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Situated within Bayou Lafourche, the small fishing community of Cut Off is a good spot for anglers to experience fishing in the bayous. Cut Off is located in the south-central part of Lafourche Parish in Louisana and is designated as a census-designated area. The area lies between Larose in the northwest and Galiano to the south. Port Fourchon, Louisiana’s southernmost port, is located just 34 miles south of Cut Off. While Thibodaux, the Parish seat, is located 37 miles northwest. Cut Off has a total population of 5,976 people, according to the 2010 census, and has a total area of 14.7 square miles.
Bayou Lafourche, the main body of water surrounding Cut Off, used to be called Chetimachas River or Lafourche De Chetimachas. It got its name from its large outflow of water from the Mississippi River. Lafourche is a French term that means The fork. It is a 106-mile bayou that runs from southeastern Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is the bayou rich in aquatic resources, but it also provides clean water for 300,000 people in Louisiana as well.
The origins of Cut Off’s name came from the building of a cut-off in Bayou Lafourche by early settlers in the area. Their goal was to shorten the route to New Orleans by connecting the bayou to Lake Salvador in New Orleans, Louisiana. The area was originally called La Coupe, or The Cut in French. This canal allowed for easier access to remote areas within Lafourche Parish and the settlement at the source was named Cut Off.
Unsurprisingly then, the area is a prime fishing destination for anglers who wish to catch the many gamefish that are found in the Louisiana bayous. Its waters are teeming with a variety of gamefish, from redfish to largemouth bass. And the best part? Because it’s not as well known as the other fishing areas in Louisiana, it’s not as crowded as the other spots. Thus, you can take your time picking the perfect spot for yourself.
Because it is located within Bayou Lafourche, many of the gamefish that could be caught in Cut Off’s waters are mostly freshwater gamefish. If you want to catch saltwater gamefish, Cut Off also has some coming from the Gulf of Mexico. There are also streams and other smaller bodies of water in the area where anglers can cast their lines on. The bayou’s marshes and coastal estuaries are the perfect spots for anglers to cast their lines on and catch the fish hiding beneath them. The popular gamefish found in the area include the flathead and blue catfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, and many more.
Anglers who aren’t sure how to tackle Cut Off’s waters will be pleased to know that several fishing charters offer their services in the area. This should come as no surprise, as Cut Off is a fishing community after all. These fishing charters offer a variety of services to anglers visiting Cut Off, from providing a way to navigate the bayou to tips on how to land the most bites there. So if it’s your first time fishing in the Cut Off, or you just want to make the most of your trip there, then hiring one of the fishing charters here is the way to go. They offer trips either in the morning, afternoon, or evening, and even a variety of fishing techniques as well.
And speaking fishing techniques, the most popular in Cut Off’s waters are flyfishing, light tackle, bottom fishing, spinning, and popping. For those seeking a challenge, try fly fishing in the bayous’ waters and land yourself either a perch or rainbow trout. For those who wish to go deeper into the bayou, there are fishing charters that offer their services. This is important, as the bayou is large and it is quite easy to get lost there if you don't know your way there.
Another factor that makes fishing via a chartered boat popular is if you're visiting Cut Off during winter. Because temperatures are now lower, most of the gamefish will now be located in deeper, warmer waters. Without a chartered boat, it won't be easy to catch them, especially if you're casting your line on the shores. Another advantage of fishing on a chartered boat is that it opens up more areas for anglers to cast their line on. Since Cut Off is located on a bayou, it isn’t easy to catch many target fish here without heading into the marshes and brackish waters.
If you're planning on fishing alone, you can either rent a fishing boat in the bayou or bring your boat there. Be sure that you have all the proper papers and licenses when doing this. Also, don't forget to plan and plot a course that you'll be taking for your trip so you won't get lost. Be sure to have a definite schedule on when you plan to launch your boat and check the weather forecast to be better prepared.
With all of that said, where do you start looking for fish here? One could say that the entire bayou is your playground, but exploring it for the perfect fishing spot could take an entire day. To help you with that, here are some of the best fishing spots around Cut Off. These are Bayou Pierce, Bayou Des Amoreux, Raccoon Bayou, Temple Bay, and Brusle Lake. Although they are also called bayous, these areas are usually either streams or guts found in Cut Off, aside from Bayou Lafourche.
And speaking of Bayou Lafourche, its brackish waters provide excellent opportunities to catch catfish, sheepshead, flounder, and tripletail. You can also find crevalle jack and black drum swimming here as well. You can catch a lot of the gamefish here either by heading into the marshes via boat or by simply finding a good spot within the shore and casting your line there.
Another good spot to go to is Raccoon Bayou. This smaller gut is located 2.2 miles from Cut Off, making it easily accessible when you visit the area. Here, you can find largemouth bass and redfish swimming in its waters. You can either try flyfishing along the bayou’s shores if you just want to relax or go into the deeper waters via a boat.
Other good fishing spots include Brusle Lake and Bay L’ours. These areas are good for catching redfish, trouts, and flounders. The fish here usually stay in the grass, so anglers could use bait and trolling to lure them out and catch them. With that said, do be careful when casting your line in Bay L’ours, as its bottom is very sandy and could easily turn to mud if there’s a strong wind.
Fishing around Cut Off could be done throughout the year. That said, the best times to go to the area are still from June to September. Most of the gamefish in the area will be readily available during these months. And, because it is summer to early fall during these months, the fish will be swimming in shallow waters, making them easier to catch. If you plan to go during the winter and spring, you will find plenty of black drum, sheepshead, and redfish swimming around the bayou during these times. Largemouth bass will be more common from March to April and then later in November. Redfish is also another common sight in the area’s waters all year round. You can find them swimming in shallow waters during the summer or the deeper, warmer waters during fall and winter.
Because it is located in the connecting point between Bayou Lafourche and Lake Salvador, it is no surprise that Cut Off has plenty of fishing charters for visiting anglers to choose from. These fishing charters are a good way to get to know the bayou or reach its deeper parts. They offer their services throughout the day and in a variety of fishing techniques as well. If you wish to make the most of your trip in Cut Off, hiring one is a good way to do so.
Want to learn more about the rich history and culture of Louisiana and New Orleans while visiting? Then come on down the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Named after the pirate Jean Lafitte, this area is catered towards providing visitors with a glimpse of what life was for the early settlers of South Louisiana and New Orleans. It is divided into six sites scattered throughout Southern Louisiana and offers tours and cultural demonstrations to visitors.