Louisiana Marsh Redfishing

The marshes and bays near Buras, Louisiana, offer the world's best redfishing.

September 4, 2015

Whether sight fishing in the marshes or popping corks out in the bays, southern Louisiana offers outstanding redfish opportunities for anglers. You’ll have a hell of a time finding a better redfish destination than the shallow waters that surround Buras, Louisiana.

Into the Marsh

An outdoor media bash held at Cajun Fishing Adventures in late August allowed me to test new gear and accessories from top companies such as Z-Man lures , Huk Gear, Plano, Mustad hooks, Seaguar, Skeeter Boats and LiveTarget lures. Home base was Buras, Louisiana, about 60 miles south of New Orleans, allowing for quick access to the Mississippi River and surrounding marsh areas. The redfish were more than happy to oblige over two days of fishing. Sam Hudson

Point A La Hache

Launching from Point A La Hache Boat Harbor, Capt. C.A. Richardson (right) guided Z-Man Fishing president Jonathan Zucker (left) and myself to a sight-fishing bonanza in the surrounding marshes. The brackish waters were filled with drum and Roseau cane, allowing for plenty of sight-fishing opportunities along seemingly endless shorelines. A couple durable Z-man soft baits and weighted Mustad hooks were all we needed for the day’s fishing. Sam Hudson

More Than Redfish

Redfish, flounder (pictured), gar, black drum and largemouth bass are common species in the marshes near Port Sulphur. The productive bays and creeks are changing from year to year, and local knowledge is vital to explore the evolving landscape. South Louisiana is losing its marshes at a rapid pace, partly because of rising Gulf waters, but also because sediment from the Mississippi River is being pushed out to the Gulf instead of bolstering local wetlands. Sam Hudson

Creek Smarts

A falling tide or favorable wind forces water out of the creeks and grass. Capt. Richardson staked out the skiff with his pushpole at creek mouths to allow us to cast to redfish as they headed toward the deeper bay waters. Top left, a group of white pelicans relaxes in a sheltered pond. Sam Hudson

In the Grass

Weedless baits are important for sight fishing in the marsh, as grass can foul your presentation before a redfish spots your lure. After the hookup, reds often find their way deep into the grass that’s common in the ponds and bays. Sam Hudson

Freshwater Bass

After errant casts to redfish, quickly reeling in a jerkbait across the grass led to hookups from bay bass. The bass aren’t large in size, but the dark-green largemouths are surprisingly aggressive. Weedless jerkbaits were productive, such as Z-man’s Jerk Shadz. Sam Hudson

Watch out for the Locals

Spurred on by the splashing of our redfish catches, this young alligator swam close to our skiff. Of particular interest, our topwater soft baits. Sam Hudson

Bull Reds in the Bay

Day two, we headed out to open water to target bull reds in bays near California Point and Brenton Sound. Capt. Joe DiMarco guided Z-man’s Joey Prochazka and myself to reds that were hot for soft baits rigged 2 to 3 feet below a popping cork. Pictured, Prochazka sets tight to a solid fish. Sam Hudson

Double Hookup

At one particular point, a parade of redfish swam along a sandy edge, allowing Joey and Joe to hook up just seconds apart. Both slot fish ate “tight-lined” jigs (meaning no popping cork was used). These two reds went in to the cooler for dinner. Sam Hudson

Jack Attack

Mixed in with the bull reds were massive jacks. This jack crevalle attacked a Zman Pop ShadZ topwater soft bait. Sam Hudson

Fish Eye View

Capt. DiMarco boats a full-size redfish caught on a Zman Trout Trick. Sam Hudson

A Redfish Haven

For redfish anglers, the waters surrounding Buras and Venice are a dream destination. The reliable bite occurs all year long for slot and oversize reds. There are few places that compare to southern Louisiana’s exceptional redfishing. Sam Hudson

That Other Drum

Besides redfish, black drum are common catches along Louisiana shorelines. This eating-size black drum bit a LiveTarget Shrimp in a clear color pattern. Sam Hudson

Pop and Play

Some reds are too big to lift in the boat with the rod, so a strong Frabill net is a necessity. We tried topwater hard baits and tight-lining jigs, but the majority of bull reds only bit lures that were rigged below a popping cork. The popping cork attracts redfish in the dark-colored water like no other technique. Sam Hudson

Bulls on Parade

This massive red drum measured 52 inches, one of the largest fish of the trip. Mixed in with the reds and jacks were aggressive catfish that readily attacked your soft plastics. Joey, right, caught plenty of both the day we fished together. Sam Hudson

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