57 Fishing Charters
Top Fishing Charters in New Orleans
Fishing in New Orleans
New Orleans fishing is part of the town’s lifeblood. The Mississippi River runs right through Louisiana’s largest city, which was established on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain, just north of the Gulf of Mexico. So it's no surprise that this is one of the best places for seafood in the United States. With Cajun, Chinese, French, Italian, and many other influences, the Louisiana ‘taste’ is what brings a lot of visitors to this town. And once you’ve stepped aboard New Orleans fishing charters, you will be able to sample the local dishes at their best - with the freshest of fish.
The notorious pirate Jean Lafitte established the ‘Kingdom of Barataria’ in the marshes and swamps just over 20 miles south of New Orleans’ French Quarter. He and his men settled in these waters so they could smuggle goods into the United States. In fact, this town's history is some of the most fascinating in the whole world.
But what’s that got to do with fishing in New Orleans? Well, any local fishing trip will get you retracing the very steps of Lafitte and his pirate crew. But instead of smuggling, you'll be going one step better. You'll be on the path of wily Redfish and Speckled Trout.
Explore the local bayous, marshes, and estuaries. These are the perfect habitat for some of the Gulf of Mexico’s favorite inshore game fish - which isn’t to say you can’t catch excellent freshwater fish here, too. Huge Bull Red Drum (red fish), plentiful Speckled Trout (spekle trout), big Black Drum, and feisty Jack Crevalles are just across the waterways from some of the state’s best Bass fishing lakes.
But Louisiana fishing charters are about a whole lot more than just casting for fish. These are your chance to explore nature at its best. Ask your guide to help you spot Bald Eagles, Blue and White Herons, Alligators, Egrets, and much more as you navigate the bayous. Not only will you have a good chance of catching your limit, you will be doing so in one of the most enchanting places on Earth.
Rules & Regulations
Louisiana fishing is regulated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. In order to fish in the state, anglers over 16 need to purchase a fishing license from the authorities. These are not usually covered by New Orleans fishing charters but can be obtained online or by phone.
If you are fishing south of the ‘saltwater line’ (you most probably will be, if you are fishing out of New Orleans), you will need a Louisiana saltwater angler’s license as well as the basic Louisiana fishing license.
Types of Fishing
If you’re a fan of Red fish, New Orleans deserves a secure spot on your bucket list. Not only do they get seriously big in these parts, this is also one of the only places in the world where they can be caught all year round. Target them by sight fishing with lures in the winter - look for them when the waters are crystal clear and you can see them laid up in the marshes. Otherwise, go after them with natural bait in the fall and experience catching a 30 lb fish on light tackle or fly! Louisiana fly fishing guides are usually fully booked at this time of year, so make sure to secure your spot early.
Come in the summer, and you will have a great variety of fish to catch in Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne, and southern waterways such as the Breton Sound and Black Bay. Look for tackle-busting Jack Crevalle, which you can target with topwater plugs. These super-strong fish will give you a run for your money - expect a long fight.
But if you’re looking for both a good fight and a good meal, keep your eyes peeled for Tripletail. These delicious fish started coming inshore in Lake Borgne after Hurricane Katrina - and they seem to like it here. Look for them under floating objects and cast for them with live shrimp.
If freshwater fishing is more your thing, head to the City Park. Here, you’ll find Largemouth Bass, Perch, Catfish and much more in this extensive lagoon system. Live bait is always a good option, but if you’re after some fun rig up some spinnerbaits or poppers and look for Bass in the undergrowth.
New Orleans Fishing Seasons
As cold fronts arrive, look for Redfish gathering together at the top of the water column - this will make them easy to find and catch. On warmer days, look for Speckled Trout. Otherwise, fish for Black Drum in Lake Pontchartrain.
February is one of the best times to be in New Orleans. The city is talking about Mardi Gras, but if you want a break from festivities, expect 'gin clear' waters and big Bull Redfish. Head to the Delacroix flats for great sight fishing.
Don't miss the Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans City Park. This event has been running every year since 1946! If you prefer salt, head to the marshes: they are kicking into gear as the weather warms.
With temperatures in the mid 70s and low rainfall, New Orleans can be very pleasant in April (if a bit humid). Fishing is very good: try targeting Redfish with artificial bait in shallow water (3 ft or less).
As the weather transitions from spring to summer, everyone wants to be outside. Which is good, because the bait is moving inshore and the fishing comes with it. Expect a lot of Red fish and some Speckled Trout.
Temperatures rise, averaging at 89º. Grab a deal at a hotel (it's officially low season) and stay a while: the fishing is incredible. Enjoy explosive action on topwater lures from Redfish, Jack Crevalle, Aligator Gar, and more!
Expect very hot weather with a chance of storms. But don't let that stop you getting out on the water. Speckled Trout and Redfish are biting aggressively. The Delacroix and Black Bay area is excellent at this time of year.
The Breton Sound and Black Bay area is still producing well: look for limits of Speckled Trout around rigs and islands. Most New Orleans fishing charters will leave before sunrise to escape the heat and catch the best bite.
September is still very hot in New Orleans, making early starts a necessity still. Once you get out, you can find Bull Redfish and big Jack Crevalles - this is a really fun time to fish if you don't mind the heat.
This is one of the busiest times of year for Lousiana Redfish guides. And rightly so - with clear waters and big schooling Bull Redfish, everyone wants to get out and sightfish for these beautiful fish.
The fishing is still very good, with Bull Redfish and Flounder continuing to bite well. As fall transitions to winter, cold fronts push bait out of the marsh. The fish are hungry and feeding up before the winter.
There's never a bad time to fish in New Orleans, and December proves it. Look for Redfish laid up across the marsh. Expect to find big Bull Reds in 6 - 10 inches of water. Expect later starts and a nice variety of fish.