Louisiana’s fly-fishing scene is all about redfish! Whether you’re targeting a big “bull red” or just hankering to boat a couple dozen smaller fish in a single day, you’ll not find a better destination than the state whose license plate describes it as the “Sportsman’s Paradise.”

Louisiana is the place to find redfish . . . and they can often be found in big numbers and sizes. Landing a hundred pounds of fly-caught fish in day happens on a regular basis with bull reds ranging to 20 pounds or more and the smaller reds averaging about four or five pounds. Due to the sheer size of quality fishing grounds, Louisiana’s redfish see very little pressure and eagerly chase down flies. Anglers mostly sight-fish these beasts, demanding accurate casts with heavy flies. However, casts rarely need to reach farther than 30 feet, making it an ideal location for new saltwater fly-fishers who want an early taste of success. Unlike redfish found in other places, Louisiana’s drum eagerly chase down flies and devour them. While redfish take center stage on the flats, anglers also target large jack crevalle, black drum, and sheepshead. And why wouldn’t they? Jack crevalle are aggressive, black drum grow to massive size, and sheepshead are considered to be one of the most challenging saltwater species on a fly.

Louisiana offers two primary areas to search for redfish. Biloxi Marsh is Louisiana’s most famous redfish grounds and is located just 45-minutes from New Orleans. Billed by many globe-trotting anglers as the best redfish destination in the world, its grass flats, oyster beds, and clear, shallow water epitomize premier redfish habitat. Sprawling across hundreds of miles of the state’s northeastern coastline, the marsh is a veritable maze of islands, channels, and backwaters and is filled with reds.

Situated about two hours south of New Orleans, Venice represents the southern end of the state’s incredible redfish habitat, right where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Husky reds—often in pods of numerous jaw-dropping size fish—feed aggressively in the shallow water. Imagine yourself casting to a redfish with more mass than the average cocker spaniel, as it digs around the muddy bottom for crabs, and you’ll get a feel for this fishery. Venice also provides easy access to world-class bluewater fishing. Mahi mahi and wahoo, as well as bluefin and yellowfin tuna, can be targeted on the fly.

Redfish movements and feeding patterns vary with the seasons, tides, temperatures, and winds, which has led Louisiana guides to focus on particular niches. Matching the right guide with your fishing plans is key to a successful fishing trip, and timing can be everything—the best bull redfishing occurs during fall while the numbers game happens at other times of the year.

One of the most attractive aspects to fishing Louisiana is that some of the most productive fishing grounds are located just outside of New Orleans. You can enjoy the comforts and outstanding cuisine of a major city and be wetting a line an hour after leaving the hotel. Whether you are a diehard angler looking to land your biggest red, or just getting out for a quick fish while enjoying southern culture, Louisiana offers the perfect itinerary for every angler.

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