Fishing in Louisiana

The Bayou State is a wonderful place to visit. It’s a mix of cultures, great music and delicious food. It shouldn’t surprise you if you fall in love with Louisiana fishing. 

It’s a part of local culture, much like jazz or jambalaya. It’s as varied as Louisiana, with freshwater and saltwater fisheries that are world-class.

The “Sportsman’s Paradise” has some of the finest fishing in the South. Louisiana is home to many bass lakes, in addition to the Mississippi River running its last stretch through the state. 

You’ll find extensive marshes and swamps along the coast. These islands provide amazing inshore fishing areas. You can also fish offshore for a variety of bottom-dwelling and pelagic fish.

You’ll love it, and we’re just getting started! Here, we’ll discuss some of the most popular fish in Louisiana and where you can find them. We’ll also discuss the best ways to approach these waters, and the places we believe are worth exploring.

Top Louisiana Fishing Targets

There are many species to be caught in Louisiana, including the brackish and freshwater wetlands and the lakes and rivers. There’s no offseason, and there are many different types of fish that you can target. Here are a few of our favorites so have a look to see if yours.


Redfish love to hide in shallow water, canals and river mouths. If you’ve ever fished for them, you know this already. Louisiana’s coast is the perfect habitat for redfish. You also have the option to visit the stunning Chandeleur Islands for some light tackle fishing.

You can catch juvenile Redfish all year in the “Pelican State”. These will make a great dinner, provided they are within the slot limit. You’ll be able to reel in larger specimens once fall arrives. Louisiana’s Bull Redfish season is particularly vibrant with fish reaching up to 40 inches.

Red Snapper

Louisiana’s Red Snapper season is always popular. Snapper is delicious, and few other fish can match its taste and quality. You can have your Snapper Cajun-style in this part of the south. This delicious delicacy will add a little spice to your life.

The Gulf waters off the coast of Louisiana are full of oil rigs, artificial reefs, and sandbars. Anglers can usually catch their limit without needing to travel too far offshore.

Yellowfin Tuna

When you think of fishing for Yellowfin Tuna, which destinations spring to mind? California or maybe Mexico? No doubt, these are great places. But you’d be wise to add Louisiana to your list.

This part of the Gulf Coast is tuna-fighting ground all year. You’ll likely see whole schools of them spawning if you visit in the spring. You’ll enjoy calmer waters and can combine your Tuna hunting with some Snapper wrangling. But your best chance of reeling in Yellowfin monsters happens once fall arrives.

Make sure you’re ready to take on one of the most formidable fighters around before tuna fishing in Louisiana. These fish are fast, powerful, and as tenacious as they come. They’ll test your stamina and skills, making it all the more satisfying when you finally reel one in.

catching a bass while fishing in Louisiana

Largemouth Bass

Let’s forget saltwater for a minute and look at inland Louisiana fishing. It might be overshadowed by states without offshore fishing options, but we’ve got great Bass angling here too. There are many freshwater lakes in the state that produce fish over 10 pounds. Largemouth can also be found in rivers and in the brackish water of marshes.

You don’t have to know much about Bass to fish for them. Even though they’re known for being tricksters, it’s easy to have fun even if you’re a beginner. You’ll need a sturdy rod and reel combination, carefully selected lures, and a bank to fish. If you have a boat, or a guide to help you, that’ll only enhance your experience.

And So Many Other Species…

While we’ve already mentioned some of our favorite species, there are a bunch more. Although Redfish is the most well-known target inshore, it’s not the only one. You can also find Speckled Trout and Sheepshead, Flounder, Black Drum, and a whole host of other species in coastal wetlands.

And Red Snapper isn’t the only fish found in artificial reefs or oil rigs. There are plenty of Grouper, Blackfin Tuna and King Mackerel. You’ll see some really big fish as you get further away from the coast. You might encounter the following species while offshore fishing in Louisiana: Mahi Mahi (Wahoo), Marlin, Tilefish, and Sailfish.

Sac-a-lait fishing is another option if you are looking for still water options. It’s another name for White Perch, aka Crappie. There’s also a large selection of Smallmouth Bass, and monster fish like Gar, Catfish, and Paddlefish. You’ll find something to reel in, no matter where you’re fishing. 

Best Ways to Fish in Louisiana

Charter Fishing in Louisiana

Fishing with locals is a great way to learn about a new fishery. With a fishing charter, you’ll learn from experts. Ones who’ve spent their entire lives in Louisiana’s waters. You’ll also have a boat at your disposal which will make it easier to explore the many fishing spots.

Anglers who want to try out new ways of fishing can also benefit from charter fishing trips. You’ll also find many guides in Louisiana that offer bowfishing trips. This will allow you to have an unforgettable experience. 

This is a great opportunity to try bowfishing if you haven’t tried it before. It’s easy to learn the basics in just a few hours. So, don’t hesitate to give it a shot just because you’re a beginner.

Both inshore and offshore fishing charters are great ways to bring your family along for a relaxing and enjoyable outing. Equipment will be handled by the charter captains, who’ll know the best places for the whole family to get involved. 

If you’re planning on deep-sea fish in Louisiana, you’ll need a guide. Federal permits are required for fishing beyond the state limits.

Shore Fishing in Louisiana

Anglers with all the gear will find it easy to fish in Louisiana. All you have to do is pick a spot on one of the shores and begin casting. This is a great way to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Louisiana while still catching a variety of species. Plus, fishing from the shore has the advantage of costing very little.

The Bayou State’s coastlines offer a wide variety of saltwater species. Redfish, Speckled Trout and Black Drum are just a few of the species you can hook into from shore. You can also fish in freshwater, with the lakes and rivers offering a good mix of Bluegill, Crappie and Catfish.

kayak fishing in Louisiana

Kayak Fishing in Louisiana

You’ll be surprised at how many areas aren’t accessible when you look at Louisiana’s coast region. With all its brackish lakes and channels, there’s a lot to explore. Kayak fishing in Louisiana enables you to fish in places that might otherwise be difficult. 

Kayaks can also be silent so you can paddle slowly and monitor the water.  This way you’ll see any disturbances before you present your bait to the tailing Redfish.

This applies to freshwater fishing, too. For anglers who are looking for Bass, kayaks are a popular choice. It is important to pay attention to the weather conditions and the sun. 

You will need to be able to stand up and cast your kayak. Once you are proficient at this, you will be able to enjoy the most exciting way to fish in Louisiana.

Louisiana’s Top Fishing Spots

You may now be wondering where to start your Louisiana fishing adventures. There are many options. You’re sure to catch something with the high quality fishing available in this region of the South. Take a look at our top picks.

Saltwater Fishing Spots in Louisiana

  • Venice: Venice, LA is the most well-known fishing town in Louisiana. Venice LA fishing offers some of the best angling. Inshore anglers will have a lot of fun fishing the marshes. Anglers who want to go Tuna fishing will have access to prime offshore spots like Midnight Lump.
  • Grand Isle: Although not as well-known as Venice, Grand Isle has a lot to offer. You’ll find a variety of fish species in these waters including Trout and Redfish. If you want to fish offshore, you will have access to the Mississippi Canyon and other great spots.
  • Lake Pontchartrain: Although it’s called a “lake”, Pontchartrain actually is an estuary. These waters are home to the world’s largest concentrations of Speckled Trout, Redfish and Redfish. Largemouth Bass will also be biting your line due to the lake’s brackishness.
  • Calcasieu Lake: For anglers who want to catch big Speckled Trout there’s no better place than Calcasieu Lake. The lake produces specimens almost every day between 5-8 pounds. It’s easy for us to see why this species is on our list.

Freshwater Fishing Spots in Louisiana

  • Toledo Bend Reservoir: On the Texas/Louisiana border, Toledo Bend is one the most prolific bass lakes in the US. This lake is a part of the prestigious Bassmaster Elite Series a number of times. You can catch Bass, Crappie, Catfish and many other species.
  • Caddo Lake: Located around 100 miles north from Toledo Bend, Caddo Lake offers amazing Largemouth Bass fishing. The best time to catch a trophy is in spring. There are also many other species in the lake such as Sunfish, White Bass and Crappie.
  • Ouachita River: With numerous rivers, lakes, bayous and backwaters, the Ouachita river has many hiding spots for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. Bayou D’arbonne, a popular spot for tournament and casual anglers, is a favorite. Crappie, Sunfish and various types of Catfish are some other fish that you might encounter.
  • Atchafalaya River: If you are looking for the mysterious Paddlefish, Atchafalaya River is the place to go. This is where you might just hook into one of these prehistoric beasts. You’ll still have Bass and Catfish, Bluegill, Bluegill, Crappie, and Crappie to chase.

Louisiana Fishing Regulations

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Louisiana fishing laws before your trip. A fishing license is required in Louisiana for anglers 16 years old and older. You’ll need a basic permit or a saltwater permit depending on whether you are fishing in freshwater or saltwater.

These rules and regulations can change season to season when it comes to catch limits and size limits. Check the current regulations and then choose the species you’re after. This information can be found on Louisiana’s eRegulations.

Fishing in Louisiana Never Stops

The Bayou State is home to more than 40% of America’s wetlands. The cypress swamps, and all their wildlife, offer a rare outdoor experience for anyone who wants to get into nature. No matter the season, you’re likely to bring home some great catches when fishing in Louisiana. Then, you can simply find a catch and then enjoy the rewards of your angling adventure.