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Quick Venice trip report I set up an overnight trip with Rimmer Covington last winter and convinced my friends Matt from Chicago and Joe from Boston to join me. Joe fished with Rimmer last summer (with me) and we hammered the Dorado (called dolphin by the folks in Venice) and the tuna on two one-day trips. I convinced him to try an overnighter to the legendary Green Canyon with me this season. Matt had heard me tell tall tales of tuna smashing poppers and blowing out on kite baits both off of Venice and in the eastern pacific and was ready to give blue water fishing a go. ?? We made it to Venice on Tuesday night and got checked into Rimmer's houseboat -- Nice place with room for six guests -- kitchen area and living room. Really cool place to hang out after fishing and check out the local scene (more on this later). ??I introduced matt to Rimmer and we talked about the plan for the next two days. Rimmer?s boat was broken down so green canyon got scratched. Instead the plan was to run west and south and hope to get into the tuna and other misc species there. ? It has been tough out there recently, so we knew it would be a challenge. We crashed on Tuesday night and got on Capt Trey Pique's 31' Cape Horn on Wednesday morning at about 8:15 am. This is a very nice boat, and great to fish out of. Rimmer and Capt. Trey work together. We ran the river and headed to some spots to make bait. After 3 stops, we had 22 good baits and made the 40-mile run to where we planned to fish. ?We got the live baits out and after about 45 minutes we got hooked up. Matt was up and in the late morning sun got introduced to the yellowfin tuna. Matt was inexperienced with the gear and made the same minor errors we all do when trying a new type of fishing. After about 30 minutes, matt's technique improved rapidly and he started making progress -- matt was also drenched in sweat by now. The fight continued and we drifted more than a mile from the rig. Matt was wondering about the fish - did they always fight this hard???Anyway, after about an hour and 15 minutes, the fish came to the boat and Capt Trey and I gaffed the fish. We dragged it into the cockpit and Matt?s first tuna was on the deck at about 85 pounds. Nice start.?? We went back to fishing and it was slow. Fishing has been slow recently and we were working hard in the conditions with which we were confronted.??Early in the evening, Rimmer decided to try chunking and as we did that, a few tuna popped up and boiled around us. I started throwing the popper again and after about 10 casts was rewarded with an explosive strike from a 70-pound tuna -- hook up. The fish headed under the boat and I got the rod tip around the bow without incident. The fish went straight down and smoked about 125 yards of spectra off of my Quantum Cabo 80 PT. Great fun. Then the hook pulled. First hook up of the 2008 season for me and I farm it -- ouch.? Rimmer kept working the chunks and Trey or Joe hooked up bringing a 50-pound tuna to the boat in about 10 minutes. Then matt hooked up on a chunk and put a 40-pound fish on the deck. We got another 35 pound yellowfin on the chunk before sunset and had a pretty good score for the day. We also caught 3 sharks and a bunch of rainbow runners. As the sun set, Joe and I were throwing the popper all over the place, but we could not buy a strike.??We moved to another rig just at dark and worked the popper and the butterfly jigs for awhile in the light of the rigs. I had a massive blow out on the popper but was cut off immediately. I threw another popper into the same vicinity and got another blow out but getting the hook up this time. It was a 25-pound barracuda. It destroyed my baby runboh lure. We got the cuda and kept fishing for awhile. We did not get a single tuna strike on the popper around the rig. I was shocked. Last year just about every cast into the lights of the rigs resulted in a strike. Every trip is different.??We got a few hours of sleep and started fishing at about 5 am on Thursday morning. We deployed the live baits, threw the popper, flew the kite, but nothing. We moved back to the rig where we caught the fish on Wednesday and fished there for several hours with nothing to show for our efforts. Rimmer finally hooked up on the chunk and matt landed a 55 pound tuna in about 20 minutes -- his technique 100 percent improved in 24 hours.? Rimmer suggested that we hit a red snapper spot on the way in and we did so -- we had a quick limit of 6 fat red snapper (to about 12 pounds) and some big grins. Lot of action. We decided to make one final stop for amberjack. Capt Trey rigged up a big live hardtail and dropped it down. After a few minutes Trey was hooked up and handed off to matt. It appeared to be a good sized fish, but Rimmer thought it was acting funny for an AJ.??When we got color Rimmer screamed -- "that's a huge cobia." Matt kept on with the fish for about 10 more minutes before Rimmer gaffed the fish. When it hit the deck, Rimmer estimated the fish at 60 pounds. I'd never seen a cobia in person before.?? We pulled the plug on the trip and headed for home -- which was 2 hours away. We got to Rimmer?s houseboat at about 5 pm with 5 tuna, 6 red snapper, one big cobia with the remainder of our catch released or chunked.??We got showered up and Rimmer cooked up some gumbo for us -- delicious. We also were provided with a nice Caesar salad and some of the fresh cobia that matt caught, also delicious. We were all tired and the food and cold coronas went down well. During dinner, some of the local charter boat captains stopped by to talk about the upcoming tournament. We met Kerry Milano and Jimmy ******. Apparently Kerry is working on an advanced degree ? Jimmy was asking him about some big test that he had been studying for that afternoon. Trey hung out and Rimmer?s regular deckhand Scott came by with Rimmer?s boat which was fixed up and ready to go for the tournament that was starting Friday (June 6). Fun place to hang out after fishing and the local guys were good for some hearty laughs. On Friday a.m., Matt, Joe and I made our way back to New Orleans and on to Chicago. I?d made arrangements in advance of our trip to take some of the tuna we?d caught to Sai Café in Lincoln Park (Chicago). Jim, Sai?s owner, was waiting when I arrived Friday afternoon. He picked some of the best tuna loins from my cooler and said I should come back on Saturday (June 7) afternoon. I drove back to Sai on Saturday afternoon and Jim and his sushi chef?s had prepped our tuna. Jim proceeded to cut the fish and made spicy tuna mix, ahi poki and sashimi. I also purchased a variety of rolls from Jim and headed for my home in the burbs. My wife and I (along with two other couples, including Matt and his wife) were hosting a sushi party to raise a few dollars for the local grade school. By 7:30 p.m. or so 20 other couples were consuming the recently caught tuna from the Gulf. The sushi was a huge hit and Matt and I recounted the events of the trip into the night to anyone who would listen. Three of four guys approached me and asked if they could join me for a future trip to Venice ? apparently Matt?s description of the trip was very positive. I explained to these four guys (as I had to Matt), that we?d actually had a very slow trip by Venice early summer standards ? they found this hard to believe. I left my digital camera on shore on Wednesday morning, so I don? t have any pictures yet. Capt. Trey said he?d email a few photos he took of Matt?s fish. Thanks to Rimmer and Trey for a good trip, and a great time, in very tough conditions. While we were all disappointed that we did not get to hit Green Canyon, we seemed to have had as good a score as anyone for the days we fished and that was due to the skill and efforts of Rimmer and Trey. All of my neighbors who enjoyed the fresh caught tuna based sushi also appreciate Rimmer and Trey?s efforts. Staying at Rimmer?s house boat (The Mexican Gulf Fishing Company Houseboat) was really convenient and as I said, a lot of fun. The local color added to the trip and thanks to Rimmer and his friends for some hard belly laughs. If you want to hook up with Rimmer, you can reach him (and Capt. Trey) at 601-951-3981. Rimmer?s 39? SeaVee is a great fishing platform and offers anglers some unique options when it is up and running. I am slated to be back in Venice with Rimmer in July and hope that we are able to get out to Green Canyon on the SeaVee.

This post edited by coldtuna 06/08/2008
 

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I thought Rimmer had moved to Mississippi? Is he back in Venice???? He has family in/around Biloxi and I thought he had hooked up with one of the Casinos who was sending him customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rimmer fishes out of Mississippi sometimes, and but most of the time out of Venice as far as I can tell.

We were fishing due south of Alabama during our trip, so the actual fishing destinations are similar from Venice, Miss, or Alabama.

Rimmer was mentioning the Mississippi option to me for a family trip. That was not really what I was looking for, but maybe that works for some people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
wahoodad said:
Great report, thanks for taking the time to do it. Sounded like a nice trip.
David,

Thanks. It was fun, but the fishing was very tough.

Last year at Green Canyon we had 75 bites or so on an overnighter, many on the kite and on the popper, so this was not what I'd hoped for. But, that is fishing.

Both of my friends are going to PV with me to try for the giants later this year -- be fun to see them both get on a 200+.
 

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Rimmer is really a cool guy. Wife and I fished with him and the infamous Peace Marvel just before Katrina hit. Rimmer learned to fish from Peace. I first learned about them watching Jose Wejebe on the Spanish fly. Rimmer fished with Jose last year as captain. He loves chasing the big billfish in the gulf.

There are bigger YFT on the Long Range trips, but fishing out of Venice is a blast and you can get some really good quality and quantity on a one day trip. The deep water is close and there are tons of floating oil rigs that attract all of the Pelegacs in the Gulf. It gets a bit expensive unless you share the boat with others. Last time I checked a single day costs $1200 plus fuel which I would guess could hit $500 easy now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Outhouse said:
Rimmer is really a cool guy. Wife and I fished with him and the infamous Peace Marvel just before Katrina hit. Rimmer learned to fish from Peace. I first learned about them watching Jose Wejebe on the Spanish fly. Rimmer fished with Jose last year as captain. He loves chasing the big billfish in the gulf.

There are bigger YFT on the Long Range trips, but fishing out of Venice is a blast and you can get some really good quality and quantity on a one day trip. The deep water is close and there are tons of floating oil rigs that attract all of the Pelegacs in the Gulf. It gets a bit expensive unless you share the boat with others. Last time I checked a single day costs $1200 plus fuel which I would guess could hit $500 easy now.
I started fishing with Peace in 1997, and met Rimmer a few years ago when he was decking for Peace. I fished with Rimmer and Peace 2 or 3 times, and we whacked the fish pretty good. Then, when Rimmer got into the business full time, he got in touch with me and I've fished with him several times since then. Peace all but retired a few years back.

Rimmer is a cool guy, and staying at his house boat was fun. The fishing down there this time of year is usually much better than what we had, but in terms of quantity and quality, Venice is a hard place to beat. It is a little pricy, but all in all a place I keep and will keep going back to.
 
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