New Boat Launch At Leeville
LEEVILLE, LA (AP) — Anglers who travel down to the southern reaches of Lafourche Parish can now keep more money in their wallets. Contractors have completed construction on a $1.5 million public boat launch that is free to use and is situated in the town of Leeville, which makes crossing the toll bridge of Highway 1 unnecessary.
Janet Rhodus, who headed up the Launch Leeville campaign that pressed local officials to build the facility, said it will be a boon to the tiny water-bound community.
"We're really excited," she said. "Christmas came early for us down here in Leeville."
The launch boasts two backdowns, parking for more than 60 trucks and trailers and a separate kayak facility, which is sure to be heavily utilized. Anglers regularly tote their small plastic boats to Leeville to access the marshes on either side of Highway 1. The town has become the unofficial kayak capital of South Louisiana.
"Now, all public launches are required to provide a separate kayak launch, so we're really excited to have this for all the kayakers who patronize Leeville," Rhodus said.
The facility opened in late November, and already the kayak launch as well as the main backdowns have been heavily used, Rhodus said.
"We've had close to 40 trucks and trailers already in a day, and there was plenty of room left," she said. "We're more than confident we can handle 60."
Phase two of project will add a handicapped-accessible fishing pier to the facility that will jut out into Bayou Lafourche, and Rhodus hopes to have an artificial reef installed within casting distance of the pier. That should all take place sometime in 2015, she said.
Rhodus, an avid Leeville angler, said the fishing in recent days has been top-notch.
"The past two weeks have been incredible," she said. "We've been having what we call the super combo. Folks are going out early in the morning and getting their limits of speckled trout and then going to get their redfish limits."
Hotspots have included the Southeast Canal, the Southwest Canal, Bayou Blue and the Sulphur Mine.
Rhodus said during last week's warm weather, locals were getting up early to catch 3-pound speckled trout on topwater lures just before sunrise.
"It's been the best fishing in Leeville all year," she said.
During November's Arctic weather, the fish were in a definite winter pattern, according to Rhodus.
"Before last week's warm-up, we were seeing the big specks in Bayou Lafourche where the elevated highway crosses the bayou, but since then, they've ventured a little bit off the bayou into the canals and bays," she said.
In recent days, redfish have been holding on the points going into major canals and big bays, Rhodus said.
– by AP/ Reporter Todd Masson with NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune