Where: Interstate 55 corridor (St. John the Baptist/Tangipahoa parishes)
What: Bass, bream, sac-a-lait
How: The waters under Interstate 55 in St. John the Baptist and Tangipahoa parishes offer great early-spring bass and panfish fishing. It’s generally calm with minimal boat traffic.
Launch: There are many kayak combat launch locations along Highway 51 that runs parallel to the elevated interstate. There is also a concrete backdown launch near the Ruddock Canal. Fish the tree-lined shoreline on the west side of I-55 and the many small cuts and canals. Bass are hitting small topwater lures in baby bass or chrome colors. Yellow and black spinnerbaits are also hard to beat. Sac-a-lait are being caught on live shiners and blue/white or black/chartreuse tube jigs under a small cork. Bream are looking for live worms and crickets, but also hit small Beetle Spins in yellow/black stripe and white.
Insider tip: If you like fishing from a kayak, this area is great for bream and bass on a small fly rod. Small poppers and bug imitations in yellow, white or orange are favored colors.
Where: Grand Isle
What: Redfish and Speckled Trout
How: April is generally considered the start of trout season. By the time the full moon arrives at the end of the month, many big specks will be ready for the first spawn of the year. Trout have moved from the marshes and out toward the beaches and saltier waters. A short paddle from Bridge Side Marina gets you across the pass to Elmer’s Island. Big specks prowl Elmer’s surf, and recent changes that no longer allow driving to the beach keep it less crowded than in the past. You can choose to fish from the kayak, or stake it out and do some wade fishing. Topwater plugs and suspending lures are the ticket for springtime spawners. Natural colors and mullet imitations are always a good choice. Watch for schools of mullet and cast to the edge of the schools and work the lures in the same direction. If fishing with a partner, one working a topwater while the other throws a suspending lure is a great strategy. Fished missed on top can often be caught with a follow-up from a suspending bait.
Launch: Launch at Bridge Side Marina. They have a backdown ramp or a small sandy area to the left of the backdown. They have full facilities including live bait, tackle, restaurant, camp ground, rooms and cabins. 1618 La. Highway 1 (on the right at the end of the Highway 1 bridge to Grand Isle.) Kayak launch fee $3.00. (985) 787-2419
Insider tip: If the beach fishing is slow, don’t overlook fishing along the rock jetties across the pass. If the pass is too rough, drive down to Ludwig Lane and launch at the Kristen and Danny Wray public kayak launch. There is no launch fee, and you can fish protected waters around a large reef.