Take the bait and cast a line out for this leisurely activity

Out in the waters of Greenwood Community Park, Kenneth LeCroy casts his fishing line from an orange kayak. As a naturalist at BREC, he’s at home in the great outdoors. 

But, even for those new to Baton Rouge’s wilderness, LeCroy says fishing is a fun, relaxing and—sometimes rewarding—activity anyone can learn. 

There are a variety of locales around Baton Rouge to hook a great catch. BREC is one of the biggest fishing resources, providing 15 lakes and one bayou across East Baton Rouge Parish where locals can cast their lines, both for sport and for a delicious bite to eat. Its lakes are well-stocked and accessible—ideal for those new to fishing. But experienced fishermen get in on the fun, too, LeCroy says. 

The lakes are especially plentiful with fish during the warmer months, in part thanks to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’s supplemental stocking annually in May, adding popular fish like largemouth bass and channel catfish. 

“It’s usually a 1-year-old fish or fingerling just to kind of supplement what’s already in the ponds,” LeCroy explains. 

And as the weather cools down, BREC switches it up, with rainbow trout stocking typically in December and January. 

“The winter rainbow trout has larger fanfare, because it is an uncommon fish for the area and there is a built-in novelty to catching them. People go crazy for them,” LeCroy explains. “We also make a larger push for catching rainbow trout because it is a perfect winter weather outdoor activity that works great around the holiday season.”

The natural resource management group preps the grounds with native plantings, which helps the habitats in several ways.

“It first highlights how to use plants native to Louisiana in wetter habitats. These plantings also support pond health by stabilizing shores to prevent erosion and maintain pond clarity, by creating areas of shade and shelter for fish in the pond, and by blocking non-native plants from impacting BREC ponds,” LeCroy says.

Closer to the water, the shores stay clear for easy fishing access. 

The Forest Community Park Lake, Perkins Road Community Park Lake and Zachary Community Park Lake are popular spots for bank fishing. 

And for kayak fishing, head to Greenwood Community Park, Blackwater Conservation Area’s large pond, and Milford Wampold Memorial Park, which provides access to the LSU Lakes. brec.org

This article was originally published in the September 2022 issue of 225 magazine.