Surf fishing is a fantastically different experience for any angler accustomed to only lake or river fishing. When you cast into the sparkling, ripping waves of the Gulf of Mexico along Louisiana’s coast, you are looking to hook a big saltwater fish lurking in the waves.
Surf Fishing Equipment and Tips:
There are many different approaches to this kind of fishing from keeping your feet on the sandy beach to wading out into the waist deep surf. Both allow the angler a different way to fish that boating fisherman cannot achieve. A day out on the beach requires planning, so ensure you head to your surf fishing spot with enough water, sunscreen, refreshments and food along with that big cooler to keep your catch on ice.
Most surf fisherman prefer having two rods each rigged with big chunks of bait and their spinning reels set loosely so when those big red fish bite, the line will pull out easily and you won’t loose a rod. Also be aware of the water quality. If the ocean is too rough or is muddy it will not be as easy to fish. Look for clean water and if you are able to see the beach when the tide is low look for the small trenches in the sand. These will be deeper spots when the tide comes in and the fish will be feeding in those areas.
Once you’ve got a bite, make sure you keep that fish on the line with this fishing tip from one of Louisiana’s experienced anglers, Jerry LaBella. LaBella offers this tip: “Fight the fish long enough so that it wears down, and don't be overly concerned if there's a lot of wave action. Keep the line taut and use the waves to your advantage by allowing the surf to bring the fish right on the beach. Once landed, keep it clear of the lapping waves or it may be sucked back out to sea.” Read more from LaBella on surf fishing in Louisiana.
Location, Location, Location:
Grand Isle State Park is the only state-owned and operated beach on Louisiana’s Gulf coast. Local biologists believe the waters off Grand Isle hold more than 280 different species of fishes. The beaches that stretch all along Grand Isle from Elmer’s Island to Fourchon are beautiful locations to start surf fishing. Pier and bridge fishing are also available at the local fishing pier, which extends into the Gulf and is known as a spot for catching red fish. These locations offer plentiful crabbing and fishing for species like croaker, white trout, Spanish mackerel, sea perch, drum, and sheepshead.
Other fishing hot spots are Fort Livingston (located on the west side of Barataria Pass), Caminada Pass, and the "Old Fishing Bridge" that parallels the only access bridge to Grand Isle. Speckled trout are caught year-round while red fish in the surf occur in fall and winter.
Gulf Beach Highway 82- Anglers will find quality trout while fishing the surf along Highway 82 from Holly Beach (near the intersection of Hwy 27 and 82) westward to Sabine Lake. The speckled trout are abundant in these waters. This long stretch of beautiful sandy coast with some rock outcroppings will provide excellent fishing grounds to explore.