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Chunking and Chumming Yellowfin Tuna
There are a few unique dynamics at play that have significant impact on the offshore fishing and in particular the yellowfin tuna fishing in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana. If you have every fished there, you will undoubtedly remember all the oil platforms and perhaps the green water you have to run through to get to the blue water where most of the pelagic fish dwell. This green water is the result of the Mississippi River dumping massive volumes of freshwater in the Gulf. This mixing of freshwater and saltwater creates a nutrient rich mix of waters that serves as the backbone for a robust food chain. This in turn promotes and sustains a vibrant bait fish population. When you marry all this nutrient rich oxygenated with the natural underwater topography and the artificial structure from the oil platforms, boom, you get an explosive tuna, marlin, swordfish, snapper, amberjack, wahoo and other species fishery. The yellowfin tuna fishing is why so many people come to Venice, Louisiana. The abundance of fish here has enabled many a captain or fisherman to hone their yellowfin tuna fishing skills to the highest level. There is so much knowledge to be gained from the crews that fish these Gulf coast year in and year out.
In The Spread joins Capt. Josh Howard in Venice, Louisiana to bring you tactics and strategies for chunking and chumming yellowfin tuna with dead baits in the Gulf of Mexico during the fall. Venice is the best yellowfin tuna fishery in North America, so every trip there is a learning experience. Josh fishes these waters year-round and has been for a long time. He really makes it look easy. His methods are super straightforward and highly effective. What he will show you is how you can become the food source for yellowfin tuna with the proper chumming technique. Learn about ideal baits, baiting strategies, chumming and chunking with by-catch, how to avoid smaller tunas and sharks, tackle, site fishing and more. In The Spread is your video resource for the finest offshore fishing instruction.
While in some places fishermen rely on birds and what the birds are doing to know where to fish, Venice is all about finding fixed or mobile bait fish aggregators. These can be oil related structures or they can be trawl boats. The trawl boats are not always around, but when they are they are worth checking out. Big fish follow these boats to take advantage of the conveyor belt of food coming off of them. Trawlers will move from clean water water to dirty, so you need to know which offers better fishing. If you spot a boat, it may or may not hold yellowfin tuna. You can use your electronics to see if there are fish holding deeper. You also have to consider what time of year is better for targeting the trawlers. We will talk to Josh about all of this.
The obvious advantage to fishing these boats is the bait being thrown over. What may not be so obvious is that you can get some of the by-catch from the operators to use for your own chumming purposes. Using this by-catch and other frozen baits will help you set up a nice slick. Typically the by-catch consists of bigger baits, so it is good to know how you can use these bigger baits to your benefit.
This style of yellowfin tuna fishing does require a little bigger tackle because the fish are bigger and more aggressive. We will talk about the mechanics of bait presentation, reel settings, how to set the hook and how to get the baits to the right fish. Capt. Josh Howard goes deep into his chumming strategy. How much to chum and how frequently should you chum are always good thing to know. How do you keep tuna active at the boat and how do you pull them off the trawler? We will talk about this and how to keep the hooked baits away from sharks, bonita and blackfin tuna. The way Josh does it allows you to pick the yellowfin you want to feed.
You will also learn about conditions, fighting techniques, gaffs and tackle. We will examine water color and temperature. Does the moon have any impact on the fishing? What are the tackle choices for this style of fishing? Even though braided lines open up opportunities to use smaller reels, this time of year you are going to have to step it up. We will cover the braid, mono and fluorocarbon options. What works best? All the knots and connections will be dissected and demonstrated.
This is a very comprehensive chunking and chumming tuna video. No live baits are used. This is strictly about how to catch yellowfin tuna with dead bait. Capt. Josh Howard has years of experience and is not shy to share everything he knows. This is a great learning tool for you. Watch it and take some of the knowledge he sharing to your fishery. Never stop learning.
Total time: 2:10:57