Louisiana is a state in the deep south of south-central America, known for its great food, great music and being the Redfish capital of the world! Thanks to its vast area of swampland, spanning over 1,400,000 acres, created by sediment washed down the mighty Mississippi River, there is a wealth of fishing opportunities. This area of wetland, known as the Louisiana Marsh or ‘Bayou’, is the perfect habitat for the Redfish, and it’s home to both the largest Redfish in size, and the most significant overall population found anywhere in the world. Over the past decade or so, since the fly fishing community has seen their worth as a sportfish, the Redfish’s popularity has soared, and now they’re a species on the wishlist of many travelling rods.
Our Lodges in Louisiana, the Sportsmans and the Dogwood, are well situated, with the marshes and several barrier islands just a stone’s throw away from some of the very best coastal fishing found anywhere in the gulf. While the beautiful copper-coloured Redfish remain the anglers primary target, there’s also plenty of opportunities to catch Black Drum, Sheepshead, Jacks, Alligator Gar, and more! As you’d expect, the area is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including Alligators, numerous species of Birds, Turtles, Sea Otters, Raccoons and Dolphin, to name a few. The Louisiana marsh is truly a fishermans and nature lovers paradise!
The main area’s for fly fishing for Redfish will be dictated by which accommodation you choose to stay in; however, the Louisianna Marsh is that vast, there’s plenty of quality fishing grounds to go around!
The Sportsman Lodge, located in the Venice Marina in Venice, Louisianna, is a 90-minute drive south of New Orleans, on the Mississippi River Delta. Surrounded by a vast array of marshes and close to several barrier islands, it offers some of the best coastal fishing for Redfish, Speckled Trout and many other saltwater species. The fishery is located just a stone’s throw away from the accommodation, and each day the guides will literally come and pick you up right from your doorstep. The exact water you’ll be fishing will depend on the time of year, as well as the general weather and water conditions. However, most fishing is all in shallow water, casting into bays, ponds, canals, and expansive mudflats.
Due to the Sportsmans Lodge close proximity to the gulf, it’s a proper big fish destination, and the area is famed for the big bull Redfish that move into the marsh during the fall and early winter months.
The Dogwood Lodge is located past the end of the world marina, also known as the Hopedale Marina in Hopedale, a 45-minute drive southeast of New Orleans, and is on the edge of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, right on the edge of the Biloxi Marsh. Anglers can literally step right off the accommodation, onto the skiff and start a day on the water. The guides are some of the best in the state and will not only provide you with some incredible angling opportunities fly fishing for Redfish but a complete low country experience. This tour is all about trading scenes of the big city for scenes of Shrimp boats, Alligators, and the unique landscape of the Louisiana marshland.
Shallow-water sight fishing is the name of the game, and although the Redfish can be as challenging as any game fish, they love to eat flies. The canals, dotted with innumerable lakes, bays, ponds, and lagoons, provide a wide variety of habitats that offers some of the best Redfish fishing found anywhere!
Louisiana is considered by many as the Redfish capital of the world, and these fish are plentiful throughout the marshes and wetlands. A big brawny cousin of the Speckled Trout, with gill plates and large, tough scales as thick as your thumbnail, they’re able to tolerate dirty water and can even live entirely in freshwater. They’re beautiful looking fish, dark red in colour on their back, fading into white on their belly, with a characteristic eyespot near their tail.
They can be found in the freshest of ponds and the saltiest of bays. They can happily live offshore side by side with Snapper and sharks and in freshwater next to Bluegill and Bullhead Carp. Despite being classed as a saltwater species, they don’t need salt to survive; they only need a specific calcium level to be present in the water.
They grow at varying speeds, depending on their environment and how much food is readily available. The fish in Louisiana are some of the largest found globally, thanks to the low tidal swings and abundant populations of food, like Shrimps and Crab, for them to gorge on. The average size of fish is typically around 6lb to 10lb; however, much larger specimens get landed every week, and the current Louisiana state record is an absolute monster of 61lb.
As well as Redfish, when fishing in Louisiana, it’s also possible to catch an array of different species, with Black Drum, Sheepshead, Jacks, Alligator Gar all willing to take an anglers bait or fly.
The majority of the Redfish in Louisiana get caught sight fishing in 1-3 feet of water. They’re possible to catch on lures, bait, and flies, but our guides are heavily based on saltwater fly fishing and will pole you around the marshes on skiffs looking for groups of fish you can present too. When fishing for them, it’s essential to be on your toes and ready to make a quick cast to moving fish. Of course, there’ll be times when the fish are tailing and nosing in the sediment for food, but it still pays if you’re a reasonably capable caster. That said, in general, the species are very forgiving. Unlike other saltwater species like Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit, where a super softly approach is required, you don’t need to be as gentle with the Redfish. Regularly you’ll get more than one cast at a fish, and it often doesn’t need to be that precise; they might miss the fly the first time round but will often come round again for a second and even third look – they love eating flies! When hooked, they don’t typically run you 100ft into your backing or leap clear of the water, but they fight like a bulldog and are great fun on a balanced fly tackle.
You can expect to catch between 5 to 10 fish on an average day, and when conditions are good, 15 to 25 fish aren’t uncommon. Each month there’ll also be memorable days when up to 50 fish are possible.
To find out more about saltwater fly fishing for Redfish in Louisiana, visit our YouTube channel.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to fish for and catch the Redfish all year round. However, June, July and August can often produce the best results and are the most popular. These are the hottest months and the time of year when the water clarity is best.
September through to May is often the best time of year to catch the most significant specimens. At this time of the year, the marsh system has filtered enough water to make for the most optimal sight fishing conditions. But that’s not to say a big storm couldn’t move through and, with the wind, muddy up the marsh. It’s worth noting the later in the calendar year you leave it, the more unpredictable the weather can be.
Many guides and seasoned Redfish anglers will recommend a 9ft 8 or 9-weight rod, paired with a saltwater reel and spooled with a warm water, weight-forward floating line. Leaders tend to be between 9ft and 12ft in length, tapered with a 40lb butt, down to a 15lb to 20lb tippet.
Fly wise, many patterns work well, although most of the popular models are 3 inches long, come with bead eyes and are fished weedless. For the biggest bull fish, a 5 or 6 inch fly with white and puffy synthetics will work well, and like with many of the Redfish flies, it doesn’t have to resemble anything specific. This fish are often just looking for a meal and will eat just about anything it thinks will fit in its mouth.
Located in south Louisiana, our Lodges offer a blend of first-class accommodation, memorable cuisine of southern cooking and exceptional fishing opportunities. We have two different accommodations to choose from:
The Dogwood is a historical vessel, initially built for the US Coast Guard as buoy tender on the upper MS. River, before being converted into a multiday ship with a range of comfortable accommodation.
It features two open decks, which provides space to relax and absorb the magnificent surroundings. On the second deck, known as the Mississippi Room, there’s a large comfortable lounge area, which features a widescreen TV and a complimentary bar. It’s the perfect spot to relax after a day of fishing and exchange stories about the one’s that got away with other anglers.
The Lodge offers six private rooms with two twin beds per room, and each room has a private bathroom. The rooms are named after the rivers she has traversed throughout her past: Red, White, Arkansas, Atchafalaya, Ouachita and Kanawha.
On the Dogwood, breakfast and dinner get served in the dining room, appropriately named the Ohio Room. Seating twelve for meals, it can easily convert into a meeting room for corporate retreats and training sessions. All food prepared by the chefs consists of quality local table fare. A packed lunch, bottled water and soft drinks also get supplied on each fishing day.
The SWC Sportsmans Lodge is a 110-foot luxury barge with over 5,000 square feet of accommodation. It has been hosting anglers since 2014.
The Lodge features a large lounge with a comfortable seating area and a widescreen TV. There’s also a complimentary bar and an outdoor seating area, where you can enjoy a morning coffee or a beer in the evening. Upstairs there is a selection of individual staterooms with various berthing arrangements; each features a flat-screen TV and a private or semi-private bathroom. The rooms on offer:
Room One: Sleeps up to 4 in 2 sets of bunks with its own bathroom.
Room Two: Sleeps up to 2 in 2 twin beds with a bathroom shared with room four.
Room Three: Sleeps up to 3 in 1 twin and 1 set of bunks with a bathroom shared with room five.
Room Four: Sleeps up to 2 in 2 twins with a bathroom shared with room two.
Room Five: Sleeps up to 3 in 1 twin and 1 set of bunks with a bathroom shared with room three.
Room Six: Sleeps up to 2 in 2 twins with its own bathroom and outside balcony.
Room Seven: Sleeps up to 2 in 2 twins with its own bathroom and outside balcony.
Room Suite: Sleeps up to 2 in 2 twins with a separate living area its own bathroom.
All food gets prepared by the Lodges chefs in the open kitchen and dining area and consists of local table fare. A packed lunch, bottled water and soft drinks also get supplied on each fishing day.
The below itinerary is flexible should you require additional fishing days or additional free days to explore; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Arrive New Orleans
Once you have arrived and collected your luggage, you will need to transfer/taxi the short drive to your overnight hotel. After check-in, you are then free to relax around the hotel or take a stroll around the local shops.
Overnight accommodation: Airport hotel (Twin Room) R/O
A representative from Southern Way Charters will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to the Dogwood or Sportsmans Lodge depending on which one you’re staying in. The transfer time is around 1 hour 20 minutes to Dogwood or 2 hours to Sportsmans Lodge.
Once at the lodge you’ll be free to explore the local surroundings or relax and prepare for the next days fishing.
Overnight accommodation: Dogwood or Sportsmans Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
For the next five days, you’ll be fishing in and around the marshes of Louisiana for the hard fighting Redfish.
The majority of the Redfish in Louisiana get caught sight fishing in 1-3 feet of water. They’re possible to catch on lures, bait, and flies, but our guides are heavily based on saltwater fly fishing and will pole you around the marshes on skiffs looking for groups of fish you can present too. When fishing for them, it’s essential to be on your toes and ready to make a quick cast to moving fish.
Overnight accommodation: Dogwood or Sportsmans Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
After breakfast, a representative from Southern Way Charters will transfer you back to New Orleans airport. Checkout time is 11.00 pm. The transfer time is around 1 hour 20 minutes from Dogwood or 2 hours from Sportsmans Lodge.
Once back in New Orleans you’ll be free to enjoy some food and sightseeing, before your flight later that evening. (We thoroughly recommend a trip to the WWII museum.)
Depart New Orleans
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 92%
"Me and my brother both love our fly fishing and after doing the 'traditional saltwater thing' for a good few years we fancied something completely different, so opted for a week in Louisiana chasing Redfish and what a week it was! The sport was explosive and every day we almost lost count of the number of fish we landed, including some true bruisers into double figures! The lodge is comfortable and the food was very good, the guides were most helpful too."
"This was a fantastic trip right into the heart of deep south America and I absolutely loved every second of it! The fishing was first class and busy - we landed lots of fish each day and lots many more. I also couldn't leave a review without talking about the food... the Crawfish and Shrimp was simply out of this world! It's a destination and part of the world I'd definitely like to return to one day."
"We had a fantastic week in Louisiana fishing in and around the marshes. It was incredible watching the Redfish charge at your flies in the shallow water and even more incredible when they hit it! They certainly get down and dirty when hooked too. The guide we had was a great laugh and overall we enjoyed an excellent week."
The season runs from All Year .
Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 5lb to 40lb
Average Weight: 12lb
Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 5lb to 45lb
Average Weight: 10lb
Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 10lb to 100lb
Average Weight: 25lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on two anglers sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharges.
Me and my brother both love our fly fishing and after doing the 'traditional saltwater thing' for a good few years we fancied something completely different, so opted for a week in Louisiana chasing Redfish and what a week it was! The sport was explosive and every day we almost lost count of the number of fish we landed, including some true bruisers into double figures! The lodge is comfortable and the food was very good, the guides were most helpful too.
This was a fantastic trip right into the heart of deep south America and I absolutely loved every second of it! The fishing was first class and busy - we landed lots of fish each day and lots many more. I also couldn't leave a review without talking about the food... the Crawfish and Shrimp was simply out of this world! It's a destination and part of the world I'd definitely like to return to one day.
We had a fantastic week in Louisiana fishing in and around the marshes. It was incredible watching the Redfish charge at your flies in the shallow water and even more incredible when they hit it! They certainly get down and dirty when hooked too. The guide we had was a great laugh and overall we enjoyed an excellent week.
The trip was fantastic and so was the fishing, the Redfish are incredibly dogged fighters and watching them hammer your fly in the shallow water was incredibly exciting. Everything ran smoothly from the moment I left my house to the moment I returned home and I'd like to thank everyone involved in making my trip a memorable one.