If you want to know why Louisiana cuisine is so famous, just look at where much of it comes from.
Up north and west, you’ll find the Red River and Toledo Bend Reservoir, two of Louisiana’s top spots for fishing bass, trout and white perch (also known as sac-a-lait or crappie). Learn more about fishing in Louisiana.
In east and central Louisiana, you’ll find farmland where the state’s soul food fixin’s are being grown. Here, duck hunting is a way of life, and dense forests hide deer that for some lucky hunters, end up becoming venison for the gumbo pot or the grill.
And then there are the south Louisiana waterways, teeming with the fresh fish and seafood you’ll find in famous Cajun and Creole restaurants. Crawfish, redfish, snapper … the list is as long as our waters are deep.
Saltwater Fishing: Reel Good Times on the Gulf
Fishermen, whether they’re cane pole-toting kids, crabbers or pro anglers, have given south Louisiana its well-earned reputation as a fishing utopia. A couple favorite outfitters are Pelican State Fishing Charters in the charming fishing village of Jean Lafitte and Calmwater Charters in Grand Isle.
Freshwater Fishing: Inland Anglers’ Dream Destinations
Places such as the Ouachita River near Monroe, Lake Martin near Breaux Bridge, Caddo Lake on the outskirts of Shreveport and Cane River Lake near Natchitoches have gained massive followings from out-of-staters looking to land The Big One.
Toledo Bend Reservoir had reason to celebrate in 2016, when Bassmaster magazine named Toledo Bend the No. 1 bass fishing destination in the nation.
The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, which spans 14 parishes, serves just about every whim an outdoorsman could have. Find places to fish, paddle, bird watch, camp and hunt in this vast multi-parish area that’s been termed “America’s Foreign Country.”
Hunting Adventures: Stalk This Way
Take aim at areas such as the Mississippi Flyway (major bird migration route that follows the Mississippi) near Lake Charles. The Flyway is rich in waterfowl, harboring birds on their way to nesting grounds as far away as South America. Grosse Savanne Lodge is one of the top bird hunting and fishing lodges in the state.
Other favorite hunting lodges are spread throughout the state, including Honey Brake, Wild Hog Ridge Hunting Club and Giles Island in central Louisiana, Covey Rise Hunting Lodge in the Northshore town of Husser, and, in Melville, Long River Lodge. Louisiana is even home to the Duck Capital of America—Gueydan—a top spot for hunters in south Louisiana and home to the massively popular Gueydan Duck Festival (held annually the weekend before Labor Day).
Other Outdoor Fun: Looking Beyond Field and Stream
Speaking of ducks, no outdoorsman’s visit to Louisiana would be complete without a stop by Duck Commander and Willie’s Duck Diner in West Monroe, made famous by the blockbuster reality show Duck Dynasty.