Is Louisiana Really a Sportsman’s Paradise for Hunting and Fishing?

hunting and fishing in louisianaWe’re all well aware that just about every state in the union is willing to make a case that their hunting and fishing is the best around.

We get that – the men and women who hunt and fish are typically a loyal bunch. That loyalty, however, doesn’t always line up with public opinion.

Someone from New Jersey could swear by the state’s duck hunting – and there’s some merit to that – but as a complete sportsman’s paradise, the Garden State falls woefully short in the court of public opinion.

This past week we read through an article from Louisiana’s tourism board that used the term, “Sportsman’s Paradise.”

You’ve probably heard that yourself, right? Well, we wanted to take a step back from all the marketing and nicknames and take a look at Louisiana as a whole.

What Can You Hunt in Louisiana?

The Bayou State is, no doubt, one of the top five states in the country for duck hunting. Millions of ducks pass through the state, as its diverse and vast wetlands are like a magnet for a variety of species.

duck hunting in louisianaHowever, duck isn’t the only animal up for grabs in Louisiana. Here’s what’s in the lineup this year:

  • Deer
  • American woodcock
  • Migratory birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Dove
  • Quail
  • Rabbit
  • Squirrels
  • Turkey
  • Alligator

Louisiana’s hunter education course is good for life and is accepted by all other states. You don’t need to take the course in order to get your license, but according to state regulations, “the license may be marked as ‘Restricted’ until you take the required course.”

As far as deer hunting goes, Union Parish is the place to be.

“How popular is deer hunting in Union Parish? Name the only parish in the state for which deer have their own Facebook page,” wrote in a recent post. “Yes: It’s Union.”

Union Parish is the state’s 11th largest county and is a deer hunter’s haven through and through.

If it’s waterfowl you want, east and central Louisiana are the gold mines.

“Here, duck hunting is a way of life, and dense forests hide deer that, for some lucky hunters, end up becoming venison for the gumbo pot or the grill,” Louisiana’s tourism department says.

What Can You Fish in Louisiana?

saltwater fishing in louisianaAs for fisherman, you’ve got your choice of the following freshwater game fish:

  • Black bass
  • Striped bass
  • White bass
  • Crappie
  • Yellow bass

Limits on yellow bass, white bass and crappie are big: 25 to 50, and unlimited on yellow bass in Caddo Lake, Sabine River and Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Non-game fish include blue, channel and flathead catfish with generous limits in all state waters aside from Caddo, Sabine and Toledo Bend.

Your choices for saltwater fish are divided up into coastal, reef and migratory:

  • Cobia
  • Drum
  • Southern flounder
  • Mackerel
  • Striped mullet
  • Speckled trout

And your reef fish:

  • Grouper
  • Snapper
  • Almaco jack
  • Gray triggerfish
  • Tilefish
  • Amberjack
  • Hogfish
  • Black seabass
  • Tripletail

And, finally, your migratory species:

  • Marlin
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna
  • Shark
  • Sailfish

The state’s best spots for fishing are the Red River and the Toledo Bend Reservoir in the north and west of the state – there are plenty of bass, trout and crappie to go around.

At the time of publishing Louisiana Sportsman was pushing Delacroix (Black Bay, Breton Sound) as the spot for trout.

May fishing promises respectable size – maybe not lunkers, but nothing that will bring shame to your fish count.

“Fishing the outside waters of Delacroix around the platforms is especially enjoyable for those who don’t like to dirty up the ruler,” contributor Joel Masson wrote.

The state limit for speckled trout is 25 per person, per day, but with a 15-fish limit in certain areas of Cameron and Calcasieu parishes.

Is Louisiana the Best State for Hunting and Fishing?

The Bayou State has plenty of hunting and fishing opportunities, and while it doesn’t have the big-game hunting reputation of an Alaska or Wisconsin, you’ve got a wide variety of game to choose from, not to mention plenty of options for freshwater and saltwater fish.

Is the state the best for sportsmen? We can’t say with certainty, but we know if you asked a Delacroix fisherman or a hunter from Union Parish, the answer would be clear: Yes.

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