Venice, Louisiana August 2014

By Becky Jane Newbold

In short, our trek down the Natchez Trace Parkway took us way far south along the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.  We landed in the small fishing village of Venice, Louisiana, where tuna is king.

Shane and I, along with our son, Luke, spent two days offshore with Captain Jonathan Ruffin and first mate, Scott.  Hauling in four tuna, day one, approximately 100 pounds each, was topped only by day two, when we were joined by Luke’s friends from college.  Andres and Kim, by way of Philadelphia and Ashley, by way of North Carolina.  They drove in from New Orleans.

Fishing oil rigs off coast, our haul of snapper, cobia, amberjack, scamp grouper and the occasional shark (released) kept us hopping.  It was impossible to haul in a tuna by myself.  When Captain Ruff called for a taker on day one, I jumped at the chance to catch a tuna, swigging my usual dose of over-confidence.  Regrettably, after maybe 15 minutes of constance tugging, straining and very little reeling,  I handed off the rod to Shane.  Our first tuna landed took all three of us.  Shane and Luke tag-teamed the next tuna.  Four tuna totaled our catch and not once did we land one without a group effort.

On Friday when Andres, Kim and Ashley joined us, we headed out for Mangrove Snapper. Quickly catching several, we realized this day would be different!  They were easy to haul in.  When we switched to Amberjack, things changed a bit.  Luke and Shane both caught nice fish then when my turn came, the sharks found us.  Thinking I was hauling in a shark, Captain Ruff and Scott were patiently coaching me.  But when the 25 pound Scamp Grouper surfaced, their feet never touched the boat until it was landed.  In disbelief, I watched as they held up the giant and snapped photos of each other.  But Cap did hook it!  Finally my turn came for a photo.

What a great day!  With the exception of catching too many shark, day two was fabulous! Beautiful weather, great friends, loads of fish and expert captain and first mate guiding us made the sunset over the gulf glorious to watch as we sped back up the Mississippi to the marina.

What fun!  Three coolers of fresh Gulf fish accompanied us home.


More pics to come!


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