Further west is Caillou Bay, also bordered on the south side by the
western portion of Isles Derrieres. Rich marshland forms the northern border
of both bodies of water.
The famous Isle Derrieres runs approximately 19 nautical miles from end
to end. And for reference purposes, this article will imaginarily divide it
into eastern and western portions; the designated split being centrally
located Whiskey Pass–one of several entrances to and form the Gulf of
Mexico. Other openings along the barrier island chain yield shallow water
that might not be navigable with deep-draft boats. However, Wine Island Pass, located to the extreme east, and Raccoon Point
to the extreme west of the island, offer other alternatives
around the barrier island chain.
The Atchafalaya River, like the Mississippi to the east, strongly affects
the brown, inshore waters that may extend some 20 miles seaward. Here the
bottom is comprised mostly of sand and mud. In comparison to
other locations along Louisiana’s shores, the blue water zone is relatively far
In both bays and near shore there are many gas and oil platforms that
pepper the scenery, making for ideal bait holding grounds that draw all
types of predator fish like speckled trout, sheepshead, and redfish (red drum).
The main navigational canal for this area is the Houma Navigational Canal
(H.N.C.), which from the Cocodrie launches can easily be accessed from Bayou
Petit Caillou. Heading south down the H.N.C. will put you into Terrebone
The H.N.C. continues and is channeled between Timbalier Island to the
east and Isles Derrieres to the west. At this point, the channel is called
Cat Island Pass and is buoy marked out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Anyone who enters this wonderland on a clear day, peers out across
Lake Pelto from the northern side, and scans the islands scattered about,
has no problem imagining that he's entered a tropical paradise.
These wetlands are considered to be some of the most prolific producers
of fishery resources due to geographical design and network of brackish water systems
to the north. Perhaps this is one reason why finding fish doesn’t seem to be too
difficult for many,
even for first-time visitors.
In this article, simple recommendations as to the where, when, and how
will be outlined for both the experienced and novice alike. In the context of this
information, the area of Cocodrie is referencing territory from 10 miles
offshore in the Gulf, spanning an area a little more in width than Isles
Dernieres, and moving north parallel with Cocodrie. This, of course, is an
imaginary boundary but will give a better idea of locations under
discussion. Areas to the north, deep into the marsh of Cocodrie, are very
productive during winter months, but only the experienced should attempt a
deep run therein due to the complicated network of marsh and man-made canals
that form intricate mazes.
Basically, Lake Pelto and Caillou Bay are shallow, saltwater bodies of water with
maximum depths of 6 feet. There are islands scattered within Lake Pelto
which may be surrounded by water less than a foot in depth.
During the colder months, one should concentrate on some of the deep
cuts, such as off Wine Island Pass, Whiskey Pass, and Cat Island Pass. While
Raccoon Point is not considered as deep as the aforementioned, it too, can
be productive. Flowing water from in and outgoing tides has dug underwater
channels here which are main routes for both bait fish and predator species.
Redfish can be caught in these areas on good incoming tides all year
round. The eastern shore of Whiskey Pass has excellent bottom terrain
consisting of hard sand and oyster shells.
On the western side of this pass, at Bay Round, an oyster reef is located
which forms a small island. This is a
well-known redfish and speckled trout spot, usually fished with live cocahoe minnows
and a popping cork.
Many that fish this area know the importance of bringing their own live
bait, since it is not always available at most bait stands. Thus some catch their own with the use of a cast net or minnow
trap. Two excellent live bait areas are along the eastern side of
Whiskey Pass near the Gulf at Isles Dernieres and the interior section of
the island at the same location.
A word of caution, however, on a high tide the water depth along the
shore of Whiskey Pass can get deep all the way up to the beach. Therefore It's best to anchor
as close as possible to the shore and check the water depth with a pole before wading to the
Speckled trout fishing along the entire beachfront and backside, and
especially where narrow channels cut through the island, is quite popular
with wade anglers. Large specks show up as early as March along these
barrier islands, with the warmer months producing mostly school speckled trout.
Sand trout (white trout) also abound, preferably when seasonal salinity is
reduced. Their migratory movement from the bays into the Gulf begins with the onset of cool weather.
Numerous artificial baits work well at times, such as the local favorites
like Mirr-O-lures, stingray grubs, sparkle beetles, and cocahoe minnow
lures. The latter three are sometimes fished in tandem and the hooks are
sweetened with fresh shrimp pieces.
While it's not uncommon to see oil production rigs and platforms
throughout Louisiana's waters, it is
unusual to see attaching catwalk (bridge walk) structures that run over a mile in length.
Not only do these abound throughout the bays, some of them extend out to
form L shape patterns.
These abandoned structures, which act as natural reefs, make for excellent
fish attractors since they provide food and cover for several different
The trek from Lake Pelto to Caillou Bay via inside waters from Cocodrie may present a
problem to some first-timers. This is due to the centrally located shallow
marshland that separates the two bodies of water. While it
is true that the more experienced natives find their way through to Caillou
Bay via Bay Round, Bay Wilson, or Pelican Lake, the novice may find it
easier to follow the buoy markers located in Lake Pelto that lead into Caillou Boca.
These markers can be located by heading southerly toward Whiskey Pass
near the western side of Lake Pelto. The markers also
run from east to west through near midsection of the lake. This is the preferred
inside route since going around through the Gulf of Mexico via Whiskey Pass can be a rougher ride if winds are
southerly and brisk. Furthermore, from Cocodrie this route is a
shorter run to the western tip of Isles Dernieres (Raccoon Point).
The northern border of Caillou Bay, especially Pass Wilson, Grand Pass
des Ilettes, and Bayou Grand Caillou are winter hot spots for speckled trout
on falling tides.
The ledges along Caillou Boca (between Callou Bay and Lake Pelto), Whiskey
Pass, and the Houma Navigation Canal from south of Cocodrie are excellent
bottom fishing spots for bull red and black drum fish. Anglers fishing these
spots like using cracked blue crab or cut mullet on Carolina rigs
(sliding sinker rig).
The deep running channels off of Wine Island Pass, near the Gulf of
Mexico and Cat
Island Pass, are well-known bull red fishing spots, particularly in the
fall. And, the hard-core bull redfish hunters that can brave cold,
full-moon nights can literally wear themselves out catching these hefty
breeders– especially on
For the most part, Cocodrie is a shallow-water haven, except for
the deep running channels and passes such as aforementioned. However, with
the use of a depth finder one can find some productive underwater channels
near certain island opening and passes.
For example, one underwater channel that can be located is near the backside of
the western portion of Isles Dernieres at the extreme south portion of
Caillou Bay. This particular channel appears to
have been formed by the out flowing waters of Bayou Grand Caillou, located to
the north. It evidently runs across Caillou Bay as it flows
southward all the way to the middle opening of the western section of Isles
Dernieres at the Gulf.
To pinpoint its location, scan the area with a depth finder by traveling from west to east or visa
versa (see Loran C coordination below). The average surrounding water
depth is about five feet, but when you cross the channel it drops to 11 feet. The
channel is not wide but seems to run in a zigzag pattern as it crosses the
bay toward the island. Fishing underwater channels like these can yield redfish,
speckled trout, black drum, and white trout.
The Sulfur Mine, located south of Whiskey Pass and well into Lake Pelto, is another popular hot spot to fish. This old, abandoned
sulfur mine can be identified by its pinkish hue and surrounding buildings which
presently serve as camp sites. The installation sits on an island bordered by
rock boulders, cutoff drilling pipes, pilings, and seashells. The drilling
pipes on one side of the mine form a wall that ascends 34 ft. above the
waterline. These pipes were placed next to each other to extract sulfur from
a once flourishing mine. Now they serve to extract anglers from near and
Those with shallow-draft boats like to fish near the piling
openings which lie to the right of the pipe wall. This is where the wary and often
biggest redfish and speckled trout like to lurk under the cover of debris. Lures of choice include
slow-sink Mirr-0-lures, Top Dogs, and Rapalas in various colors.
In regard to near-shore rigs and wellheads, there numbers are few when compared to those that lie further
to the east. Nevertheless, fish like aforementioned abound throughout; and during
the summer months big speckled trout seekers target them by fishing the bottom with live croakers
on Carolina rigs.
Cocodrie is indeed an outdoor fishing menu of pleasure that awaits all those who fish it–
both inside and offshore!
Redfish (Red Drum): Passes along the Gulf into Cocodrie
are excellent bull redfish spots. Picture
by Captain Warren Dudenhefer, 504-219-3466.
Austin Jr. displays a black drum fish just caught from
& Underwater Channel Location:
Under water channel,
Caillou Bay : * 290277
N 0905492 W (Loran
Buoy marker east at Caillou Boca: **
290357 N 0904822 W (Loran
Buoy marker west at Caillou. Boca: ***
290327 N 0905082 W (Loran
Whiskey Pass: 290229 N 0904626 W (Loran
area till located with depth finder
approach at Whiskey Pass
approach at Caillou Bay