Reader looking for Vermilion hotspots

Most anglers avoid fishing right after a cold front blows through the state, but bass in the streams and bayous on Lake Ponchartrain’s North Shore go bananas.

Dear Capt. Paul:

Do have GPS coordinates for Pavy’s Reef? It is just outside of Vermilion Bay’s Southwest Pass.

Also would you have any coordinates for the Tiger Shoals area, which is about 7 miles south of the pass?

Any other coordinates for fishing hotspots in this area would be very helpful.

Thanks very much, Dan

Capt. Paul’s response:

Pavy’s Reef is the name given to a long, banana-shaped reef that is located between Southwest Pass, Vermillion and Diamond Reef to the east of the pass. It is about 2.3 miles east of Lighthouse Point in Southwest Pass.The southern part of the reef and farthest from the shoreline is at or about N29 33.033 x W92 00.920. The northern part of the reef is actually against the shoreline about 1,400 yards due north of this position.

Tiger Shoals is an area that extends for a distance of over 13 miles.

There are a series of rigs that are about 9.2 miles at a bearing of 192 degrees magnetic from Southwest Pass.

The center of the western-most cluster is at or about N29 26.800 x W92 04.695, and the eastern-most group is at a bearing of 185 degrees magnetic, and is at or about N29 26.479 x W92 03.703.

All of these rigs are within a five-mile diameter of each other, and are in Block 217 and 218 of the Marsh Island North Edition Leased Blocks.

Tiger Shoals is located just to the south of these positions with the southwestern-most part being at or about N29 21.377 x W092 08.714. The shoal continues to the northeast for another 12 miles, ending just north of Shell Keys.

Shell Keys is a section of reefs that has what appears to be a horseshoe with the open end facing south at the southernmost part of the reef. It is east of the Diamond Reef area.

The western-most part of this horseshoe (at the southern end of the reef) is at or about N29º 24.567 x W91º 51.310.

The east part of the horseshoe is reported to be marked with an unknown marker. It is at or about N29º 24.389 x W91º 50.999. The reef on the western side extends northward for about 1.25 miles, past some shells that should be visible at low tide to a point that is at or about N29º 25.637 x W91º 51.291. The northeast part of the reef is at or about N29º 25.992 x W91º 50.153.

From this point to the east side of the southern horseshoe, it is reported that there are three markers. Use caution in this area as there are numerous shoals and reefs in the area.

By the way, Pavy’s reef and over 205 other waypoints are part of my Capt. Paul’s Fishing Edge of GPS Waypoints for the Vermilion Bay area.

Dear Capt. Paul:

There is a drilling rig that was sunk referred to as the “Leg” about 55 miles south of Freshwater City.Do you have the GPS coordinates for this rig and the three surrounding legs (about 4 miles away from rig)?


Capt. Paul’s response:

I am not quite sure that I have located the Leg platform that you are inquiring about, but here is what I have. Generally “leg” is short for tension-leg platform, which is a vertically moored floating platform used in offshore production. It is designed to operate in water that is in the 1000-foot range. These types of platforms are generally placed in deep offshore waters.

The Coast Guard announced in the Local Notice to Mariners Week 49 of 2006 edition that there was a sunken platform in the Vermillion area of the Gulf at or about a position of N28° 41’ 17.0 x W092°24’ 25.0. This reported position is stated using WGS 84 datum.

That position would put the sunken platform in Vermilion Block 217. The position reported is about 50.5 nautical miles (58.2 statue miles) at a heading of 184 degrees magnetic from the mouth of Freshwater Bayou Channel at the Gulf of Mexico.

In double checking the site, I found that the Mineral Management Services’ web site ( indicates three platforms in Block 217. They are listed as VR217F at N28°41.407’ x W92°24.850; VR217C at N28°42.0887 x W92°25.776; and VR217A at N28°41.472 x W92°24.686.

All were reported to be operated by Samson Contour Energy E&P. The operating depth of these platforms is indicated at about 20 fathoms, or about 120 feet. The positions for these platforms are given using NAD 27 datum.

It is possible that the sunken platform you seek is the one listed by the USCG or maybe one of the three other structures shown to be in Block 217. The distances you describe are similar to the positions of the above three platforms as they relate to one another.

Note the different datum that was indicated, and program your GPS to that datum when entering the positions.

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About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on since 2000. He has been fishing and hunting in Louisiana since 1957. Titus holds a USCG license and conducts instruction courses in the use of GPS for private individuals and government agencies.