fresh water fishing at south toledo bend state par

Freshwater Fishing in Louisiana

Louisiana's freshwater fishing scene includes the twice-voted #1 bass fishing lake in the United States.

Louisiana’s saltwater fishing may get most of the limelight, but the freshwater opportunities here are pretty spectacular in their own right. Thing is, Louisiana is so packed full of lakes, rivers, bayous and streams that no matter where you travel, there’ll be a spot to cast a line nearby. 

Within or near Louisiana’s largest cities you’ll find freshwater fishing spots. Near New Orleans, in a region called the Northshore (so named because it’s north of Lake Pontchartrain), you’ll find scenic, slow-moving waterways including the Bogue Falaya, Bogue Chitto and Tchefuncte River. Channel catfish, alligator gar and largemouth bass are swimming these waters, and they can all be easily reached by boat. 

South Louisiana, known as a fishing haven for generations, has plenty of lakes, rivers and marshes where the big ones are biting. Check out Bayou Black near Houma for bass, Lac Des Allemands for catfish (the city of Des Allemands is actually called the Catfish Capital of the Universe!) and the well-stocked ponds near Baton Rouge.

State- and federally managed lands throughout Louisiana are especially popular fishing destinations as well. Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Louisiana is one spot to look up, as well as Kisatchie National Forest in the central part of the state.

Louisiana State Parks offer an incredible range of fishing opportunities. Head to Toledo Bend Reservoir, the largest man-made lake in the South, where you’ll find South and North Toledo Bend State Parks. Check out Chicot State Park in Ville Platte (where you can sleep in spectacular waterfront cabins), Chemin-A-Haut State Park in the remote reaches of north-central Louisiana, and Lake Bistineau, Lake Bruin, Lake Claiborne and other state parks named after fish-rich bodies of water. Cast a line for hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, redear sunfish and black and white crappie in these waterways.

Purchase a Louisiana Fishing License

Freshwater Species

Hybrid Striped Bass

Bass, Hybrid Striped

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
16.25
Largemouth Bass

Bass, Largemouth

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
15.97
Default Fishing Species Image

Perch (Crappie) Black

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
3.84
Default Fishing Species Image

Perch (Crappie) White

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
3.80
catfish

Catfish, Channel

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
30.31
Default Fishing Species Image

Redear Sunfish

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
2.87
Default Fishing Species Image

Gar, Alligator

Season: Yearlong

Record (LBS):
179.00

Fish Tales

Looking for lunker bass, sac a lait, bowfin or catfish? We've got you covered whether you're fishing lakes or rivers in any region of Sportsman's Paradise. But don't take our word for it. Look below to see what's biting now.