Redfishing in Louisiana: Hotspots and Tips

Louisiana, known for its rich culture and vibrant wildlife, offers some of the best redfishing opportunities in the world. The state’s extensive coastline, abundant marshes, and intricate waterways provide an ideal habitat for redfish, making it a top destination for anglers. This article delves into the premier hotspots for redfishing in Louisiana and offers expert tips to enhance your fishing experience.

Prime Redfishing Hotspots in Louisiana

1. Venice: The Redfish Capital

Venice, often dubbed the “Fishing Capital of the World,” sits at the mouth of the Mississippi River, where fresh and saltwater mix, creating a nutrient-rich environment perfect for redfish. Here, you can find trophy-sized bull redfish and enjoy year-round fishing opportunities.

Best Time to Fish: While redfish can be caught year-round in Venice, the fall season, particularly September through November, is considered the peak period due to cooler temperatures and abundant baitfish.

Techniques and Baits: Live baits such as shrimp and mullet, along with artificial lures like soft plastics and topwater plugs, are highly effective. Drift fishing and sight casting in the shallow marshes and bays yield great results.

2. Grand Isle: A Barrier Island Treasure

Grand Isle is another premier redfishing location in Louisiana. This barrier island provides access to the Gulf of Mexico and numerous inland bays and marshes. The diversity of fishing environments here is unmatched.

Best Time to Fish: Spring and summer months are ideal for targeting redfish around Grand Isle. During this period, the fish are more active and feed aggressively.

Techniques and Baits: Kayak fishing is particularly popular, allowing anglers to navigate shallow waters where redfish often hide. Use popping corks with live shrimp or gold spoons to attract redfish in these areas.

3. Lake Pontchartrain: Urban Redfishing

Located near New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain offers convenient access for urban anglers looking to catch redfish. This large estuarine system is known for its brackish waters that support a healthy redfish population.

Best Time to Fish: Late summer and early fall are the best times to fish for redfish in Lake Pontchartrain. The warm water temperatures and influx of baitfish make this a productive period.

Techniques and Baits: Fishing near bridges and along the shorelines with soft plastic baits or live croakers can yield impressive catches. Night fishing is also effective, especially under well-lit areas where redfish hunt.

4. Calcasieu Lake: The Big Lake

Calcasieu Lake, also known as “Big Lake,” is a renowned spot for redfishing in southwestern Louisiana. The lake’s extensive grass flats and oyster reefs provide excellent habitats for redfish.

Best Time to Fish: Spring and fall are the prime seasons for redfishing in Calcasieu Lake. The moderate temperatures and plentiful food sources attract large numbers of redfish.

Techniques and Baits: Topwater lures early in the morning and soft plastics during the day are effective. Focus on areas with structure, such as oyster reefs and grass beds, where redfish are likely to feed.

5. Delacroix: A Marshland Paradise

Delacroix, located in St. Bernard Parish, is a prime redfishing destination known for its vast marshlands and intricate waterways. The area’s rich ecosystem supports a thriving redfish population.

Best Time to Fish: Redfish are abundant in Delacroix year-round, but the late fall and winter months are particularly productive. The cooler weather and clear waters make for ideal fishing conditions.

Techniques and Baits: Sight fishing in the shallow marshes using fly rods or light spinning gear is popular. Live minnows and artificial lures that mimic local baitfish are highly effective.

Expert Tips for Successful Redfishing

1. Understand Redfish Behavior

Redfish, also known as red drum, are known for their powerful runs and fight. They are bottom feeders that primarily consume crustaceans, small fish, and mollusks. Understanding their feeding habits and preferred habitats can significantly improve your success rate.

2. Use the Right Gear

Using appropriate gear is crucial for redfishing. Medium to heavy action rods paired with strong reels and braided lines are recommended to handle the powerful runs of redfish. A fluorocarbon leader can help reduce visibility and increase your chances of hooking a fish.

3. Pay Attention to Tides and Weather

Tidal movements and weather conditions play a significant role in redfish behavior. Fishing during incoming tides can be particularly productive as redfish move into shallower waters to feed. Additionally, overcast days or times of low light can enhance redfish activity.

4. Employ Stealth Tactics

Redfish in shallow waters can be easily spooked. Employing stealth tactics, such as minimizing noise and using a trolling motor or push pole, can help you get closer to the fish without alarming them.

5. Practice Catch and Release

While redfish are excellent table fare, practicing catch and release helps maintain the population and ensures that future generations can enjoy this fantastic sport. Handle the fish carefully, use circle hooks to reduce injury, and release them promptly.


Louisiana’s diverse and productive waters offer some of the best redfishing opportunities in the world. Whether you’re fishing in the marshes of Venice, the barrier islands of Grand Isle, or the urban waters of Lake Pontchartrain, understanding the hotspots and employing effective techniques will enhance your redfishing experience. Always be mindful of conservation practices to ensure that this incredible fishery remains productive for years to come.

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