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March 11, 2002

All About the Lump

The best period to target big yellowfin tuna, according to Capt. Damon McKnight, is December to March.

The Midnight Lump is about 50 miles southwest of Venice, Louisiana, at GPS coordinates 28˚37’84'' north and 89˚33’18'' west. The best period to target big yellowfin tuna, according to Capt. Damon McKnight, is December to March. Look for marlin, red snapper, dolphin and grouper from April through August or September. October and November are transitional months, depending on the weather. If it’s cooler than normal, the fish will arrive early. Ideal water temperatures range between 65 and 72 degrees. Once the water warms above 75, tuna move off to deeper, cooler water. Pay close attention to bag limits. Because the Lump is in federal waters, anglers are limited to three yellowfin per person, measuring greater than 27 inches at the fork. A federal tuna permit is required and costs $27. Call 1-888-872-TUNA, or go to www.nmfspermits.com. No limits on wahoo or blackfin were in force at press time. For charters, try Superstrike Charters and Capt. Damon McKnight, aboard his 27-foot Hydra-Sports Vector. Call 800-318-1720 or 985-534-9357; try his Web site at http://www.rodnreel.comsuperstrike; or e-mail dpm@hotmail.com. Or try Capt. Brandon Ballay on the Aw Heck, a 31-foot Bertram. You can reach him at the Venice Marina at 985-534-9357; e-mail: dballay@aol.com; or access the marina’s Web site at www.venicemarina.com.Since you’ll most likely leave the docks from Venice, you’ll need a place to call base camp. Try the rustic cabins at the Venice Marina, 985-534-9357, the Light House Lodge, 985-534 -2522; The Venice Inn, 985-534-7424; or Cypress Cove Marina, 985-534-7777.