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Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Louisiana

Deep Sea Fishing in Louisiana

The deep sea fishing Louisiana has to offer is as varied as it is productive. When you think deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, you typically assume you have to head out hundreds of miles from shore – this isn’t the case in Southern LA.

There are three main reasons for the excellent fishing. Southern LA is the closest landmass to the drop off in the Gulf of Mexico, which plays host to many deep sea predators just beyond the continental shelf. Secondly, these waters are home to over 3,700 oil rigs which draw scores of bait fish to them, followed closely by their predators. Lastly, the legendary Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, bringing along plenty of nutrients, which also attract bait fish… and where there are baitfish, the big boys of the deep are sure to be, too.

What to Catch

Deep sea fishing is all about pelagic predators. The most famous species here is the Yellowfin Tuna. Other species include White and Blue Marlin, Sailfish, and Wahoo. Night fishing charters will see you targeting Swordfish, too. Catching these mighty beasts is all about glory, while bottom fishing in the deep for a variety of Snappers and Groupers is a chance to bring home unbeatable table fare.

Where to Go

Anglers in Louisiana don’t have to travel far to get to the best deep sea fisheries. Top destinations include Venice, Grand Isle, and the many oil rigs throughout the Gulf of Mexico. You can access superb deep sea fishing from the port at Buras and at Golden Meadow.

Venice

Venice is a top example of deep sea fishing close to shore. The continental shelf is a short ride from the mouth of the Mississippi River, which means you can reach 1,000’ depths in no time. This close proximity to deep water is the reason why Venice is famous for big game fishing.

Midnight Lump

Fifty miles from the shores of Venice sits the world-famous Midnight Lump. Officially called the Sackett Bank, this is a top feeding spot for migrating Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna. This reef hits various depths quickly – on its south side it hit 400 feet, compared to 200’ at the center and 300’ on the north side. Fish here can reach huge sizes – no wonder it’s one of the most fished spots in the Gulf of Mexico. As well as Tuna over 150 pounds, you’ll also target Marlin, Wahoo, Amberjack, and more.

Spend your trip here trolling or vertical jigging – either way, you’ll reel in trophy fish year-round. The prime season is between December to March, so head out early to catch the best spots. Longer trips are best to fully appreciate this fishery – choose a 12 hour or overnight trip to make the most out of your time.

Grand Isle

Grand Isle can rival even Venice’s deep sea fishing. Here you can wet your line in deep water just 12 miles from shore. Species you can target include Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowfin Tuna. There is always a prolific species to fish.

Oil Platforms

These massive structures have dominated the skyline for years now. Although they can be controversial, under the water they have created ideal habitats for multiple species. The top spots to hit out here are Green Canyon and Mississippi Canyon in the deeper waters. You’ll be further out than the other fishers, up to 100 miles, but the fishing is well worth the journey. Target Marlin, Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mako Shark, Amberjack, and Mahi Mahi in depths of 1,000 feet.  

Flower Gardens

Between the border of Louisiana and Texas, and 100 miles offshore, you’ll find the “Flower Gardens.” This is the only living coral reef in the western Gulf of Mexico and is home to 300 species of fish, including our favorite deep sea pelagics mentioned above. Catch big game here by trolling – remember to bring the right bait for the species you’d like to hook.

How to Fish

  • Each species has their favorite bait. For Marlin, use ballyhoo, Spanish Mackerel, Bonito, or even Tuna. For Yellowfin Tuna, dead bait fishing and chunking are most effective.

  • The fish in the Gulf get big – use a 7’ heavy action trolling rod. Use monofilament line in the 100 lb range. You’ll need to use electric reels to get your line to depths of 1,300 feet.

  • Due to the distances you need to travel to get to the fishing grounds off of Louisiana, deep sea fishing here is primarily for hardcore anglers. Long trips are the most popular, as the ride to the fishing grounds are long. Bring along plenty of energy drinks and layers – you’ll be out for a long time and won’t have a lot of time for sleeping!

When to Go

The deep sea fishing Louisiana offers is sure to impress year round. Head out around the time of the full moon for great results. Each species has its peak. Marlin is awesome from June onward, whereas Tuna is great from the very start of the year.

Make sure you purchase a license before you get to the marina. You’ll need a three-day non-resident license, as well as the Offshore Landing Permit for targeting Billfish, Swordfish, Tuna, and Amberjack. Check with your captain, this is usually included in the price of the charter.

A deep sea fishing trip is on every angler’s bucket list. Louisiana offers the deep sea benefits with the perks of not having a crazy-long ride out to these top fisheries.

Let the good times roll, or, as the Cajun locals say, “laissez les bons temps rouler!”

Louisiana

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View all fishing charters in Louisiana

Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Louisiana

Snapper (Red)

Amberjack

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

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