December 17, 2019
Louisiana is a fantastic fishing destination. Freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water abound throughout the state. Saltwater fishing is pretty straight forward: head to the bountiful Gulf of Mexico. It’s a little bit more difficult for anglers who prefer freshwater fishing. There’s a multitude of streams and rivers, lakes and ponds to cast a line.
In no particular order, here are the Top 5 freshwater places to fish in Louisiana:
The state record largemouth bass was caught on Caney Lake. It weighed in at 15.97 pounds in 1994. Caney Lake also produces record sized crappie, yellow bass, and bluegill. That’s a lot of big fish in a small lake. This 5,000-acre man-made lake is located between Jonesboro and Chatham in Jackson Parish.
Anglers can access Caney Lake from the Jimmie H Davis State Park located at the southern end of the lake. There are multiple boat ramps and marinas for fishermen and women to get on the water. In the early morning hours fish the shoreline and you too could catch a 10-13 pound lunker!
One of the top bass fishing destinations in the state is the Red River. The water has a red-tint (hence the name) and is divided into five sections separated by five dam systems. But don’t worry, no matter where you cast your line, you’re sure to see some great action. Red River has hosted several fishing tournaments, including two BASSMasters Classics. Largemouth bass caught on Red River typically range 3 to 8 pounds.
The river runs 260 miles from northwest Louisiana (near Shreveport) to Central Louisiana (near Simmesport) and feeds into several nearby lakes such as Black Lake (which is another great spot to fish for bass, crappie, and catfish).
Caddo Lake is known by some as “the most beautiful lake in America” because of the sprinkling of cypress trees throughout the lake. The many cypress trees make this a very unique body of water. While they provide habitats for many largemouth bass, crappie and bream, the cypress trees and stumps make it difficult for boaters to drive across the lake. It’s best for anglers to navigate the lake via kayak or slowly in a bass boat.
Also because of the many cypress trees, recreational boaters and swimmers are not found on Caddo Lake. So there’s no competition for anglers. This 25,400-acre lake/cypress swamp borders the state line between Texas and Louisiana, about 17 miles northwest of Shreveport. The fishing is good year-round, and can be accessed from both Louisiana and Texas.
Record-size largemouth bass are caught at Lake D’Arbonne. Along with crappie, bream and catfish. There are several underwater creeks, ledges, flats and sloughs that make Lake D’Arbonne an exciting place to fish. Plus, there are limited swimmers and boaters to compete with or spook the fish.
Located in north Louisiana in Union Parish, this remote lake is a favorite for local anglers. Lake D’Arbonne is a 15,000 acre lake, 14 miles long with numerous channels and finger lakes. Kayak fishing is very popular near the Little D’Arbonne section of the lake, as kayakers can get closer to the cypress trees, and therefore the bass.
Toledo Bend is the largest man-made lake in the southern United States, and is a great place to fish for largemouth bass, crappie, bream, white bass, striped bass, and catfish. Some will say that this 186,000-acre lake is THE best freshwater fishing in the country, let alone Louisiana. It’s hard to argue, as there’s over 1,200-miles of shoreline and water over 100 feet deep.
Toledo Bend continually provides lunkers in double-digits, possibly more than any other lake in the Pelican State. It also has striped bass over 40 pounds, huge flathead and blue catfish, and some of the largest crappie, bluegill, white bass and yellow bass in the state. Toledo Bend is a gem of Louisiana, and without a doubt one of the best freshwater fishing spots around.
Freshwater fishing in Louisiana will get you fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and more. While there really isn’t a bad time or place to freshwater fish in Louisiana, we recommend spring or fall when the temperatures are cooler. And definitely hit the water in the “golden hours” (sunrise or sunset) as the fish are more active during this time.
If you do happen to find yourself near the coast of Louisiana, never fear – you can still find freshwater species in the brackish waters. Throughout the Mississippi Delta are places like Atchafalaya Basin with some largemouth bass hiding out. Not sure where to start? Let FishAnywhere help. Start with a search of your local city, and we’ll take care of the rest. Wherever you find yourself in the Pelican State, good fishing is nearby.
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