December 10, 2018

Find Any Lake or Bayou From Scratch


Find any lake or bayou using this simple trick, so you know exactly where to go fishing and how to get there.

How many times has it happened that someone mentioned a body of water they caught a nice box of fish in, but you had no idea where it is?

Don't feel bad! Even veteran anglers encounter this frustration from time to time.


Because Louisiana's marsh is simply that big.

I know it happens and, when it inevitably does, I'll refer to Google Earth to show me the way.

How To Find Any Lake Or Bayou Using Google Earth

It's easy to find any lake or bayou when you use this powerful computer program.

I'll show you how shortly, but just in case you never heard of Google Earth...

Why Google Earth?

Inshore anglers who have followed this blog for awhile know that I am bananas for Google Earth.

Satellite imagery is a powerful tool I learned to use while in the Marine Corps, and in the years since have brought those skills to inshore fishing.

Not only do I love this bird's eye view, but I also love sharing how with inshore anglers wanting to learn that knowledge.

There's just so much Google Earth can do when it comes to safely navigating the marsh and finding fishing spots:

  • Create routes through the marsh
  • Identify badass fishing spots
  • Locate oyster reefs
  • Find submerged grass
  • Reveal old shell piles
  • Ascertain water levels during different weather
  • Almost anything you can think of!
  • Knowledge Bomb

By now you're probably thinking, "What about Google Maps?" 

The answer is that Google Maps doesn't work as well as Google Earth, and are totally different tools, though they appear similar on the surface.

Need more detail? This video from Inshore Fishing 101 shows more.

Where can you get Google Earth?

Here are the relevant links for downloading, installing and sourcing technical help:

Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on to the good stuff!

Step By Step Process to Find Any Lake Or Bayou

Once you have Google Earth ready to rock 'n' roll, follow the steps below to find any lake or bayou from scratch.

Step 1 - Locate the Search Box

Whether you're using a Mac or PC, you will see the search box in the upper left hand corner of the screen.

Find Google Earth Search Box

It will look like this:

Google Earth Search Box
Don't see the search box?

You may need to hit the arrow to the left of "Search" in order to explode the search pane.

Explode Search Box

If you don't see it at all, then you need to enable the sidebar.

It's available under View -> Sidebar, or just refer to the screenshot below.

Enable Sidebar in Google Earth

Step 2 - Enter Search Criteria

Punch in whatever name you saw in a fishing report, or heard in conversation.

Google Earth will auto-suggest places you may be looking for.

Enter Search Criteria

As you can see, more than a few results for "Lake Boudreaux" cropped up before typing could be completed.

This is fine, just choose the one that matches what you're looking for.

Step 3 - Google Earth Marks The Spot

Once you choose a search result Google Earth will mark the location with a red pin.

Google Earth Marks The Spot

You can right-click the result and hit "Fly Here" to zoom in right away.

Fly Here Option Google Earth

Google Earth will automatically zoom to your result, and you may begin exploring this new fishing location.

Zoomed Search Result
What if it's a common name?

Louisiana has a lot of marsh, and many bodies of water were named the same thing.

which body of water

Common names you'll run into are:

  • Crooked Bayou
  • Redfish Point
  • Little Lake
  • Mud Lake
  • and more..

When this happens I suggest you narrow it down to a general area, say Hopedale, Cocodrie or wherever.

It also helps if you can get clarification from the source you heard it from, or a body of water near that one to help better locate it.


It could be easier to ask someone, but the best inshore anglers are self-reliant and make use of tools available to them, especially to find any lake or bayou.

Google Earth fits that bill, and is an incredible resource for those inshore anglers willing to use it.

Yes, it does require a computer, but you should know the public library is free and has better equipment than you'd think!

Hope y'all found this blog post helpful and, if there's anything you'd like to add (or simply want to ask a question) then post a comment below.

Tight lines, y'all!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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  • Devin,
    This is one of the best introductory videos you’ve done, especially enticing for those who don’t yet know you and what you do. Great job!

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    End The Frustration, Start Getting Results!

    see what these members of my paid courses have to say...

    Inshore Fishing 101 is amazing, I’ve been able to add to so much to my knowledge base after completing it.

    The way Captain Devin breaks down fishing concepts so they are easy to understand, as well as the optional quizzes, I was able to learn a lot more about finding and catching fish than if I were to watch YouTube videos or read magazines.

    Very well done, Devin!

    Terry Abreo

    Back when I first started fishing 10 years ago I was looking all over for someone teaching something like Captain Devin's Inshore Fishing 101, but there was no one.

    I think of the many, many days that my buddy and I were out running around trying to find fish and didn't know what's taught inside 101.

    We didn't have a chance.

    We didn't understand the conditions, the necessary tackle, the seasonal conditions that required different techniques, etc. But that has all changed now that I've completed Inshore Fishing 101.

    It's so much more fun to understand the bigger picture and use a process to find and catch fish! And yes! We catch a boatload more fish!

    Michael SchultzOut of State Angler