Where are Nickel Reef and Central Rig?

If locating transition trout has got you down, put your bay boat to use by fishing the wells and pipes — and the cobia that hold on them — this September.

Capt. Paul:

Could you give me lat/long for the north and south end of a reef? This reef is approximately 500 to 1,000 feet in length, and runs roughly in a north/south direction.Its distance is about 1 1/2 miles with a heading of about 120 degrees from this position: N 29.30.056 x W 91.55.981.

I really enjoy your articles and forum.

R.L. Broussard

Capt. Paul’s Response:

The position that you provided is located on the western side of a shoal that begins at the shoreline and extends southerly from the south shoreline of Marsh Island into the Gulf of Mexico in the rough shape of the letter V.

It is located east of Southwest Pass and west of Mound Point on Marsh Island.

The area is indicated as a shoal on NOAA chart 11349-Vermillion Bay and Approaches. I suggest that view or get a current copy of this chart.

The southernmost part of the very wide shoal is marked by several Aids to Navigation (ATON) markers. These evidently mark somewhat of a passage between several oil platforms that are at the immediate south end of the shoal.

One of the day markers, Red No. 20, is closest to the shoal and is located at or about N 29º 28.551 latitude x W 91º 54.132 longitude. The other, marked Red No. 12, is at or about N 29º 28.516 latitude x W 91º 54.214 longitude.

These ATONs are between two oil platforms that form an east-west line south of the shoaling. The east platform is at or about N 29º 28.525 latitude x W 91º 54.066 longitude, while the westernmost of the two is at or about N 29º 28.560 latitude x W 91º 54.326 longitude.

There is also an ATON that is a light in the area. It is a 17-foot-high light that is marked Green No. 1. The light flashes every three seconds. This light is at or about N 29º 28.224 latitude x W 91º 54.590 longitude.

I would assume that the platforms and the ATONs basically mark the southern end of the shoal and that it extends all the way to the shoreline of Marsh Island. The shoreline from these platforms is about 2.9 miles due north, and is at or about N 29º 31.105 latitude x W 91º 54.486 longitude.

Water depth around the shoal is indicated by the chart to be between 3 and 5 feet. Water depth over the shoal is indicated as barely covering the shoal with numerous bare spots.

Review the maps and charts and you will get a good appreciation how the shoal is shaped.


Capt. Paul:

You gave me waypoints to Nickel Reef not too long ago, and I went straight to it. However, my GPS died on me, and I could not recover the waypoints.

If you could give me them one more time, I would be very grateful. The reef I’m talking about is about 15 miles southeast of Burns Point.

Steve Allen

Capt. Paul’s Response:

Burns Point is a local name given to Salt Point, which is on east side of Cote Blanche Bay, and just north of the small Bayou Sale Bay. It is just east of the town of Burns. It is also just north along the shoreline from Point Chevreuil.

Nickel Reef is a local name given to a small reef in the outer reef area of the southern part of East Cote Blanche Bay, about 11.7 miles SSW (230º) from Point Chevreuil. It is located at or about 29º 25.078 N x 91º 42.308 W. It is a small slender reef that is in a north to south direction. It is about 6 miles SSE of South Point of Marsh Island.

The Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries has an Inshore artificial reef site, called Reef Nickel. It is located at or about 29º 25.178 N x 91º 42.457 W, which is slightly northwest of the existing Nickel Reef.

In addition there is another reef located northwest of the Nickel Reef site. The center of this banana-shaped reef that is in a northwest to southeast direction is located at or about 29º 27.078’ N x 91º 43.380’ W.

Use caution navigating to the location, as a straight-line course from Point Chevreuil will place you over and/or near several other reefs in the area. Several of these reefs are just below the water surface.

I strongly suggest that you secure NOAA chart No. 11351-Point au Fer to Marsh Island. This chart covers the area that you are describing. It will allow you to view the numerous other reefs thoughout the area as well as the two mentioned above.


Capt. Paul:

What are the GPS readings for the Central Rig in Breton Sound?

Joseph Murphy


The Central Rig is one of about eight platforms of the Kerr-McGee series of rigs in the area north of the MRGO. It about 5 miles directly north of Red No. 22 buoy in the MRGO channel. It is about 3.8 miles northwest of the Gosier Islands — or what is left of the islands — and is about 6.5 miles north-northeast of North Point Island.

The Central Rig is located at or about 29º 34.692’ N x 89º 07.034’ W. It is about 39 miles from Breton Sound Marina, and is sometimes a producer of quality fish.


Got a GPS question? Ask it at louisianasportsman.com, and Capt. Paul Titus will give you an answer either at the site or here in the magazine.

About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on LouisianaSportsman.com 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.