Unlocking the Secrets: Your Complete Guide to Louisiana Fishing Season Dates

When does fishing season start in Louisiana?

Fishing enthusiasts and outdoor lovers eagerly anticipate the arrival of fishing season each year. In Louisiana, a state known for its abundant waterways and diverse marine life, fishing is not just a pastime but a way of life. If you’re planning to cast your line in the “Sportsman’s Paradise,” it’s important to know when exactly the fishing season begins. This blog post will guide you through all the essential information you need about fishing seasons in Louisiana.

Understanding Fishing Seasons

Fishing seasons serve an important purpose by protecting fish populations during their spawning periods, ensuring sustainable fisheries and maintaining ecological balance. Each state establishes its own specific dates for different species based on scientific research, population studies, and angler preferences.

Louisiana Fishing Seasons

In Louisiana, fishing opportunities abound throughout the year due to its favorable climate and extensive network of rivers, lakes, bayous, marshes, and coastal waters. The state has distinct seasons for various types of fish found within its borders:

Inshore Species

  • Redfish (Red Drum): The redfish season runs year-round in both saltwater and freshwater areas.
  • Speckled Trout: The speckled trout (spotted seatrout) season typically opens around March/April until early fall.
  • Flounder: The flounder season usually starts around October/November and continues until December/January.

Nearshore Species

  • Cobia: The cobia season traditionally starts in late spring or early summer (around May) through September.
  • Spanish Mackerel: The Spanish mackerel season often coincides with cobia, from late spring to early fall.

Offshore Species

  • Tuna: Tuna fishing is most active during the summer months, typically from May through September.
  • Snapper (Red Snapper): The highly sought-after red snapper can be fished in state waters during a limited period announced annually by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Regulations and Licenses

Prior to heading out on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the regulations and licensing requirements in Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries oversees these rules to ensure sustainable fishing practices and protect both fish populations and habitats. Make sure you possess a valid recreational fishing license specific to your age group or category before casting your line into the water.

Fishing Charters and Guides

If you’re new to fishing or want assistance navigating Louisiana’s vast waters, hiring a professional fishing charter or guide service can greatly enhance your experience. They are well-versed in local conditions, hotspots for different species, safety measures, and angling techniques. Consider booking a trip with an experienced captain who will provide valuable knowledge while ensuring you have an enjoyable outing on the water.

Beyond Fishing Season Dates

While knowing when each fishing season starts is important for planning purposes, keep in mind that great catches can still be found outside those specific periods. The diverse ecosystem within Louisiana’s waterways offers opportunities throughout the year as long as you target appropriate species according to prevailing conditions. Understanding migratory patterns and adapting techniques accordingly will enable you to enjoy a successful fishing trip regardless of the season.


Fishing season in Louisiana offers anglers an array of opportunities to connect with nature, experience thrilling moments on the water, and reel in prized catches. By familiarizing yourself with the specific dates for various fish species and following regulations set by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, you can ensure a sustainable and enjoyable fishing adventure. Remember, whether it’s inshore, nearshore, or offshore fishing that excites you, every outing holds the promise of unforgettable memories amidst Louisiana’s bountiful aquatic wonders.