How to Go Surf Fishing on Louisiana's Coast

Learn how to go surf fishing on Louisiana’s glittering coast. 

Sunset Surf Fishing

Anglers accustomed to lake or river fishing will be delighted by surf fishing. When you cast into the sparkling, ripping waves of the Gulf of Mexico, big saltwater fish are in store. 

Surf Fishing Equipment and Tips:

There are many different approaches to this kind of fishing, from keeping your feet on the sandy beach to wading out into the waist-deep surf. Both allow the angler unique vantage points that can’t be achieved by boat. A day out on the beach requires planning, so ensure you head to your surf fishing spot with enough water, sunscreen, refreshments and food along with a big cooler to keep your catch on ice.

Most surf fishermen prefer having two rods — each rigged with big chunks of bait and their spinning reels set loosely — so when big redfish bite, the line will pull out easily. Also, be aware of the water quality. If the ocean is too rough or muddy, it will not be as easy to fish. Look for clean water, and if you can see the beach when the tide is low, look for small trenches in the sand. When the tide comes in, fish will feed in these deep areas.

Once you’ve got a bite, make sure you keep the fish on the line with this tip from one of Louisiana’s most trusted outdoor anglers, Jerry LaBella: “Fight the fish long enough so that it wears down, and don't be overly concerned if there's a lot of wave action. Keep the line taut and use the waves to your advantage by allowing the surf to bring the fish right on the beach. Once landed, keep it clear of the lapping waves or it may be sucked back out to sea.” Read more from LaBella on surf fishing in Louisiana.

Location, Location, Location:

From Elmer’s Island to Fourchon, the beaches that stretch along Grand Isle are beautiful locations to start surf fishing. Grand Isle State Park is the only state-owned and operated beach on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, and local biologists believe its waters hold more than 280 different species of fish. Pier and bridge fishing are also available, perfect for catching redfish. Crab and fish for species like croaker, white trout, Spanish mackerel, sea perch, drum and sheepshead.

Other fishing hot spots are Fort Livingston (located on the west side of Barataria Pass), Caminada Pass, and the "Old Fishing Bridge" that parallels the only access bridge to Grand Isle. Speckled trout are caught year-round while redfish in the surf occur in fall and winter.

Anglers will also find abundant speckled trout while fishing the surf along Highway 82 from Holly Beach west toward Sabine Lake. This long stretch of beautiful sandy coast will provide excellent fishing grounds to explore.