Chipnice

N’awlins

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The wife and I are planning a trip to New Orleans. Not sure on the dates yet but either mid February  Or early April. 
I was hoping to get on some diy redfish and am looking for advice 

I’m not opposed to booking trips but was curious if there are any surf/pier/wade opportunities within a reasonable drive of the French quarter

thanks 

Edited by Chipnice

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Virtually all of the redfishing in Louisiana that I've done myself or even heard about required a boat.  Flats and (obviously) offshore.  Most guides will launch out of Hopedale, ideally after a nice breakfast at Penny's Cafe.

 

Perhaps some locals will know a DIY spot or two.  If it were me, I'd book Greg Moon or Bailey Short.

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Yeah I agree with JCH.  Not really much in the way of DIY, at least that I noticed.  I did see some guys out of Hopedale in kayaks and they got into some fish, so if you have the option to rent a kayak, that may work.  You're better off with a guide though in my opinion.  

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I fish out of Port Sulphur with Capt. Rich Waldner.  We stay at Woodland Plantation.  I see people fishing in a few places from shore, but I think they are catching little reds and " sea trout".  If you want big fish you probably need to go with a guide.  There are lot of good guides around, and all don't fish from Hopedale.  If you want one day you can just call Woodland and they can set you up with a guide.  It is not inexpensive.

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41 mins ago, Chipnice said:

Thanks I figuered guide is a best bet I just hate to book far in advance 

 

Fair warning, the best guides book months in advance. 

 

Good luck - it is a great fishery.

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6 hours ago, Chipnice said:

Thanks I figuered guide is a best bet I just hate to book far in advance 

I've been trying to book a Louisiana trip for a while.  It seems like the best guides don't book any more trips.  The next tier down book months if not a year in advance for prime times and then there is all the rest.  There is no shortage of guides and many out of state (particularly florida) guides seem to migrating to Louisiana looking for better more inconstant fishing.   In short book early.

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1. Forget DIY in the marsh. Its not a realistic option.

 

2. Good luck getting a guide now. Bee a XMAS miracle if Greg or Bailey are open. But there are lots of good guides. Get on the phone yesterday!

 

3. Weather that time of year is a crap shoot. Basically 50% of the days get cancelled. April is much more weather friendly than February. 

 

4. The fishing here sucks. Go to Florida or Texas.

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"Weather that time of year is a crap shoot. Basically 50% of the days get cancelled. April is much more weather friendly than February."

 

It IS a great fishery, but the weather issues create a crapshoot that almost NEVER gets talked about and has to be learned the hard way. Take a look at the average monthly weather data for NOLA.  When I asked the guide I was scheduling for 5 straight days of fishing, he said November was the best month weatherwise.  But I later realized why in our telephone conversations  he kept using the phrases, "if the weather will cooperate", "depending on the weather", etc.

 

From the data, NOLA is a VERY wet place, rainfall-wise.  And rainfall comes from clouds that block the sunlight creating a problem with sight fishing.   And BIG wind storms murk up the water to the extent that after the first day our guide told us there was no sense in fighting it for the next four days, the water would take a week to clear, and for fly fishing we might as well go home....2000 miles.....totally lost trip.

 

Chew on this.  Coastal Oregon and Washington have the reputation for lots of rain and cloudy days.  The DRIEST month of rainfall in NOLA is seriously wetter, on average, than the wettest months here in the NW.  Yes, rainfall and clouds in the tropics can be heavy and short time intervals and not evey day it rains is necessarily a complete fishing washout......but......being out and exposed carrying a 22' graphite lightning rod for a pole is also not something guides get excited about. 

 

Soooooo......realize what it is and join the crapshoot.  You might just get lucky, choose one day a little ahead, and it works out spectacularly.  Or go there for a couple of days and you might not fish at all.  He says 50% of trips scheduled ahead of time get cancelled......and I have no reason to argue with that figure.  So plan accordingly  Have a backup plan.  Thankfully, NOLA is fun and interesting, even if overcast and raining.

 

The people who really can appreciate this fishery are the locals and those near enough that the travel and committment are not a huge....unrefundable....deal.  For those of us far distant who are only going there to fly fish......scheduled far ahead of time with a guide.......it is a crapshoot ANY time of year that I got burned on so badly that I will likely never fish this fishery in my lifetime.

 

Just another perspective.

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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Went with the wife a couple years ago just after Mardi Gras. Stayed just on the edge of the French Quarter.Fun town. Didn’t get to  fish but some of the best food I’ve ever had. Stay away from the touristy places and eat where the locals eat.

Have Fun

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I’ve only fished NOLA once but as Peter says you need to plan contingency days into your trip. We flew in from the uk for 7 days with 5 days guided fishing in October. We ended up fishing 2 days with one of those being a very good day. 
Our guide was excellent (Capt Branden Keck) and his flexibility saved the trip. 

But it’s a great fishery when the conditions cooperate and I would definitely go again. 

 

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After breakfast at Penny's head to the launch ramp and just before it you can fish the canal from shore. If there's a cold snap redfish will move in the canal right before the little bridge. I've seen locals catch there....all small fish. On the way to Venice as you get close I've notice people fishing from shore....for what? Don't know.

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