Renowned all over the world for its unique architecture, music, cuisine, and annual celebrations like Mardi gras, New Orleans is the heart of Louisiana and one of the most exciting places to visit in the entire United States. The city is made up more water than land, with over 180 square miles of bayous, lakes, and the famous Mississippi river all around New Orleans. With all that water and an inherent love of all kinds of seafood, it’s no surprise that fishing is a very popular activity in and around New Orleans. Next read: Things to Do in New Orleans
Fishing has played a huge role in New Orleans culture and the development of the city itself over the years. New Orleans can boast some of the top angling spots in the area and some very highly-rated fishing charters and guides as well. Along with the Gulf of Mexico and the world-famous Barataria Bay, New Orleans also has many freshwater lakes and prime fishing locations all around.
Best Fishing Spots in New Orleans
Many different species of fish can be spotted and caught all around New Orleans, including catfish, trout, bluegills, redfish, and bass. Eels can even be caught as well. There’s a lot of variety in the area, both in terms of the fish you can catch and the locations to choose from, so let’s take a closer look at some of the top-rated fishing locations in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.
1. City Park
Easily one of the best spots in the inner city of New Orleans, City Park features 11 miles of lagoons that have always been a big hit with anglers in the area. You'll have a big chance to hook a big one in these waters, with the likes of blue catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, redspotted sunfish, red drum, eels, Rio Grande perch, and others all being plucked from the lagoons of City Park with impressive regularity. It's a great spot for some family fishing too, so if you're looking to introduce your little ones to the sport, this is a great place to start.
2. Elmer's Island
For saltwater fishing in New Orleans, there are probably no better locations than the Elmer's Island Refuge. With lots of land to explore all around the park and beautiful beaches too, it's a great place to visit at any time of year and plays home to many different saltwater species like red drum, flounder, black drum, speckled trout, and more. Bull red drum can be found during the cooler times of the year and the eastern end of the beach tends to be the best spot for frequent bites.
3. Frank Davis Fishing Pier
Not far from New Orleans Lakefront Airport, the Frank Davis Fishing Pier is a must-visit location for anglers in and around the New Orleans area. Fishing on this pier tends to be most productive through the summer, but you can get bites at almost any time of year. Another advantage of this pier is that it's open for fishing round-the-clock, so if you're in the mood for a little night fishing at New Orleans, this is the place to be.
4. Bayou St. John
For several years, Bayou St. John fish populations struggled to survive, but due to the installation of a new floodgate and careful monitoring in recent years, the bayou has started to do a lot better and is a prime location for speckled trout fishing. Largemouth bass and red drum can also be hooked in this area.
5. Lake Pontchartrain
With a surface area of 630 square miles, Lake Pontchartrain is one of the biggest lakes in the area and contains over a hundred different species of fish. It's not uncommon to catch 10+ pound speckled trout at this lake, with largemouth bass, white bass, and spotted bass also found with impressive regularity. Lake Pontchartrain is a very popular location to visit in the New Orleans area and offers a relaxing, scenic setting for long fishing sessions. Huge catfish are found every so often in the lake as well, and with so many different kinds of fish swimming about beneath the surface, you never know just quite what you might reel in.
6. Bogue Chitto Wildlife Refuge
A short drive northeast of New Orleans sits one of Louisiana's most beautiful wildlife refuges. Covering 36,000 acres of land, there's a lot to explore and enjoy at this refuge and the fishing can be trout. Catfish, bass, bream, and others can be found at this super fishing spot which still remains relatively unknown.