Louisiana is called the Sportsman’s Paradise state for a good reason, and Pointe Aux Chenes Kayak Fishing is a big contributor to that reputation. The salt marsh in South Louisiana has easily been one of the most productive ecosystems I’ve ever fished. Out of all the bayous and salt marshes in South Louisiana, there is no better place for kayak fishing than the 35,000+ acre Pointe Aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area. Pointe Aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area is located just south of Houma near the town of Montegut. I have caught redfish here using everything from live bait to bass lures. You can even use a fly rod pretty successfully here; and catching a redfish on a fly rod is an unforgettable fishing experience.
The Wildlife Management Area is run by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. You can find some helpful information about the management area on their website. They also provide a map of management area that you can view by clicking HERE. They have a station right at the entrance to Pointe Aux Chenes so this is one place you definitely will want to remember to bring your fishing license.
The entire wildlife management area is one big maze of canals through the salt marsh. The area has hundreds of secluded coves and inlets waiting to be fished. The great thing about kayak fishing is that you’re not constrained by water depth as you would be in a boat. So you’re able to fish the entirety of the marsh, including all the areas that aren’t accessible to normal boats.
Pointe Aux Chenes is located right at the transition zone between salt water from the Gulf of Mexico and freshwater from the inland Louisiana bayous. This means that there are a huge variety of fish you can catch within the wildlife management area. Bass, Sac-a-lait (Cajun French for crappie), and gar are common in the northern sections of Pointe Aux Chenes. I have seen people catch some massive alligator gar here. You would be surprised how far up the bayou you will catch saltwater species though. They’re not as common in the northern areas, but you can still catch redfish and speckled trout here.
The southern half of Pointe Aux Chenes is brackish water and is dominated by saltwater species. This is where the redfish capital of Louisiana (and probably the whole Gulf Coast) is. You also shouldn’t have any trouble finding flounder and speckled trout once you’ve had enough fishing for reds.
Where to Launch
There are a multitude of places to launch and kayak fish within Pointe Aux Chenes. Here’s a quick list of the most common Pointe Aux Chenes kayak fishing launch locations.
- Pointe Aux Chenes Marina. The first is the Pointe Aux Chenes Marina. Pointe Aux Chenes Marina is located at the very end of Highway 665, also known as Pointe Aux Chenes Road. The benefits to launching here is that it gives you immediate access to fishing near the channel that extends from Cutoff Canal. This is the channel that runs right next to the marina. This waterway is heavily influenced by tides. The stronger current here brings in more baitfish and therefore more specks and reds. The best way to fish this area is to get out of the main channel though, because this is the expressway for boats entering and leaving Pointe Aux Chenes. The drawback to launching from the marina is all the boat traffic and it will cost you $5 to park and launch your kayak there.
- Island Road. Island road is probably the most frequently used launch location by kayak fisherman in Pointe Aux Chenes. The road is about 3 miles long and it connects Isle de Jean Charles to the rest of the Pointe Aux Chenes community. The road is bordered by water on both sides so you can pull over and launch wherever you would like. My usual launch locations on Island Road are either at the small boat launch at the eastern end of the road, near the small bridge about halfway down, or at the western end of the road right where Isle de Jean Charles begins. The boat launch is free and maintained by the Louisiana Fish and Wildlife Department. It’s mostly only designed for mudboats and jon boats because the water north of island road can be extremely shallow at times.
There is a small bridge about halfway down Island Road that passes over a small channel. The channel is the only flow through between the water bodies north and south of Island Road. So during tide changes a pretty strong current can develop here. If you’re fishing from shore this is the place to do it on Island Road. The wooden structure here is also a great place to break out the cast net and restock your bait bucket. The last launch location on Island Road I utilize is on the western end right before it turns south onto Isle de Jean Charles. For this launch I will either park on the shoulder or in the turnaround area at the end of Island Road. When I launch here I fish the south side of Island Road. There are a lot of old pier structures and sunken boats within the marsh here. In my opinion, kayak fishing around these structures is one of the most productive areas of Pointe Aux Chenes for redfish. There is very limited boat traffic in this area, so you can usually find at least a couple reds to start the day. Having said all that, you can pretty much pull over on the shoulder and launch from anywhere you’d like on Island Road. These three locations just happen to be where I like to start my fishing trips.
- Pointe Aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area Launch. The Pointe Aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area Launch is located on the left (east) side of Pointe Aux Chenes Road as you are heading southbound into Pointe Aux Chenes. There will be a bridge on your left right after you pass the Wildlife and Fisheries office. The bridge takes you over Bayou Pointe Au Chien to a parking lot for the Wildlife Management Area. This parking lot has a small boat launch for people to launch mudboats, jon boats and kayaks into the northeastern section of Pointe Aux Chenes. There’s also a small dock along Bayou Pointe Au Chien here that is a very popular crabbing spot on weekends. This body of water has minimal connection to the rest of Pointe Aux Chenes and as a result the water has a lower salinity here. When I launch from this location I usually make my way over to the dam that connects this body of water to Grand Bayou. The dam can be a very productive for redfish and trout. The only drawback here is that it’s right along the canal and it’s a very popular fishing spot for boaters as well. So you probably won’t be fishing alone if you head out this way.
- Bason’s Launch. Bason’s Marina is actually located on the eastern side of Pointe Aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area. So instead of being located south of Houma, this launch is located south of Lockport, right off the 4 lane highway that takes you to Port Fourchon. This launch is another place that sees a lot of boat traffic, so expect a crowd on weekends. The reason Bason’s is so popular is because it provides a direct route to the famous fishing area called the Sulfur Mine. The whole eastern side of Pointe Aux Chenes is also great for kayak fishing though. Most people launch their boats at Bason’s and take off right towards the Sulfur Mine. If you launch your kayak here you can head north and fish the less traveled areas of the marsh up that way. If you do launch at Bason’s they operate on a $5 launch fee for kayaks
How to Kayak Fish for Reds
Here’s a quick run down on how to catch your limit of redfish (red drum) from your kayak. This list is definitely not all inclusive, there are tons of different ways to catch redfish so make sure you experiment on your own as well. I just wanted to give you a good starting point. I usually bring two rods with me on the kayak. Some kayaks are rigged up to support more rods, or you can modify yours by adding additional rod holders if you would like. In any case though, I wouldn’t bring more than three. I usually set it up so I have one rod rigged with some type of bait and then I use a lure on the other rod. This allows me to actively fish the lure while my bait is also hopefully attracting some fish. The drawbacks to this method are that you can end up catching a lot of catfish on the baited rod. You also need to be cognizant of where the bait is and how much line you have out.
A good place to star when you’re fishing for redfish is to look for them! You can often spot a redfish in the shallow salt marsh by the wake they leave behind them. People will usually refer to this as “tailing”. Redfish like to hangout up against the edge of the grass in the marsh. They wait here for food to come out of the grass. When I’m kayak fishing for redfish I try to glide into the coves in the marsh and throw my lure right up against the grass. When there is a redfish there I’ll usually get a strike as soon as the lure hits the water. That makes for a pretty exciting fight.
As far as what lures to use, you have a ton of options. In my experience, redfish are voracious predators that will strike at most things that move. Here’s a quick list of some of the most successful lures that I throw every time I go kayak fishing.
1. Gold Spoon: The Gold Spoon is the all time classic redfish lure. The simple design can produce amazing results. You should fish this lure with a slight jig in your retrieval to convince the redfish to bite. You can check the current price of these lures on Amazon HERE.
2. Vudu Shrimp: The shrimp lure under a popping cork is a more recent development in redfish lures, but it has caught on quick. Many people will tell you this is their favorite lure. It also seems to work just as well for speckled trout as it does for redfish. You can check the current price on Amazon HERE.
3. Chatter Bait: Even though chatter baits are marketed as more of a bass lure, I’ve had a lot of success fishing for redfish with them from my kayak. This just goes to show you that redfish will eat just about anything that moves in their vicinity. You can check the current price on Amazon HERE.
4. Soft Plastic Jig: If I’m having trouble getting a strike with the other lures, my go-to lure is just a small plastic jig. I’ve seen it a lot where I can see redfish tailing near me but I can’t get them to bite. When this happens I’ll usually throw on a small plastic jig. I’ve actually caught some of my biggest redfish on tiny plastic jigs. You can check the current price on Amazon HERE.
As I mentioned before, using bait is the other half of my kayak fishing strategy. Redfish are not very picky when it comes to what types of bait they’ll eat. Here’s a quick list of my favorites.
- Shrimp: Shrimp are the most commonly used redfish bait. I’ve noticed that shrimp work particularly well in Pointe Aux Chenes. For some reason I catch a lot less catfish here on shrimp than I do in other salt marshes around Louisiana. That makes using shrimp here a lot easier.
- Minnows: Minnows are pretty standard bait anywhere in the world and Pointe Aux Chenes is no exception. I catch more fish on shrimp than I do with minnows, but I usually catch bigger fish when I’m using minnows. I once caught a 3′ foot bull shark using minnows in Pointe Aux Chenes.
- Blue Crab: Pointe Aux Chenes is full of blue crabs. It’s one of the best crabbing areas in the state of Louisiana. Crabs are also a redfish favorite and they can work really well as bait. I don’t use crabs very often but there are many people that swear by it.
- Crawfish: I’ve been told that fishing with crawfish in the spring months is the secret weapon for redfish. I’ve never tried this myself, but I have seen people in nearby boats limiting out on redfish by using crawfish as bait. Using crawfish is a little more tricky when you’re confined to a kayak though.
Where to fish in Pointe Aux Chenes
I covered this a little bit in the “Where to Launch” section above, but I wanted to go over a few more good locations. To start off, i’ll just say that pretty much everywhere in Pointe Aux Chenes is a good place to fish for redfish. Especially if you can get your kayak into sections of the marsh that boats don’t go very often. As I mentioned above, I really like to fish off the southwest side of Island Road. This is where I’ve caught some of my best fish. Fishing the channel near Pointe Aux Chenes Marina is also a great spot. The tidal currents here bring all kinds of bait into the area. This area has A LOT of boat traffic though, so try to kayak fish the backside of the marsh grass bordering the channel. The salt marshes near Bason’s are great to weave through as you make your way to the sulfur mine. My last recommendation would be to drive to the end of Isle de Jean Charles and fish the marsh area down that way. There are a lot less boats launching here than compared to Pointe Aux Chenes Marina.
Kayak fishing Pointe Aux Chenes for redfish is an unbeatable fishing experience. There’s a good reason Louisiana is renowned for it’s redfish and kayaking fishing is getting more popular everyday. Louisiana is the only state that allows anglers to keep 5 redfish per day, so that right there tells you a lot about the strength of the redfish population here. Good luck fishing and let us know how you do in the comments below!