New Orleans Fishing: A Complete Guide

Studying Time: 9 minutes

Few locations in the US, and possibly the world, are as distinctive as New Orleans. A melting pot of French, African, and American cultures, all the pieces on this metropolis feels prefer it’s one in every of a form. And whereas Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, and beignets may first to return to thoughts, heading out on a New Orleans fishing journey is correct up there with the perfect issues to do right here. 

Contemplating iconic seafood dishes are a trademark of NOLA, it is smart that fishing is an enormous deal. Freshwater, saltwater, and brackish waters encompass town on all sides, creating the proper setting for scrumptious inshore species. The large recreation fish Louisiana is so well-known for are shut by, too.

On this information, we’ll inform you which fish are our favorites, tips on how to catch them like a neighborhood, and the place to go. Let the nice occasions roll!

What fish are you able to catch in New Orleans?

We’ll simply come out and say it: each inshore fish in your goal listing calls New Orleans house. Contemplating over half of town’s floor space is made up of shallow bayous, marshes, and estuaries, in addition to productive lakes and rivers, this could come as no shock. We’ll inform you tips on how to hook the “Massive Three,” and extra, under.

Largemouth Bass

Few freshwater fish are as coveted as Largemouth Bass, and it’s exhausting to beat fishing for them in New Orleans. The town’s lakes, reservoirs, and rivers create the proper habitats for trophy fish. Whereas there are many fish to catch, it isn’t at all times straightforward. You’ll need to come armed with persistence and the fitting gear. 

Why? Nicely, at first, Largemouth Bass are very clever. They simply keep in mind and keep away from a kind of bait as soon as it’s been provided to them. To make sure success, deliver alongside quite a lot of plastic lures, crankbaits, and jigs. In case you’re utilizing stay bait, small minnows or crawfish work properly. Casting your rod into the wind can be a good suggestion, since Bass wish to swim with the present.


In case you got here to New Orleans in hopes of hooking the “Massive Three,” you’re in luck! It’s an inshore fishing haven and meaning there are Redfish in abundance. These fish are a agency favourite with anglers throughout the board and for good purpose. Not solely do they reward you with their tasty flesh, however they put up an excellent combat, making you’re feeling such as you’ve really earned your dinner.

In New Orleans, your greatest wager for locating Redfish is heading into the areas the place the Gulf’s waters meet the inland rivers and lakes. Specimens right here vary between 4–60+ kilos and you’ll hook into them year-round. Gear-wise, deliver your greatest gentle sort out and slowly forged spoons, swimbaits, or high baits. Need to actually fish like a neighborhood? Attempt sight-casting for them!

Speckled Trout

Now that you simply’ve caught Redfish, it’s time to maneuver on to your subsequent goal inside the Massive Three – Speckled Trout! Native anglers name them “Specks” and so they’re some of the standard fish to catch in New Orleans. These tasty creatures normally are available at between 1–4 kilos, however New Orleans is nearly as good a spot as any to hook “Gators” weighing properly over 5 kilos. 

Speckled Trout are year-round targets, however you’ll discover them somewhere else relying on the season. In the course of the summer time, these fish head farther from the shore, into saltier waters, to spawn. In the course of the winter, when salinity is not an essential issue, they’ll keep nearer to the banks to feed and wait out the chilly.


And the ultimate member of our Massive Three, Flounder! These fish give nice fights and are completely scrumptious. In truth, Flounder are thought of a staple of New Orleans’ unbelievable seafood scene. One of the best time to catch them? Positively throughout fall. When the water temperatures drop, these fish cease transferring and begin to congregate within the weed edges and coastal banks. 

Spinning gear and jigs are go-to’s for native anglers however the strategies you should utilize to fish for Flounder are versatile. They reply properly to flies, so should you’re up for some New Orleans fly fishing, head out seeking these flatfish. Trying to strive one thing new? Comply with the lead of your Texan neighbors and provides Flounder gigging a go!


Rounding off our inshore all-stars listing are Sheepshead. Alongside being enjoyable to catch, one other attribute they share with the species we talked about above is scrumptious flesh. It’s beginning to develop into clear why New Orleans is understood worldwide for it’s unbelievable seafood, isn’t it?

In case you got here to hook a trophy fish, you might very properly be going after Sheepshead. The present record-holder was caught in New Orleans’ very personal Lake Pontchartrain, coming in at over 20 kilos. These fish love construction, so that you’ll discover them close to docks or anyplace the place there are barnacles. They don’t chew exhausting, so maintain your bait slow-moving and be looking out for even the slightest motion.

And a Complete Lot Extra!

New Orleans actually has loads going for it in the case of inshore fishing. Along with the fish you’ve examine to this point, you’ll additionally come throughout Bluegill, White Bass, Black Drum, and Tripletail. In fact, no Louisiana fishing listing can be full with out Catfish. You’ll be comfortable to know that New Orleans is likely one of the best locations to catch them.

Whereas the main focus is totally on the inshore waters, cities with Gulf entry are 1–2 hours away. Louisiana is likely one of the greatest locations on the planet to hook into Yellowfin Tuna, so huge recreation anglers might discover the drive to be price it. When you’re on the water, you’ll must journey one other 30–100 miles to achieve productive grounds, so bear that in thoughts when planning your journey.

The right way to Fish in New Orleans

New Orleans is a energetic metropolis that’s filled with choices, and that sentiment extends to the methods you will get out on the water. Under, we’ve outlined a number of the hottest methods to go fishing in New Orleans.

Constitution Boat Fishing

There’s little question that hopping aboard a New Orleans fishing constitution offers you probably the most freedom. It’s the simplest method to get your arms on the Massive Three, because you’ll have the ability to transfer round shortly to discover totally different depths and habitats. Trying to reap the benefits of Louisiana’s liberal bag limits? A visit aboard a constitution boat is a surefire method to inventory the cooler.

Better of all, you’ll have a neighborhood and skilled captain with you on board. They’ll deal with all of the technical particulars, like your fishing gear and bait or lures, whereas offering beneficial steering and sharing their suggestions and tips.

Get together Boat Fishing

Partying is synonymous with New Orleans, so it ought to come as no shock that shared charters are a preferred approach of getting out on the water. You’ll have a number of the perks of a personal fishing constitution, like an skilled captain and fishing gear, together with fellow anglers to share the expertise with.

You received’t have as a lot one-on-one consideration out of your captain so understanding the fundamentals, like tips on how to hook your individual bait, will turn out to be useful. After everybody’s efficiently landed a couple of fish, you possibly can head again to shore for a well-known New Orleans fish bowl together with your new buddies!

Pier Fishing

New Orleans really is a fisherman’s paradise. It’s so good, in truth, {that a} boat isn’t at all times essential for seeing motion. Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, and Perch are simply a number of the fish you possibly can count on to hook into from native piers – simply watch out for Gators!

Getting rid of of the piers in New Orleans continuously ends in brag-worthy catches. Pier anglers know that this occurs largely because of misplaced bait tempting hungry fish to return nearer to construction. Because you’ll be fishing by yourself, ensure to make notice of the tides and climate situations. These will play an enormous consider what you possibly can catch and when.

Shore Fishing

When the situations are proper, nothing beats discovering a spot alongside the financial institution and casting a line. A lot of New Orleans waters are shallow and brackish, that means the fish come up proper as much as the banks. To make issues simpler, arrange the place the water is clearest and do some sight casting. It is a favourite approach amongst locals hoping to attain Redfish.

If the situations are windy, otherwise you’re visiting throughout winter, head to marshy areas. Fish come proper up the weed edges to feed and search shelter from rougher, chilly waters. You might need to place in a while to discover a scorching spot, however the rewards are greater than price it.

Finest Locations to Fish in New Orleans

In New Orleans, you possibly can forged a line nearly anyplace. Freshwater, saltwater, brackish water – you identify it. That will help you slender down spots to go to in your New Orleans fishing journey, we’ve compiled an inventory of a few of our favorites.

  • Lake Pontchartrain: This 40-mile-wide estuary is New Orleans’ best-known fishing spot. Whether or not you’re hopping on a constitution boat, casting from the banks, or from the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, you possibly can count on to hook the Massive Three, in addition to the most important Sheepshead within the state.
  • Lake Cataouatche: It’s the perfect place to forged for Largemouth Bass in New Orleans, and arguably, all of Louisiana. A lot so, that it has hosted a Bassmaster Traditional event. Different fish sometimes caught right here embody Redfish and Blue Catfish.
  • South Cross: You’ll want to go about 100 miles south of town to achieve this productive spot on the entrance to the Gulf, nevertheless it’s probably the greatest beginning factors for world-class recreation fishing.
  • Delacroix Island: Positioned southeast of New Orleans correct, Delacroix Island is a superb spot for each newbies and skilled anglers. The shallow, marshy setting creates glorious situations for hooking Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder, and Catfish.
  • New Orleans Metropolis Park: This 1,300-acre public park has been round because the nineteenth century. Head to the Marconi Fishing Pier to forged for Bass, Catfish, and Perch. Not having a lot luck? The Harrison Canal is house to Bluegill and massive Largemouth Bass. 

Anything I must know?

Now that you already know what to catch, how, and the place, it’s time to sort out the much less thrilling, however equally essential, parts of a New Orleans fishing journey. Particularly, fishing licences, seasonality, and bagging limits. We’ll additionally spotlight a few tournaments that happen across the metropolis for these of you trying to showcase your abilities.

Fishing Licenses and Seasonality

In case you’re over the age of 16, you’ll must buy a fishing license. This is applicable to anglers getting rid of of a constitution boat, from a pier, or from the shore. Keep in mind that should you’re fishing south of Louisana’s “saltwater line” you’ll must buy a Saltwater License, alongside a Primary Fishing License. For extra detailed data on acquiring fishing licenses in Louisiana, try our in depth information. 

One of many perks of fishing in Louisiana is the state’s liberal bag limits. We’ve highlighted specifics for a couple of of the world’s hottest catches within the infographic above. Fishing is an exercise you possibly can partake in year-round and most fish aren’t topic to closed seasons. This could at all times change, nevertheless, so be sure you examine the LWF for any updates earlier than heading out.

New Orleans Fishing Tournaments

This listing of New Orleans fishing tournaments will hopefully get you enthusiastic about dusting off your greatest rods. City anglers received’t need to miss out on the annual Massive Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival, going down at Metropolis Park. It is a bank-fishing solely occasion the place you’ll battle it out for a freshwater large. 

Hold your eyes peeled for any Bassmaster Traditional bulletins, too. This prestigious class of tournaments has visited New Orleans greater than as soon as and likelihood is, it’ll be again. For you huge recreation anglers, the New Orleans Massive Sport Fishing Membership organizes a complete host of tournaments for Billfish and extra.

New Orleans Fishing: It’s Considered one of a Type

Very similar to all the pieces else this metropolis has to supply, fishing in New Orleans is particular. You get the entire package deal right here. Discover numerous fishing grounds, check out new strategies, and at last, head again to shore and have your catch ready Creole model. What extra can we are saying? It lives as much as the hype!

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Which fishing areas did you discover? Tell us within the feedback. We love to listen to from you!