Braided with thousands of acres of productive waterways, Louisiana is legendary fishing territory. The state's bayous, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and estuaries are a paradise for freshwater fishermen. And for saltwater action, don't miss a charter adventure in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Louisiana coast from the easternmost marina in Venice all the way to Lake Charles in the west is your jumping-off point for some of the world's best deep-sea fishing. Plaquemines Parish, for instance, tracks the final miles of the mighty Mississippi River into the Gulf. The parish is home to some 80 fresh and saltwater lakes surrounded by hundreds of miles of coastline.
Looking to hook a prized bull red? Try your luck from towns such as Empire, Buras or Pointe à la Hache (the end point of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway). Maybe your hope is landing a tuna, amberjack, marlin, tarpon or other trophy. Charter your dream from Venice, consistently recognized by saltwater fishing experts as being among the top deep sea fishing hot spots in the world. Or drive down along Bayou Lafourche, to the west, and launch your trip from Grand Isle or Port Fourchon.
Each year, south Louisiana fishing destinations lure thousands of pros who participate in dozens of major fishing events. Between tournaments, vacationers can enjoy that same great fishing year-round. Bring the family for long days of fun on nearby beaches, such as those of Grand Isle State Park.
If you'd rather not travel to the Gulf to cast a line, don't miss such south Louisiana playgrounds as Bayou Segnette, Chicot, Lake Fausse Pointe and Palmetto Island state parks. These and other areas also offer excellent non-fishing recreation, along with overnight options ranging from tent camping to well-furnished cabins.
For outdoor fun in central Louisiana, visit sprawling Toledo Bend Reservoir right along the Texas boundary. North and South Toledo Bend state parks offer fabulous fishing and boating, surrounded by forested camping, hiking, biking and recreation areas.
Farther north, discover the allure of the Red and the Ouachita rivers, which cut through the green hills near Shreveport and Monroe and are widely known for their big bass and catfish. Water sports of all kinds are popular in Lake Claiborne, Lake d'Arbonne, Lake Bistineau and Chemin-a-Haut state parks. Pick your spot just about anywhere in the state, and soon you'll understand why locals say that the fish are always biting in Louisiana.