Offshore Fishing in Louisiana
When it comes to bluewater fishing, the Gulf of Mexico is the be-all and end-all for this part of the US. Three words can sum up the overall Louisiana experience — absolutely the best! When you’re only a dozen miles out from actual blue water (going from the South Pass area), you know you’ve stumbled onto something special.
In addition to having a reputation for being a Yellowfin Tuna paradise, offshore fishing in Louisiana has so much more to offer. Whether it’s billfish like Blue and White Marlin, Swordfish, and Sailfish, or delicious bottom feeders like Red, Snowy, or Scamp Grouper, there’s no better place to be on the Gulf Coast than here.
What to Expect from an Offshore Fishing Trip
There are two big reasons why Louisiana is such a hot place for bluewater anglers. The first one is the Mississippi River. It provides plenty of nutrients to keep the baitfish population thriving, leading to various predators sticking around. The second reason is simple - oil rigs. Lots of ‘em. Constructed after World War II, these massive structures attract a multitude of reef species like Snapper, Amberjack, Grouper, Cobia, Barracuda, and more.
Taking advantage of these wonderful conditions are two major deep sea fishing hotspots - Venice and Grand Isle. A decades-long rivalry exists between these two hubs for offshore fishing. Whichever ends up on your list, you won’t be mistaken.
Venice does have a slight edge in that it’s right next to the Mississippi River, and very close to where it meets North America’s continental shelf. This means you’ve got upwards of 1,000’ depths within arms reach. Welcome to the “End of the World,” hope you enjoy your stay!
When to go Offshore Fishing in Louisiana
What you fish for depends on the time of year you leave Louisiana's swampy shores behind you. While you can go after Yellowfins at pretty much any time of the year, other offshore species aren’t so cooperative. If you’re looking to hook some billfish, then be ready for a summer trip. Nothing beats getting the better of a Swordfish on a hot June day. White Marlin fishing will usually stay strong until mid-fall, so you’ve got a degree of flexibility as well. Be sure to pay attention to when the season opens up for Red Snapper and Gag Grouper because fishing for those is restricted until around June, with regulations changing annually.
If you’re here for the Tuna — a fair assumption to make — you have several ways of dealing with the beautiful Yellowfin. Trolling with dead bait or cedar plugs is the standard way of going about it. Don’t forget chunking, as it’s one of the most effective ways of getting the full attention of most Tuna.
Trolling is also a good way to tackle Marlin as well, especially if you’ve got some live bait ready. They’re usually found near weed lines, and you’ll easily see them if the weather is good. This is why many captains visit the closer rigs first to stock up on bait and then head off for the real fight.
For those in the market for some delicious bottom-dwelling fish, a visit to the old rigs is all it takes, especially during Red Snapper season. Just remember that a big Snapper needs big bait. Try double hooking a 7’ long Mackerel fillet and see the results for yourself. Be sure to use a standard monofilament line, because you’ll need some stretch in order to land a big red one. Otherwise, the hook will fall out if the Snapper jerks hard enough, and you’re out of a prize catch.
There’s enough variety here to satisfy a wide variety of fishing preferences. If you’re interested in at least one of the species mentioned in this guide, do yourself a favor and check out the deep blue.
Top Targeted Offshore Fishing Species in Louisiana
- Size 5 to 20lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 15 to 35lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef
What People Are Saying About Offshore Fishing in Louisiana
"Best trip ever"
Capt. Scott put us on the fish. We had 53 trout averaging 3 pounds each by 9:30. I caught the largest speck of my life, weighing 6 lbs 12.8 oz. We then jumped offshore and had a limit of red snapper in minutes. We then headed back to Port Eads and chef Travis cooked up some snapper topped with a crawfish sauce. The best fishing day ever!!
"Day trip capt cook"
Since my first trip targeting big yellow fin tuna. I've been hooked. Capt andy cook and crew always do a fine job and he even goes the extra to get on the fish. He's my only offshore capt that I trust,respect, and feel safe with. I highly recommend him