About 90 miles away from New Orleans at the end of both Hwy 23 and pretty much the Mississippi River sits Venice, a town zero feet above sea level. Venice isn’t pretty, nor is it a tourist-focused exotic fly fishing destination. Those that have been before understand. It is hurricane-ravaged, marked by rusty industrial buildings, populated by oil workers and commercial anglers. Hard-scrabble, blue-collar, you get the idea. I like that.
Now, don’t let me scare you from this place. As far as fishing goes, Venice redfish have has no equal. The giant redfish that live in these shallow marshes are the most aggressive feeders anywhere. This is where anglers from all over the world head to tangle with the largest redfish one can catch in the shallows. NOLA Guides fishes this area during the prime months, September through December. We highly recommend booking a year in advance for this location because of its very short season, limited to only about 120 days. This is when the water is the cleanest. Those huge bull reds are swimming on top, affording anglers the best sight fishing opportunities.
We don’t count the number of redfish caught, we count the pounds. It is very common to catch 15 to 20 redfish over 20 pounds on fly during the day in Venice. My personal best came from these waters in 2004, it weighed 44 pounds caught on a top water lure. The IGFA World Record in the women’s fly rod, 20lb class tippet, was caught on my skiff last year it officially weighed 33 pounds. Venice, by far, has the best fly fishing for giant redfish during these months than anywhere else in the world.