Louisiana Bayou

Atchafalaya Basin 

Henderson Lake

Caddo Lake

Larto-Saline

Calcasieu Lake

Tangipahoa River

Grand Isle

Toledo Bend 

Lake D'Arbonne

Lake Pontchartrain

Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Louisiana

Look at any map of Louisiana, and you’ll see dozens of rivers surrounding its borders and weaving through every county in the Bayou State. The abundance of lakes and rivers provides anglers with an abundance of fishery resources and opportunities for amazing saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Louisiana’s climate is marked by long, hot summer and brief, mild winters. Its climate is best described as humid and subtropical, and the fish here swim comfortably in its warm waters.

Here is our list of the top ten fishing locations in the Bayou State:

Types of Catch Available

Freshwater

Bluegill

Bluegill

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

White Bass

White Bass

spotted bass

Spotted Bass

Striped Bass

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish

Crappie

Crappie

Carp

Saltwater

Swordfish

Skipjack Tuna

Wahoo

Tarpon

Yellowfin Tuna

Mahi Mahi

Bluefish

Halibut

Blue Marlin

Sailfish

Grouper

c

Mackerel

pacific cod

Pacific Cod

State Fishing Records

GET YOUR LOUISIANA STATE FISHING LICENSE HERE.

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin

Atchafalaya Basin

Located in south-central Louisiana, the Atchafalaya Basin has numerous boat launches in the Heritage Area for boat anglers. Crappie, paddlefish, sunfish, bass, channel catfish, warmouths, and paddlefish swim in the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin. Visit the estuary, where salt and fresh water mix, and harvest a bucket of oysters to take home.

 The Atchafalaya Basin offers diverse underwater geography. It channels, bayous, canals, coves, and underwater pockets provide ample hiding places for fish. Launch ramps line the basin shore in abundance, and the lake features local bait and tackle shops, making it an ideal location for kayak, canoe, and boat fishing.

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake

The lake began as a natural lake, but due to frequent flooding, it was dammed in the early 1900s to assist with flood control. The lake is enormous, stretched from Louisiana into Texas.

Depending on who you ask, Caddo Lake is regarded as one of the most beautiful or eerie lakes to fish at. Cypress tress with their branches weighed down by long, spidery tendrils of Spanish moss and hundreds of lilypads provide an otherworldly fishing experience.

Caddo Lake is teeming with aquatic life, and vegetation covers over half of the lake’s surface. This plant life provides excellent cover for its many species of fish. Caddo Lake is a decent fishing spot for spotted bass, chain pickerel, and catfish, but most anglers come here to catch largemouths, crappie, white bass, and sunfish, which swim here in underwater droves.

 Trophy-sized bass weighing in over 8 pounds are common. Grab your rod and reel during the winter and early spring to catch crappie in the moving current. Fishing for chain pickerel, a popular sport fish amongst anglers, is also great during the winter and early spring seasons. Dense, sunken aquatic vegetation provides hiding spots for chain pickerel. If you’re looking for sunfish and catfish, visit the lake during the late spring to early summer.

Calcasieu Lake

Calcasieu Lake

Calcasieu Lake, also known as Big Lake to the locals, is a brackish lake with a surface area of 76.8 square miles. The water here is very shallow, with an average depth of 3.3 feet. While the brackish water offers the fish some invisibility, it also gives them a false sense of security, and you can use this to your advantage.

Anglers come to Calcasieu Lake to catch red drum (redfish), spotted sea trout, flounder, and shrimp. A healthy trout can weigh in at 7 or more pounds.

Calcasieu Lake, like many other lakes in Louisiana, is a poignant reminder of the damage caused by previous hurricanes, but the debris washed into the lake offers a unique, beautifully melancholy background for boat and shore anglers.


Grand Isle

Grand Isle

The view from the wooden pier leading to the ocean in Grand Isle, Louisiana is breathtaking, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better fishing spot!

Whether you’re looking for some boat or pier fishing, Grand Isle is home to over 280 different species of fish, and fishing is readily available throughout all four seasons of the year. The lake is a local favorite for both beginner and advanced fishermen. The most abundant species found in the lake are largemouth and striped bass, as well as flathead, channel, and bull catfish, but there is also a decent amount of bull redfish, yellowfin tuna, spotted seatrout, and bluefish.

 The best places to catch speckled trout at Grand Isle are the beach on Elmer’s Island, the beach at the Grand Terre, and near the rocks at the state park. Follow clear, fast-moving water to find speckled trout, and cast your line near structures that obstruct the tide. The water tends to swirl quickly around boulders, reefs, and other natural structures in the water.

Lake Darbonne

Lake D'Arbonne

Lake D’Arbonne is famed in Louisiana for its “slab” fishing. The word “slab” is used to define several species of fish, including white perch, sacalait, and crappie.

During the spring, cast your line in the shallower waters, near the shoreline and cypress tree flats to catch migrating white perch. Take note of the water depth, as a depth of 4 to 8 feet is ideal for fishing. Keep your lure relatively shallowly in the water, between 2 to 4 feet below the water’s surface.

You can catch a wide variety of fish at Lake D’Arbonne, including largemouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, bluegill, flier sunfish, black crappie, redear sunfish, warmouth, and longear sunfish.


Lake Henderson

Henderson Lake

Henderson Lake offers one of the finest opportunities for freshwater fishing in the state of Louisiana. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, trout, sauger, white perch, black crappie (also known as calico bass), channel catfish, northern pike, bluegill, bullhead catfish, round goby, paddlefish, hybrid bass, freshwater drum, lake sturgeon and walleyes gather in schools in the lake. The scenery and wildlife will leave you in awe. As you drift in your boat down the lake, keep your eye out for egrets, white-faced ibises, aquatic birds, killdeer, and migratory birds along the muddy banks of the lake.

 During bass spawning season, we recommend casting out some spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, crankbaits, or jigs.

Larto Lake

Larto-Saline Complex

The Larto-Saline (or Saline-Larto) Complex is a premium spot for catching crappie (also known as white perch), especially along the channels and in the bayous. The Saline Bayou runs for 100 miles through the low-lying land. Tannic acid in the mud and water turns the bayou a rich shade of dark brown to black. The docks are a popular fishing spot, but during early spring, head over to the connecting bayous for crappie.

Tree cover is relatively low at Larto. During the spring, white perch migrate into the shallows for spawning season. Peak spawn season is around the start of April. If you’re fishing in the post-spawn seasons, in May, the shallows of the bayous are a good spot to cast your line.

The best bait for catching crappie is, unsurprisingly, a crappie bite. Crappies can’t resist the temptation of a juicy white or yellow crappie bite at the end of a hook.

 There are numerous amenities surrounding the Larto-Saline area. Bait and tackles shops, cabins, and an RV park are readily available nearby for tourist anglers.

Tangipahoa River

Tangipahoa River

No list of top ten fishing spots in Louisiana is complete without the Tangipahoa River! Located in the Pike, Amite, Lincoln, and Tangipahoa Parish counties, the river runs south for 122 miles through the Tangipahoa Lake, into southeastern Louisiana. The name of the river is a tribute to the Tangipahoa Native Americans.

The lake is home to bream, catfish, largemouth bass, and crappie. To snag bream, try insects, such as crickets, red wigglers, and waxworms. If you’re looking to catch a catfish, tightline with blood- or liver-scented bait, and cast your line along the levee and creek channel. Crappie prefer to hide near brush and willow trees along the creek channel and at the marina, and they can’t resist the allure of a juicy-looking minnow or jig. Largemouth bass are notorious voracious eaters, but bass have their favorite baits, too. Cast your line near the willow trees at the river after a rainstorm, and bait your hook with a junebug, green pumpkin-toned soft plastics, shad-colored chatterbaits, and spinnerbaits.

The bass at Lake Tangipahoa are very well-fed and plump, and catching a largemouth measuring in at 16 to 22 inches isn’t a rare occurrence.


Toledo Bend Reservoir

Toledo Bend Reservoir

The Toledo Bend Reservoir stretches over 1,200 miles of beautiful shoreline. Amenities such as rental boats, tackle and bait shops, and restaurants are readily available for anglers.

The most popular game fish in the Toledo Bend Reservoir is the largemouth bass, but you can also catch crappie and catfish year-round, due to the existence of a well-maintained fishery. Striped bass are imported and annually stocked due to the poor natural spawn conditions of the reservoir.

Other species that call the Toledo Bend Reservoir home are hybrid striped bass, white bass, gar, bluegill, and a variety of species of sunfish. The Reservoir offers ample cover, such as boat docks, aquatic vegetation, and fallen timber. Cast your line nearby to lure out hiding fish.


Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Lake Pontchartrain is a bit of a misnomer, as this isn’t a lake at all, it’s an estuary! The Lake Pontchartrain Basin a relatively shallow body of water, with an average depth of only 14 feet, but there are lots of hungry fish waiting to bite on your hook. Cast your line close to the pilings of one of the longest bridges on Earth—the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway—and you may just snag a speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and or even a sheepshead!

Speckled trout can be found near the bridge’s pilings and along the shoreline. During the winter, they prefer still water. One expert tip is to follow the birds—where the birds are feeding is likely to be where the trout are, too.

 Sheepshead are omnivores, and they are named after their bizarre, surprisingly humanlike teeth. Snagging one is quite an accomplishment, as they prefer to graze and nibble cautiously, much like sheep, rather than just plunge in and take a large bite, like bass.

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