Mangrove Snapper - Chumming

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Instructor: Josh Howard

Venice, Louisiana offers abundant resources for mangrove snapper, a delectable fish species found in oil platforms. Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico can be fast and furious, with fish reaching up to 20 lbs and averages 7-8 lbs. Captain Josh Howard shares simple yet lethal fishing tips and strategies for chumming mangrove snapper, including making chum, finding fish, and presenting baits. This fishing video is an excellent learning tool for those looking to fish for snapper.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Venice, LA is a prime location for mangrove snapper fishing due to its unique ecosystem
  • The mixing of nutrient-rich waters from the Mississippi River and the Gulf, along with the presence of oil platforms, creates an ideal habitat for snapper
  • Louisiana's fishing hotspot is characterized by the confluence of freshwater and saltwater, resulting in a thriving marine environment
  • Local fishermen and guides, with generations of experience, possess invaluable knowledge about fishing in these waters
  • Capt. Josh Howard from Deep South Charters shares effective strategies for chumming mangrove snapper around Gulf oil platforms
  • The video covers chum composition, chumming techniques, locating fish, navigating structures, bait presentation, combat tactics, effective dead baits, and assembling mangrove snapper rigs

Venice, La is renowned for its vibrant mangrove snapper fishery. The dynamic nature of the environment offers a perfect habitat for snapper fish. This is largely due to the mixing of nutrient-rich waters from the Mississippi River and the Gulf, combined with the abundant structures present. Oil platforms, interestingly, contribute to this ecosystem. They attract fish of all species, acting as a refuge and forming the foundation of the food chain for various gamefish. Snapper, which are structure-oriented, flourish around these constructs. Mangrove snapper fishing in the Gulf is unparalleled, offering anglers the chance to experiment and hone their skills. Fish can weigh up to 20 lbs, with the average being around 7-8 lbs. This is impressive for grovers. The dynamic delta further enhances the snapper habitat.

Louisiana is A Unique Fishing Destination

Louisiana's position at the intersection of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico creates a truly unique and dynamic fishing environment. The Mississippi River, the largest river system in North America, drains a vast watershed that encompasses 41% of the contiguous United States. As it reaches the Gulf, it delivers a massive influx of freshwater, sediments, and nutrients.

This nutrient-laden freshwater mixes with the saltwater of the Gulf, creating a brackish environment that supports an incredible diversity of marine life. The nutrients fuel the growth of phytoplankton and zooplankton, which form the base of the food chain. This abundance of prey attracts a wide variety of fish species, from small forage fish to large predators.

Adding to this already productive environment are the numerous man-made structures that dot the Gulf off the coast of Louisiana. These structures, primarily oil and gas platforms, act as artificial reefs. They provide hard substrate in an otherwise largely soft-bottom environment, offering shelter and attachment points for a variety of marine organisms.

The platforms themselves become encrusted with barnacles, oysters, and other sessile organisms, which in turn attract fish. The complex, three-dimensional structure of the platforms provides numerous nooks and crannies for fish to hide and ambush prey. Pelagic fish are drawn to the structures as well, using them as reference points and congregating around them.

The Loop Current, a warm ocean current that flows northward between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula before turning eastward through the Florida Straits, also plays a significant role. As it moves into the Gulf, it brings clear, warm, nutrient-poor water from the Caribbean. When this water meets the nutrient-rich water from the Mississippi, it creates ideal conditions for the growth of phytoplankton, the base of the marine food web.

This combination of factors - the mixing of fresh and salt water, the influx of nutrients from the Mississippi, the presence of artificial reefs, and the influence of the Loop Current - makes the waters off Louisiana exceptionally productive. It's a perfect storm for marine life, and it's no wonder that Louisiana is known as a fisherman's paradise.

From the rich estuaries and bayous to the open waters of the Gulf, Louisiana offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Inshore, anglers can target species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Offshore, the artificial reefs attract species like mangrove snapper, red snapper, grouper, and amberjack. Pelagic species like tuna, wahoo, and mahi-mahi are also drawn to the nutrient-rich waters.

The abundance and diversity of marine life in Louisiana's waters is truly staggering. It's a testament to the powerful influence of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, and to the resilience of nature in the face of human activity. For anglers, it's a dream destination, offering the opportunity to catch a wide variety of species in a unique and productive environment. Louisiana truly is a gateway to one of North America's most bountiful fisheries.

The Expertise of Local Fishermen

The rich fishing heritage of Louisiana is embodied in its captains, guides, and fishermen. These individuals have a deep connection to the water, with knowledge and skills passed down through generations. Many of them are Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who settled in Louisiana in the 18th century. Cajun culture is deeply intertwined with the coastal landscape and its abundant resources, and this is reflected in their approach to fishing.

Cajun fishermen have a keen understanding of the local waters and the habits of the fish that inhabit them. They know the best spots to fish, the optimal times to go out, and the most effective techniques for each species. This knowledge isn't just theoretical - it's been honed through countless hours on the water, through trial and error, and through the teachings of their elders.

When you fish with a Cajun guide, you're not just getting someone to take you to the fish. You're getting a wealth of knowledge and experience, someone who can read the water, the weather, and the behavior of the fish. They can anticipate where the fish will be and what they'll be feeding on. This intuitive understanding of the environment is invaluable, and it's something that can't be learned from a book or a YouTube video.

The quality of the fishing in Louisiana's offshore waters is a testament to the skill of these fishermen. The colossal artificial reefs created by the oil and gas platforms are magnets for marine life, and the Cajun guides know how to exploit them. They know which species are likely to be around each platform, at what depths they'll be holding, and what baits and lures will be most effective.

At In The Spread, we have a deep appreciation for this local knowledge and expertise. We believe that the best way to learn is from those who have lived it, and that's why we seek out the most experienced and knowledgeable guides for our videos. We want to tap into that wealth of wisdom and share it with our viewers.

Our passion is not just for catching fish, but for the entire process of fishing. We want to explore the waters, to understand the ecosystem, and to learn from those who know it best. We believe that by sharing this knowledge, we can help others to appreciate and enjoy the incredible fishing opportunities that Louisiana has to offer.

When it comes to mangrove snapper fishing in the Gulf, the techniques used by Cajun fishermen are tried and true. While the equipment and technology may have evolved over the years, the basic principles remain the same. It's about understanding the habitat, presenting the bait in the right way, and being patient and persistent.

In our fishing video, we aim to distill these principles and techniques into a format that's easy to understand and apply. We want to demystify the process of fishing for mangrove snapper, to show that with the right knowledge and approach, anyone can be successful.

At the same time, we want to emphasize that this isn't complex fishing. You don't need fancy gear or complicated techniques. What you need is an understanding of the fish and the environment, and a willingness to learn from those who know it best. By watching our video and applying the lessons learned from Cajun fishermen, you can elevate your own fishing skills and increase your chances of success on the water.

Ultimately, our goal is to celebrate and promote the incredible fishing heritage of Louisiana, and to inspire others to experience it for themselves. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a newcomer to the sport, there's something to be learned from the captains, guides, and fishermen of Louisiana. By tapping into their knowledge and passion, we can all become better stewards of this incredible resource.

Collaborating with Capt. Josh Howard

Collaborating with Capt. Josh Howard from Deep South Charters was a fantastic opportunity for In The Spread. Josh is a prime example of the dedicated and passionate Cajun fishing guides that call Louisiana home. His expertise, honed through years of experience on the water, is invaluable for anyone looking to improve their mangrove snapper fishing game.

One of the things that stood out about Josh was his willingness to share his knowledge. He wasn't just interested in putting us on fish (although he certainly did that!), but in teaching us how to find and catch mangrove snapper ourselves. This is the mark of a true guide and educator - someone who wants to empower others to be successful in their own fishing endeavors.

The focus of our video with Josh was on chumming techniques for mangrove snapper around the oil platforms in the Gulf. Chumming is a tried and true method for attracting fish, and it's particularly effective for species like mangrove snapper that are attracted to scent and activity.

Josh shared his specific chumming strategies, including the type of chum he uses, how he prepares it, and how he disperses it in the water. He explained how to create a "chum slick" that will drift with the current and draw fish up from the depths. He also demonstrated how to maintain the chum slick over time, keeping the fish interested and congregated around the boat.

But what really set Josh's techniques apart was his attention to detail and his understanding of how mangrove snapper behave around structure. He showed us how to position the boat in relation to the oil platform, taking into account factors like wind, current, and depth. He explained how the fish relate to the structure at different times of day and in different conditions, and how to adjust our presentation accordingly.

While the specific focus of the video was on oil platforms, Josh made it clear that these chumming techniques can be applied to any type of structure that holds mangrove snapper. Whether you're fishing a natural reef, a shipwreck, or a bridge piling, the principles are the same. It's all about understanding the environment, the behavior of the fish, and presenting your bait in the most natural and appealing way possible.

What impressed us most about Josh was his passion for fishing and for sharing his knowledge with others. It's clear that he loves what he does, and that he gets just as much satisfaction from seeing others succeed as he does from catching fish himself. This is the essence of what we strive for at In The Spread - to learn from the best and to share that knowledge with our audience.

Throughout the day of filming, Josh was a wealth of information, answering our questions, offering tips and insights, and generally being an open book. His enthusiasm was infectious, and it's impossible to spend time with him without coming away with a deeper appreciation for the sport of fishing and for the incredible fishery that is the Gulf of Mexico.

In the end, our video with Capt. Josh Howard is about much more than just chumming techniques for mangrove snapper. It's about the sharing of knowledge, the passion for the sport, and the connection between anglers and the environment. It's about learning from those who have dedicated their lives to understanding and appreciating the water and its inhabitants.

We're incredibly grateful to Josh for sharing his time and expertise with us, and we know that our viewers will benefit from the strategies and insights he provided. Whether you're a seasoned mangrove snapper angler or a newcomer to the sport, there's something to be learned from this video and from the example set by Capt. Josh Howard.

Capt. Howard delves into:

  • His chum composition
  • Chumming techniques for mangrove snapper
  • Locating fish
  • Navigating structure
  • Mangrove snapper bait presentation philosophy
  • Combat tactics
  • Effective dead baits
  • Assembling mangrove snapper rigs

These feisty fish are formidable for their size. Equip yourself with the insights from this In The Spread video and enhance your catch.

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Josh Howard

Captain Josh Howard, owner of Deep South Charters, has a passion for fishing since he was ten. He has caught two state record fish, including a Greater Amberjack and Bearded Brotula. Howard's personal record for yellowfin tuna is 200 pounds, and he is determined to break the 200-pound mark for the tuna. His dedication to the sport and his love for the ocean make him a true fishing legend.

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