Getting Your Bearings
Terrebonne Parish and Lafourche Parish are two of the southernmost parishes (the Louisiana equivalent of U.S. counties) in the state, a maze of rivers and low-lying islands. The Terrebonne Parish seat, Houma, is named for one of the many American Indian tribes that have fished here for thousands of years, and it’s one of the first areas in Louisiana that was settled by French-Canadian exiles who are today known as Cajuns.
The residents of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes have been living off the land for many, many generations, and stories of the region’s rich cultural traditions are told daily at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum and Southdown Plantation/Terrebonne Museum, both in Houma. Cajun culture is celebrated at the numerous festivals as well; Voice of the Wetlands and Rougarou Fest, both in Houma, are two of the best known.
Get to Know Our Wetlands
Bayous versus swamps versus marshes … describing south Louisiana waterways can turn into a long discussion. In short though, bayous are small, slow-moving streams — they can go through swamps, which are flooded forests with standing water for at least part of the year. Marshes can be freshwater, saltwater or brackish water (a mix of saltwater and freshwater, found where rivers and the Gulf of Mexico meet), containing plant life — prime territory for many popular fish species.
Where to Go Inland Fishing Near Houma
The tiny fishing village of Pointe Aux Chenes (French for “Oak Point”) offers fine marsh fishing, as evidenced by the many fishing camps dotting the landscape around it. It’s well-known by Louisiana anglers as a reliable spot to find redfish especially and has numerous charter boat companies nearby to get you out on the water. There’s also the Pointe-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area, operated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, which allows recreational fishing, hunting and camping in this 33,000-acre preserve. Call one of the local charter boat operators for more details.
First thing you may be wondering about Cut Off is: What’s with the name? It comes from a short-cut canal that was designed to connect nearby Bayou Lafourche with New Orleans, allowing for commercial vessels to travel between the remote settlement and Louisiana’s largest city. Cut Off was the name given to the community of French, Spanish, English and Italian settlers living where the canal was being dug.
Cut Off is a fascinating historical footnote, and is also a prime spot for sport fishing. Perch and rainbow trout are abundant in Bayou Pierce, Bayou de la Gauche and Bayou Des Amoreux. For an extra challenge, try your hand at fly fishing in one of these quiet bayous. Call one of the local charter boat operators for more details.
Begin a half-day or daylong fishing adventure like no other in Dulac, a fishing community near Houma that is home to charter boat operators and lots of local wisdom about what’s biting. The bayous of this region are abundant with redfish, speckled trout and black drum in the shallows, and larger fish like cobia, king mackerel and grouper farther out. Call one of the local charter boat operators for more details.