The kayak highway

Perry Watts tricked this nice speck with a curly-tail Gulp and jig head combo. Fishing down Hwy. 1 offers kayak anglers diverse habitat ranging from marsh, rock jetties, road-side canals, bridges, beaches, and more.

Louisiana’s Hwy. 1 corridor has endless possibilities for kayakers

If you are looking for some great kayak saltwater fishing in southeast Louisiana, look no further than the Louisiana Hwy. 1 corridor. From Galliano down to Grand Isle, there are endless places to launch the kayak in pursuit of a wide variety of saltwater species. The habitat is diverse and provides access to year-round kayak fishing.

Be it combat launching off the side of the road or taking advantage of full-service marinas, this area has it all and offers fishability in all conditions and all seasons. Trout, redfish and flounder are the obvious favorites, but sheepshead, drum, white trout and jack crevalle are also common catches.

Note that most all of this area sustained damages from prior storms and particularly bad was hurricane Ida on August 29, 2021. While much of the area has somewhat recovered, there is still visible debris and destruction in some areas. However, most of the key businesses are back and available for fishing related needs like food, lodging, groceries, fuel, tackle and bait, etc.  Your support of these area businesses is much needed and appreciated, too.

Changing habitat

The fishing habitat has also sustained changes. If you’ve fished these areas in the past, you will note that many small ponds may now be open water, small islands may now be cut in half or gone altogether. Storm debris still litters some shorelines as well as being in-water obstructions. Deep holes may have silted in by several feet. While the habitat has changed some, fishing has not. Consistent good reports have continued as more and more anglers have returned.

If you are familiar with a particular location, even though it may look different, chances are it will still fish the same. An area that once was a visible island may still maintain significant underwater structure to hold and attract fish. Don’t overlook any areas just because they are not visually the same as you remember.

Furthest north in Galliano, launching from the old Basson’s launch gets you into the famed Sulphur Mine area. Certainly, popular for wintertime trout fishing, this area also provides some great summertime action for trout, reds and other species. Although the marsh around the old mine areas has opened up some, it still has enough broken areas to provide protection and ample fishing areas on windy days. Good fishing can be found while still within sight of the launch. Paddling a bit further gets you out to the mine area and larger bayous and cuts throughout the marsh.

Good spot to try

Heading south, the Catfish Lake area of Golden Meadow also offers some great kayak fishing. There is a public launch in Golden Meadow that is about a 1.5-mile paddle into the lake. However, marsh fishing abounds all around the area. The area is great for trout and reds and some area regulars have good flounder spots dialed in.

Hwy 1 returns to a two-lane road just below Golden Meadow. There are several places between there and Leeville where you can combat launch into the marsh on either side of the highway. There is a lot of car and 18-wheeler traffic along the highway, so be sure to avoid loading and unloading close to the highway. For secure parking and access to the vast marsh and lake complex on the east side of the highway, Topwater Marina has a double back-down ramp and a small kayak launch area nearby. Although the marina sustained heavy damage from Ida, the launch is fully operational with an honor box for launch fees. The marina store has not reopened at this time. Great kayak fishing is available all through the system of marsh and canals in Leeville.

The elevated Hwy. 1 toll bridge begins in Leeville and ends in Fourchon. The bridge is toll-by-plate and you will receive a toll bill in the mail a couple weeks after using the bridge. There is a large public launch at the end of the road. You can also take the toll bridge to the old Hwy. 1 at ground level. This road sees little traffic and offers combat launching off of both sides into some great marsh fishing areas and out to the elevated roadway itself. While the marsh between the elevated bridge and the old highway has been battered pretty badly from the storms, the fishing remains good. Fish the broken marsh and circle all small islands before moving on to the next spot.

Redfish abound all along the Highway 1 corridor. These cookie-cutter slot reds fell to a jig head and soft plastic tail slowly worked along a grassy shoreline.

Head straight through the intersection when you come off the toll road and look for the Fourchon public launch (Irvin P. Melancon launch). The launch has concrete ramps and a large rocked parking lot. Fishing is in a large area of canals and broken marsh. It is a favorite area for many kayakers looking for some good trout and red action.

Vast marsh complex

Back on Hwy. 1 between Fourchon and Grand Isle is a vast marsh complex with many side-road parking and launch spots. As you get closer to Grand Isle, there are two small bridges that are favorites for kayak anglers. Note: these are also popular bank fishing spots, so be mindful of anglers fishing off of, and along side of, the bridges. Many good trout, flounder and reds come from these areas. A little further south is the small bridge heading to Elmer’s Island. Many launch here to fish the interior waters around the island.

Crossing over onto Grand Isle itself provides access to several different areas. Bridge Side Marina, Wake Side Marina, and Grand Isle Marina all have fully operational marinas with backdown ramps and stocked tackle/grocery and bait stores. The Kristen and Danny Wray public kayak launch is about mid-island on Ludwig Lane next to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries building. It has a sand launch and gravel parking area.

All of these launches offer access into the back-island waterways filled with rock jetties, fishing piers/docks, small out-islands, mangrove shorelines and more. For those looking to try their luck on the Gulf side, several public access points have parking and a trail to cart your kayaks over the levee and onto the beach.

The area available to kayak anglers in the Hwy. 1 corridor is so vast that you could fish it for several years and still find new territory. There is an abundance of diverse habitat and structure to support many styles of fishing.  Head down Hwy. 1, pick a spot, and odds are you will catch fish.

About Chris Holmes 247 Articles
Chris Holmes has kayak fished in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and many places in between.

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