UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Ft. Gibson

Delta dilemma

Delta dilemma
Danny Adams and Scott Isbell of Team Prilosec idles past the shrimp boat fleet at Venice Marina on their way to the day one checkout.

VENICE, La. - Despite its well-deserved reputation as southern Louisiana's redfish Mecca, Venice will probably see very few of the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series anglers competing in the tournament based at its namesake marina.

With the Mississippi River bulging with rainwater from the northern United States, the Venice marsh system has become even muddier than usual. Redfish are a rugged lot and they'll tough it out, but when the water turns exceptionally stained, finding the fish becomes more challenging.

"This won't be your usual Venice tournament," said Cocoa, Fla., pro Blair Wiggins who, along with Shallow marsh with abundant vegetation filtering the water will be the target of most competitors.partner Travis Tanner, brings the momentum of a recent win in Panama City. "Normally, when we have a tournament in Hopedale, Lafitte or somewhere else, everyone ends up running to Venice. Now, we have a tournament in Venice and everyone's going to run somewhere else."

Ramsay Brown of Vesper, Ala., will fish the Buras area northwest of Venice. He found high-slot reds there during practice and will focus his efforts on cuts and canals in the grass.

Rockport, Texas, duo Danny Adams and Scott Isbell located plenty of fish on both sides of the river, but they established more options to the east. Adams and Isbell will likely start their tournament campaign in the Delacroix Marsh northeast of Venice. Largely unaffected by the river, this brackish area offers vast habitat with small ponds, major lakes, bayous and backwater sloughs.

Jacksonville, Fla. angler Scott Guthrie knows the value of an elevated view when sightfishing in off-colored water.Adams said he was concerned with quality more so than quantity: "The problem isn't catching fish - you could pull up to a spot blindly out here and eventually catch fish. It's catching the right two fish that counts, and so far, all the big fish we've seen have been turning away from us."

Many of the larger reds that Adams and Isbell found in practice were skittish from the pressure of tournament boats buzzing the shorelines in search of fish. The key, Adams said, is looking for remote areas that haven't been molested.

Also, an elevated view proves advantageous to spotting and casting to fish before the spook. Jacksonville, Fla., angler Scott Guthrie will spend many hours on the raised casting platform on his bow. "The game higher, higher, higher - seeing the fish farther away. The fish are pressured even down here."

Most anglers will start off by securing a solid limit and then seeking to upgrade with heftier reds. Likely habitat will include Roseau can edges, broken grass lines and shallow enclosed areas generally Noisy spinnerbaits have long been the top choice for Louisiana marsh fishing.called "duck ponds." The latter usually offers clean water, but minding the tide is essential, as entry and exit requires sufficient water. The flats adjacent to pond run-outs can be very productive on falling water.

Heavy spinnerbaits and in-line spinners are popular among Delta fishermen because their flash, noise and vibrations help redfish locate the bait in dirty water. The sound of a spinnerbait's blades also mimics the swimming sounds of blue crabs - popular redfish forage.

The classic weedless gold spoon is a strong search bait, so many will use this lure to locate fish early. Scented baits, such as the venerable Berkley Gulp Shrimp, also will see plenty of action.

Logistics

All teams will compete during the first two days, and the top five teams based on accumulated weight advance to day three. Final standings are determined by the total weight from all three days.

Storm clouds on the horizon mingled with the gilded beams of sunrise, but anglers should find mostly stable conditions on day one. Anglers will take off at 6 a.m. Thursday and Friday from Venice Marina, located at 237 Sports Marina Road in Venice. On Saturday, the top five teams will launch from Myrtle Grove Marina, located a 161 Marina Lane in Port Sulfur

Weigh-ins will be held at Venice Marina beginning at 3 p.m. today and Friday. Saturday's weigh-ins start at 4 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1501 Manhattan Blvd. in Harvey, La. Take-offs and weigh-ins are free, and the community is invited to attend the festivities.

The Venice FLW Redfish Series event is hosted by Venice Marina.
The top award of $50,000 includes $20,000 cash plus a $15,000 cash bonus from Ranger Boats and a $15,000 cash bonus from Yamaha or Evinrude if contingency guidelines are met.

The top 50 teams in each division of the 2008 FLW Redfish Series, based on Land O'Lakes Team of the Year points standings at the end of the season, will advance to the $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Championship Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Biloxi, Miss. The winning team at the championship will earn as much as $100,000.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 5:58 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 80
Expected high temperature: 86
Water temperature: 76
Wind: ESE at 5-12 mph
Humidity: 64
Day's outlook: partly sunny early, scattered thunderstorms

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2008-06-12-venice 

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