(Source: Macaroni Kid New Orleans, June 5, 2021)
By Gary Alipio, author of The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou
Put a few fish on your summer adventures this year!
Now that National Fishing and Boating Week has kicked off (June 5-13, 2021), as the summer heats up, so do the fish bites.
Many think you need to have a boat to take a kid fishing. Not true. There are plenty of prime fishing spots right here in New Orleans to get children outdoors for a morning or afternoon of fishing fun. WHY TAKE A KID FISHING? Fishing teaches patience, a love of nature, and frankly, it gets kids away from the screen and outdoors for a little Vitamin D.
First, you don’t have to have expensive gear. You can visit any local sporting goods store and pick up an inexpensive kids’ fishing pole already set up with a hook for less than $15. Academy Sports + Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Puglia’s Sporting Goods will help you with any questions.
Next for beginners, I suggest you pair your rod, reel, cork and hook with these different forms of natural bait like your common earthworms, crickets or night crawlers from your own garden for beginners. You can also find earthworms at Walmart or Puglia’s Sporting Goods on Veterans Highway. For the more skilled anglers, try an artificial spinner bait in the open waters or a plastic worm or crawdad in the weeds or grassy beds.
You Gotta Fish Where The Fish Are!
Here is an avid local fisherman’s Top 5 Local spots for Bluegill, Sunfish, Largemouth Bass and even Catfish caught this spring from the banks.
|5. City Park Marconi Fishing Pier|
6500 Marconi Drive, New Orleans | Hook a large worm and use a cork or even fish it on the bottom corkless. This is a great spot for Catfish or Bluegill. If it’s a windy day, try fishing off the bank on either side in the shade.
|4. Lafreniere Park Carousel|
3000 Downs Blvd, Metairie | Fish the waters behind the Carousel. Bluegill and even small bass have been caught recently using a cork and an earthworm. Also, other areas of the park, look for any moving water from a drain. That’s where the fish will be, and there are several flowing drains in the park.
|3. City Park Couturie Forest Fishing Pier|
1009 Harrison Ave., New Orleans | A short walk in one of New Orleans’ hidden secret hiking areas, by taking the path to the left, you’ll find a little park bench and a fishing pier. Pack a lunch and drinks and make it a relaxing hour or two away from it all. If conditions are right, Largemouth Bass are caught mostly in the mornings.
|2. City Park Casino Building/Popp Bandstand|
56 Dreyfous Dr., New Orleans | This popular spot for music, playground fun and fresh beignets is a hidden gem for kid fishing. Fish the backside of the building near the two bridges. If you’re lucky, the water is clear and you’ll see the schools of fish with your own eyes. Toss a few pieces of bread to stir up the fish feeding frenzy and then cast your worm in the midst.
|1. Big Lake in City Park|
1 Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans | From boating to birding to fishing, City Park’s Big Lake is one of the most popular weekend attractions. A very short walk from New Orleans Museum of Art, there’s a fishing pier, lots of shaded trees or fish the surrounding waters of Bayou Metairie. Bluegill, Bass and even the occasional Spotted Gar have been caught recently. Be warned: you may just forget you came out to Big Lake for the fishing.
Relax, have fun and don’t let the fishing bug bite too hard!
Fishing Disclaimer: If you’re age 16 or older, you must have a Basic Fishing License to fish recreationally in Louisiana. You can purchase it online and print a copy for your wallet from the Department of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. Louisiana also offers a Free Fishing Weekend on the weekend of June 12-13. More info here >
City Park New Orleans Fishing Map >