OVERTIME OUTDOORS: Iberia Parish in good company as a Top 7 Fishing Destination – The Daily Iberian


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What does Iberia Parish have in common with Lake Havasu, Arizona; Norfolk, Virginia; Olympia, Washington; Martin County, Florida, and two other locales in the U.S.?Those five places, including Port Clinton, Ohio, and Dana Point, California, recently were announced as the Top 7 U.S. Summer Fishing Destinations for 2021 by FishingBooker. The online travel company bills itself as the biggest company to specialize in organizing fishing trips around the world.Why Iberia Parish? According to a prepared statement June 15, Fishing Booker points out water makes up half of Iberia Parish. Much of that water, both freshwater and saltwater, offers fair to good fishing success weather and water conditions permitting.To compile the list, FishingBooker looked at destinations across the country with great fishing conditions during the summer, plus plenty more to do after returning from the fishing trip.The online fishing company notes there probably isn’t a better time to get out on the water than this summer after 2020. People are appreciating the great outdoors more than ever.FishingBooker hit the nail on the head in most instances when describing fishing opportunities in Iberia Parish. The company points out anglers can go offshore to hook up with red snapper, mangrove snapper, lemonfish, yellowfin tuna, amberjack and more, a literal offshore buffet, as it was called.For those who prefer to stay in or around inside waters, there are speckled trout, redfish and flounder to be caught in and around Vermilion Bay and Marsh Island.FishingBooker’s choice for two saltwater “lakes” were Oyster Lake in Marsh Island and Tigre Lagoon south of Avery Canal and south of the Intracoastal Waterway, the latter hardly a household name among saltwater fishermen in the Teche Area, where the sport and hotspots have been passed along generation to generation to generation. Vermilion Bay, Weeks Bay, Trash Pile, Dry Reef, Lake Ferme, Michael Cove and Lake Tom come immediately to mind as more widely known fishing locations in Iberia Parish.There’s more to the prospects of catching fish, FishingBooker points out.The company described the great potential for freshwater species to be caught, including largemouth bass, bream, sac-a-lait (crappie, white bass and catfish. However, listing smallmouth bass and striped bass as two species was a stretch.“Once you get tired of reelin’ in fish, you can fill your itinerary with unique Louisiana experiences, exciting tours around bayous and trips to exotic islands. You can explore lush tropical gardens, Avery Island, art galleries, museums, live theater, shopping and much more,” the prepared statement read.What about the other six in the Top 7?Martin County, FloridaThis slice of paradise along the Atlantic Ocean between Orlando and Miami, home to world-class fishing because of the most bio-diverse lagoon ecosystems in the country as well as the start of the Florida Coral Reef Tract. More than 800 species are swimming in the waters around Martin County.How good can it get? Stuart, Florida, one of the county’s towns, is nicknamed the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Wahoo, mahi mahi, tuna and sailfish are king.Port Clinton, OhioA Great Lakes getaway features the “Walleye Capital of the World.” The town is between Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay along Lake Erie just west of Cleveland. The town’s waterfront is dotted with charter fishing boats and pleasure cruisers.Yellow perch and smallmouth bass offer plenty of fun, too, to rival the ballyhooed walleye.Norfolk, VirginiaThis city is known for more than being home to the largest naval base in the world. Its diverse array of fish to target is unparalleled with the chance to land a fish of a lifetime.Fishermen can fish the calm, shallow waters of the Indian River or James River for sea bass, trout, tautog, flounder, drum and more or head farther out for a chance at the region’s legendary rockfish in Chesapeake Bay, plus lemonfish and amberjack. Offshore waters are teeming with marlin, tuna, mahi mahi and sailfish.Olympia, WashingtonWater south of the Tacoma Narrow Bridge are the only place where it’s legal to catch salmon year-round in this part of Oregon. July’s arrival also heralds the start of the chinook salmon season in the South Puget Sound, a prime time to reel in the “king.”While salmon is the most iconic fish in those waters, it’s an amazing fishery also for flounder and cutthroat trout.Dana Point, CaliforniaA huge harbor with a beautiful sandy beaches and picturesque cliffs are a few of the highlights of this town between Los Angeles and San Diego. Mere minutes away, bays, reefs and offshore waters beckon as charter boat captains put you on calico bass, rockfish, white bass and California halibut, or farther out for yellowtail, barracuda and sharks. Farther offshore, you can set the hook on albacore, yellowfin tuna, marlin and Bluefin tuna.Lake Havasu, ArizonaRenowned Lake Havasu, located on the California-Arizona border, is one of the best summer fishing destinations in the country. Sure, the beaches provide swimming and watersports, but largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bream, catfish and striped bass are main attractions for anglers. The lake has multiple public docks and piers, plus many boats for hire.FishingBooker was born in 2013, according to fishingbooker.com. It operates in six continents with thousands of charters available for booking daily.“We’ve built our business from scratch, with determination and a clear vision as our foundation blocks. It’s our job to make unforgettable fishing experiences available worldwide and to have something interesting to offer every angler on the planet, beginner and experts alike,” the company’s website.The company bills itself as the world’s largest platform for connecting anglers and fishing guides with more than 32,000 fishing trips available in more than 2,000 destinations worldwide. Some FishingBooker blogs recently talked discuss tarpon fishing in Florida, sturgeon fishing in Oregon, salmon fishing on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, fishing the Riviera Maya in the Mexican Caribbean, Cozumel on Mexico’s mainland and the Maldives in the Indian OceanAccording to sitejabber.com, a popular destination for customer ratings and reviews of businesses, 75 percent of the reviews over the past year were positive for FishingBooker.Iberia Parish definitely is in rarified air and in elite company with this year’s FishingBooker Top 7. That’s a source of pride for the community.DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.

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