Travel Blog & Book News
Grand Isle, Our Giant Sandy Fishing Boat
Posted July 23, 2011 in Louisiana Travel
It seems that every road on Grand Isle leads to fish. The boat launches here send countless fishing craft set off for the bays north of the island and to the Gulf to the south. In fact, the beauty of Grand Isle, I’ve come to believe, is that you don’t even need a boat to feel like you’re fishing from one.
Battered by hurricanes, and brought low by last year’s BP oil disaster, Grand Isle is back now, and the upcoming Tarpon Rodeo provides the exclamation point. That story is well-told in today’s Times Picayune by ace reporter Paul Rioux.
There are fishing rodeos of some sort nearly every summer weekend around Louisiana’s great sport fishing areas, but the Tarpon Rodeo is one of the biggest and certainly the oldest. It’s been a tradition since 1928. This year, it’s also a good reminder that Grand Isle is back in business and a powerful demonstration of the kind of fishing this place offers.
That fishing is glorious and accessible everywhere. Roll onto the island, and you’ll find people fishing from old piers and from the stumps of retired bridges. All along the shore, people are surf casting into the water, walking the beach and jerking their poles to make their bait dance in the currents. They fill buckets and coolers with the impressive ocean catches — redfish and sea trout and even tarpons wandering toward the shore for a bite. People were fishing from every edge of the island and coming away winners.
That’s why I think of Grand Isle not so much as a beach community but as a giant fishing boat, anchored (if tenuously) over a prime fishing spot with anglers lining its edges like fishermen at the gunwales.