If there is one questions I’m continually asked over and over again, it’s … “I’ve got no boat -- where can I go to fish from the bank?” Well, here’s the newly updated entire Southeast Louisiana Bankfishing List!
Live Bait Suppliers:
Bait, Inc. on Paris Road in New Orleans East. Open 7 days a week.
Rigolets Marina on Hwy. 90. Live shrimp & Cocahoes when available in season. First come, first served.
Chef Harbor Marina. Live shrimp most days in season
The Frank Davis Fishin' Pier at Seabrook Bridge. Newly reconstructed and open to the public for fishing 24/7. Trout, redfish, drum, and Sheepshead are biting right now.
The public pier at the Bonnabel Blvd. boat launch.
The public pier at the Williams Blvd. boat launch..
Sunset Point Public Fishing Pier in Mandeville. Located practically adjacent to the intersectoion of Messena and Monroe Streets. Completely restored to state-of-the-art condition after the hurricane, it was recently re-opened to the public 24/7 for fishing only. Well lighted…but no crabbing allowed.
Irish Bayou: There are a dozen or so spots along the roadside on US Hwy 11 where you can fish in Irish Bayou and the adjacent marshes.
Watson-Williams Canal (runs parallel to Hwy. 11 from Irish Bayou to Powers Junction): Fair catches on the west side of the highway; poor catches on the east side. Bayou Sauvage Public Boat Launch located halfway between Old Power’s Junction and Irish Bayou on the wet side of US 11. No outboards larger than 25HP are allowed back on the property.
Chef Menteur (where Hwy. 90 meets the Chef Bridge). There are a few fair spots at certain times of the year. Sustained heavy damage during Katrina. Still trying to rebound.
Ft. McComb (on the New Orleans side at Chef Pass on the east side of Hwy. 90.) A number of adjacent areas are fully restricted so try to find ones that aren’t and fish there. SEVERELY DAMAGED DURING HURRICANE KATRINA! STAY OUT OF THE FORT!
Salt Bayou (Hwy. 433 crosses Salt Bayou between the Rigolets & Slidell). A former bankfishing spot that was virtually totally destroyed during Katrina. Most areas on the bayou shoreline which were once fair for fishing and crabbing remain inaccessible.
Old Spanish Trail Canal (runs parallel to Hwy. 433 between Slidell & Salt Bayou). Realoy poor fishing…and essentially all of it is private property! I don’t recommend this spot at all. Way too close to high traffic right on the highway.
Borrowed Bayou (runs parallel to Hwy. 11 between North Shore & Slidell). Accessible at many spots since Katrina, but productive in very few. Just be sure to stay off private property. The hurricane has made much of it appear abandoned…it isn’t!
Lakeshore Drive Seawall - New Orleans: The Levee District has just recently opened 5 new designated public fishing areas. Look for the signs and fish those spots. Until the rest of the seawall is repaired from the extensive destruction caused by the hurricane, do not fish outside these 5 areas!
West End (just off Breakwater Dr. @ West End behind the Yacht Club). The pier on side was totally destroyed by Katrina and there are no plans to rebuild it. There is very limited bankside fishing, but almost every cast you make results in a snag and lost tackle.
Paris Road (both the Parish Road Bridge and the Bayou Bienvenue Bridge sections that run between Hwy. 90 & Chalmette). This was a really good area prior to Katrina, but it was significantly damaged during the storm. Bankfishing is still done, however, at a few select places.
Ft. Pike: (on the New Orleans side of the Rigolets on the east side of Hwy. 90). Very badly damaged by Katrina, so only a very few fishing spaces are accessible from the shoreline. The public Wildlife and Fisheries boat launch adjacent to the fort parking lot was essentially wiped out, even though some fishermen still attempt to use it. State officials are presently undecided as to if and when it will be rebuilt. STAY OUT OF THE FORT!
Lake Road Fishing Launch (about halfway down the road that runs toward the lake from Hwy. 90 in Lacombe). A very accessible place that’s great for kids because of low traffic usage. Fishable for about half its length all the way to Lake Pontchartrain. It’s the lower section at the bridge, however, which is most popular and therefore most crowded. This place is a really good crabbing spot.
Mandeville Seawall: (runs the entire length of the lakefront in Mandeivlle). Typical seawall fishing: some croakers, a few white trout, an occasional flounder, and lots of hardhead catfish. But still fun because the kids can run around here.
Fountainebleau State Park: Often, out of desperation for a place to fish, the public attempts to use the back section of the part practically right on the lake. But it’s really a poor site because you’re actually fishing on a beach. You can, however, take the kids here to play and take the family here on a picnic. But I suggest you leave the rods and reels home because t will be rare if you catch anything at all.
Riverside State Park: One or two possible spots, but they need to be pre-scouted.
Bonnet Carre Spillway: Decent freshwater fishing in the Spillway in a number of canals and flood ponds. Make a note though, that the entire area is not very accessible when wet, especially after a hard rain. I recommend you proceed with extreme caution to avoid sinking in the river sand if you decide to go off-road.
Manchac: Lots of good bank fishing spots here along Hwy 51. In fact, essentially the entire length of the highway shoulder could be considered a fishing spot! But I suggest you scout out any potential spots prior to making the first cast. Oh -- even though the waterways lead into Pass Manchac, about 98% of this location is freshwater. One more suggeston…if you do locate a productive spot, don’t tell a soul where it’s at!
City Park: Lots and lots of lagoons, ponds and canals to fish in. However, the hurricane decimated the park and trashed most of these former fishing spots.
North Shore Beach (directly at the end of I-10 bridge). It was open prior to the storm, but it has been cordoned off since then. Many areas are now private property so be careful where you go so that you’re not trespassing.
Bayou St. John (where the bayou dumps into the lake at the control gates). Some bank fishermen hail this place; others insist it’s useless as a bankfishing spot. It is, however, really popular for family crabbing.
Excerpt from the FRANK DAVIS FISHING GUIDE ©
Shell Beach: Drive down St. Bernard Highway and head in the direction of Yscloskey. From there, cross Bayou Loutre, take a left, and go to the end of the Shell Beach Road past Campo's Marina. The highway terminates at a shell and riprap mound that leads down to the water. A new memorial marker has just been placed there. You will be fishing directly into the Ship Channel. Fish under a popping cork (since there are lots of snags and hurricane debris on the bottom) or by quick cast and retrieve. Live bait is once again available at Campo's. Fair fishing most months of the year, especially in early spring and early fall.
Delacroix Island: Drive down St. Bernard Highway and head in the direction of Delacroix Island. About halfway down the road you are going to see a large canal appear off to the right. This is Bayou Terre aux Boeuf. At numerous spots along this waterway you can fish into the bayou for white trout, redfish, sheepshead, drum, croakers and an occasional catfish. Before Katrina, you could fish both on top and on the bottom, but some under a cork is the recommended method now (too many snags and storm debris in the water). Be sure to watch the traffic in this area. You are essentially on the shoulder of the road. Fishing is fair most times, and crabbing is very good in late summer.
The Lakefront Seawall: Extends the entire length of Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. Once a fantastic place to fish, urban problems in the past put the area in decline. But in the last few years, fish have once again begun showing up along the seawall from West End to the Lakefront Airport. Since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the fishing pier under the Seabrook and lacerated much of the seawall abutments, as mentioned earlier the New Orleans Levee District has designated five (5) public fishing spots along the seawall. Large signs mark their locations. I t's just a matter of scouting out the spot you like and fishing it on a regular basis. Almost all fishing is done on the bottom with market shrimp. A few storm snags will be encountered, but they'll be rather sparse at the designated places. Dominant species includes white trout, croakers, catfish, channel mullet, and an occasional redfish and flounder. Watch the bottom steps--they're covered with green algae and are extremely slippery!
Bayou Bienvenue: At the intersection of Paris Road and Bayou Bienvenue, a great number of local anglers fish for croakers, white trout, and channel mullet from the "old road" and the nearby mud bank. This is generally considered to be one of those low-key spots where you don't catch a lot of fish but the ones you catch are pretty nice size. Most fishermen use popping corks in Bayou Bienvenue because of the snags in the water. Garfish also tend to congregate in this area every summer. Live shrimp and Cocahoe minnows are available at Bait, Inc. right down the road, but on many occasions all you really need is market shrimp.
Leeville/Grand Isle: This is by far the Number 1 bank fishing spot in Louisiana! Drive down Hwy 1 in lower Jefferson Parish, and when you pass over the Leeville Bridge you will begin seeing flooded marsh off to the right. In fact, it will parallel the highway all the way to Grand Isle. This roadside "ditch," as most fishermen refer to it, provides very good catches 12 months out of the year for speckled trout, white trout, redfish, sheesphead, drum, channel mullet, and flounder. Live bait (which is usually available from about Cut Off all the way past Golden Meadow) works best, but market shrimp is usually considered to be a close second. Here's the trick for fishing "The Highway One" canal. Drive along until you see a spot where there is a little ditch or trainnaisse intersecting the ditch from inside the marsh. It's at points like that where fish travel back and forth into the marsh ponds and lagoons. These locations always hold fish. As far as technique is concerned, fish bottom with a Carolina rig in the straight-aways, and fish under a popping cork at the places where the marsh intersects.
Barataria State Park: On the highway headed to Lafitte, there is a park and public pavilion about a third of the way down the road on the right. It sits on the Barataria Waterway and is open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. No major facilities are nearby, so you should plan to bring all your accessories with you. Generally, fishing is rated "fair" at best, and only at certain times of the year. I suggest you fish bottom only if you can "long cast" out into the center of the waterway. If you can't make long casts, then fish under a popping cork to avoid shoreline riprap and snags. Drum, sheepshead, catfish, and the occasional white trout will be your dominant species.
The Cocodrie Road: On both sides of the highway heading to Cocodrie (consult a Terrebonne map for exact location), you can fish both on the marsh side and directly into Petite Caillou; but stay off private property!. Little outcroppings along the road where the shell chenier is exposed make for good spots from which to fish. Most of these places will be easy to spot once you pass both the Boudreaux Canal and the Robinson Canal. Off to the right, you will be fishing in landlocked ponds and lagoons. Redfish, mostly, and an occasional flounder, will be your dominant species. Across the road in Petite Caillou, you will be fishing into a deep-water canal where speckled trout, white, trout, sheepshead, drum, and channel mullet prevail. Both live bait and market shrimp work well here. Once again, just be careful where you fish--you don't want to trespass on anyone's personal property.
Note: Additional spots will be added as they are discovered and tested. Your input is also welcomed. If you know of a really good bankfishing spot and you want to list it here for others to try, just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also be sure to write a complete description of the spot, along with details on how to get there. Oh, and when you do find good places to fish from the bank (which are relatively few and far between), keep it “fishable”. Don’t trash it and don’t let anyone convert it into a dump. A pile of used tires, an old refrigerator, and a ton of debris from a weekend tree cutting party, does not make good fishing habitat. -- Frank Davis