  Having quality bait has been the difference including fresh pogies and hardtails.   After you catch bait, we blast out to the floating oil rigs and fish until about noon and then we go sword fishing unless you want to tuna fish all day long.

And the swordfish are still are goto transition in the afternoons after we have put some tuna in the boat.  Dropping deep has yielded a lot of fish this year! In fact we are up to 19 fish caught!  Absolutely on fire.

The snapper season is opening June 1st and we don’t have an end date.  But it is usually 2 to 3 weeks.  I recommend you book your snapper trips now as we only have few dates left.  Let’s load up!

The size of the tuna are ranging from about 60 to 80 pounds with a 100 pounder throw in there.

Amerjack season is also opening up May 1st.  Another fun fish we can target after we load the boat with Tuna.

The other day we had a blue marlin take the bait.  We lost it after a short fight, but they are always possibility.

The wahoo have shown up big time.

And deep dropping for tile fish has been great.  We have caught a few.  More of a bi-catch for swordfish.

Big Tuna are our speciality though!

 

Tuna Fishing

 

We have dates available in June and July still. I recommend you get in the books asap.  Remember we are all inclusive and for only $400 per person you can enjoy world class fishing with us.

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

Tuna Fishing is Getting Back To Normal!

Posted on March 29th, 2018 by Captain Chandler

It has been a weird couple weeks here in Venice, Louisiana.  For the first time in a long time, the tuna fishing was slow.  I believe the season transition started early or a combination of late in the year cold fronts, but whatever it is, we are glad fishing is picking back up.  To make up for the lack of tuna, we have been targeting the next best thing: swordfish! I have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best sword fisherman and honed the skill over years.  With a little luck on my side and a great crew, we have been crushing them.  In fact on one trip we boated 4 fish!

Swordfish

So that has been the story as of late.  Instead of struggling with a slow tuna bite, we have been putting our clients on the hot swordfish bite instead.  Checking my years of log books, I have not seen a swordfish bite like this in a long time.  I believe we are better at targeting them now and catching them during the day takes some real expertise, but some other factors such as wind, tides, moon, currents, etc all come into play with targeting swords.

One thing that remains constant is if you get a good bait in front of them, they will most likely eat it!  This is why we take our time to prepare the bait just right. Whether we use squid, mahi mahi bellies, mackerel, etc, we take the extra time to sew and prepare it just right.  When your bait is very deep you want the best opportunity and most of the time a swordfish will wack the bait with their sharp bill, so it important that the bait can withstand the attack so that they will come back and eat it.  Fish on!

Check out this lit up fish in cobalt blue water we brought home for the grill:

Swordfish in Blue Water

As I mentioned, the tuna fishing is starting to turn around we are also entering our wahoo season.  While I am still fishing for swordfish, I’m ready to get back into the meat of our prized Yellowfin Tuna and put some sushi on the table.  This was an awesome day last month and your typical day in April.  So I look forward to getting back into the grind and giving my anglers some sore arms!

I still have some dates open in April and we are filling up the rest of the spring into summer.  I always recommend as soon as you know your dates, to give us a call and book them, because they go fast.

Tight Lines,
Captain Chandler

Tuna Fishing Tips in Venice Louisiana

Posted on December 30th, 2017 by Captain Chandler

Biggest yellowfin in Venice

Fish Like a Campion – Captain Chandler’s Secret Sauce

If you’ve been receiving our Champion Charters Newsletter, you’ve seen that the BIG YELLOWFIN TUNA BITE is in full swing out of Venice, Louisiana! The Champion Charters Team can barely get to the offshore tuna grounds without double and triple headers!

The trick to finding the monster Yellowfin Tunas and Blackfin Tunas is to locate and shadow the offshore shrimp boat fleet. This is one of the most exciting Fall/Winter fisheries in the Continental United States as our anglers get to pick and choose which tuna they want to hook.

The offshore shrimp boats are typically 50 to 65 feet long and they “trawl” their nets, bringing the nets up on deck every few hours to sort their catch. Shrimp get to stay on board as “passengers” who get to stay in an icy cooler for the remainder of the cruise. The rest of the haul is considered “by-catch” and is returned over the side into the water. Many saltwater species, especially tuna, have adapted to follow the shrimp boats and feast upon the by-catch bounty.

When we locate the shrimping fleet, we’ll often hail a nearby boat to purchase several buckets of by-catch to use as bait and chum. By this point, we’ve already loaded the livewells with live mullet that the Champion Charters Team netted earlier in the day.

Fishing near the shrimp boats is an experience unto itself as our anglers get to watch them work to harvest their bumper crop of shrimp. As the shrimp boats “do their thing,” various tuna species and other predators stage behind the boats as scrumptious by-catch morsels known drift slowly in the boats’ wake.

The Champion Charters Team knows just how to take advantage of this situation. Using our world-class Yellowfin Center Console to maneuver our anglers with surgical precision to within 60 yards or so behind the shrimpers. We begin chumming with our recently acquired by-catch. In no time, tunas and other apex predators can be seen under and around the boat. Now the fun begins.

Then, we place our live baits between the tunas and the all-you-can-eat buffet streaming off the stern of the shrimp boats. This is where the magic happens. The huge tunas cannot resist our baits that are the size of hog legs.

Let’s take a moment to discuss terminal tackle: We’re fishing Shimano TLD50 2-Speed reels on standup rods, spooled with 80 lb Suffix braid, terminating to a Bimini twist. We connect a 10-foot length of 40 lb Suffix fluorocarbon as the leader and finish the rig with a 6/0 Owner circle hook. This is a very simple yet stealthy rig for tunas. Remember: Tunas have big eyes on their heads. We need to drop down on our leader and hook sizes to fool them.

When the bite is on, our anglers can literally pick-and-choose the tuna that they want to hook! We pitch a 2 lb mullet a few feet away and the water erupts! This is one of the most weak-kneed moments in all of angling when a 200 lb Yellowfin explodes on your bait as it hits the water 6 feet from the covering board!

There will be times when we see wolves among the sheep: Sharks. Not to worry. The Champion Charters Team knows how to avoid the sharks as well as keeping sharks away from your trophy tunas. (In case you didn’t’ know, sharks love sushi too.)

Our anglers return to the dock with tired arms and huge, toothy smiles. Then it’s our turn to have tired arms as we clean hundreds of pounds of the choicest, sushi-grade tuna you’ve ever seen.

Come join us for an angling experience for the entire family and for memories that will last a lifetime. Call us now to book your trip!