Louisiana is a great vacation destination full of culture, but its wildlife really catch a fisherman’s attention. Not many states have swamp fishing, but Louisiana is full of it. Louisiana is a fishing paradise for deep sea fishing, fly fishing, kayak fishing through marshes, and more!
Though most prefer its saltwater offerings, freshwater fishing is a vibrant sport in Louisiana. Bass are widespread and at least one species (smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted) can be found where there is freshwater, but Caddo Lake, Cypress Bay Reservoir, and Vernon Lake are quite good for bass. Vernon Lake is noteworthy for both quantity and quality bass year round.
Catfish, crappie, trout and panfish also appear in Louisiana’s waterways. Catfish are widely dispersed throughout the state, but Catfish Lake or the Mississippi River are likely locations for larger catfish. Toledo Bend is known for its crappie and bass, holding state records for striped and yellow bass, and having held records for white and black crappie in the past (also bowfin and freshwater drum records).
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge is a great fishing location (be mindful of its specific regulations as a refuge) that accommodates freshwater fishing for largemouth bass, crappie and catfish. Lacassine also provides fisherman the rare chance to see a peregrine falcon while fishing!
Louisiana’s marshes are the most abundant in the country. Wetlands are great for fishing and allow you to see wildlife like alligators, pelican, and heron in their natural habitats, while waiting for a bite. Kisatchie National Forest has slow moving bayou waters within its confines, plus walk-in camping facilities, making it an excellent destination for a family fishing trip.
Some of America’s best saltwater fishing occurs in Louisiana, due to its multiple rivers draining rich nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico. Grouper, amberjack, wahoo, marlin, and mackerel (King and Spanish) lurk Louisiana’s deeper waters. For some incredible saltwater fishing try Breton Sound, a drainage point for the Mississippi River, where black drum, sheepshead, and speckled trout thrive.
Red snapper can be caught so large that at least two people are required to haul them in. Off the shores of Venice are large snapper, with the state record caught from South Timbalier Block. Tuna are much the same, turning to sizable monsters in sea.
Louisiana has been called the tuna fishing capital of the nation, but no matter what you call it the fish still come! Grand Isle is known for impressive hauls of yellowfin and blackfin tuna. Venice is not only a diverse locale, but deep sea fishing for tuna off Venice can yield well over fifty pounders, with fish weighing between one or two hundred pounds not uncommon during peak season.
A basic fishing license is necessary for every fisherperson over sixteen, with an additional saltwater license offered if fishing below Louisiana’s saltwater line. Three day charter, annual, and lifetime licenses are offered to both residents and nonresidents. Non-residents can also opt for a single day license.
Louisianians are considered residents if they have lived in the state for twelve months, and they also only enjoy benefits like voting and owning an automobile within Louisiana (registered in no other state). A few days a year are free fishing days for everyone to enjoy – so get to Louisiana today for great fishing, especially in their wetlands!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.