May 15, 2012

The Best Way To Get Around The MRGO Rock Dam


Ever since the closure of the MRGO Rock Dam anglers have been faced with the challenge of going around it.

In this guide, you will learn the options for meeting that challenge.

Way around the MRGO Rock Dam

The graphic below outlines how to get around the Rock Dam going across the MRGO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet).

route around mrgo rock dam how to get around

Click to Enlarge

Frequently Asked Questions About The MRGO Rock Dam

Sometimes people have more questions than just wanting to know how to get around the rock dam. Here they are:

How long is the Brady Lagoon route around the MRGO Rock Dam?

The green route through Brady Lagoon is approximately 8.3 miles long.

Is there another path if Brady Lagoon is too shallow?

Yes, you can go through Little Halfmoon Bay and reconnect with the original route at Bayou Pisana.

This alternate route is colored yellow in the above graphic.

Or you can take the Spoil Canal instead.

Where can I learn to make routes like the one in the picture?

While there are more than a few resources on the Internet, this module inside Inshore Fishing 101 completely breaks down how to safely navigate Louisiana's marsh, specifically:

  • how to identify safe water
  • how to detect shallow water
  • avoid navigational hazards
  • create custom route
  • upload them to your GPS

When was the MRGO Rock Dam built?

This dam was built in 2009 by the Army Corps of Engineers in order to decommission a failed ship canal providing access to New Orleans.

Construction started in April of that year, and was completed in August.

Do you have a .KML for the MRGO Rock Dam available for download?

I sure do! Just click here to get the file list you see below.

kml tracks for mrgo rock dam route


You can have the best honey hole in the world, but it's no good if you can't safely get there (and back).

Hopefully this tidbit of information has helped you and you are able to enjoy a good fishing trip on the other side of the MRGO Rock Dam :)

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.

You may also like:

  • Hey Ricky, without pulling it up on Google Earth I couldn’t tell you (I’m not near my laptop). I’m sure the extra distance isn’t a deal breaker in any sense, as I doubt it’s more than a couple miles.

    Anyway, if you don’t use Google Earth Pro, you really should consider doing so. It’s helpful for more than just measuring distances, but also finding fishing spots, water safe to navigate and creating custom GPS routes, something I cover in-depth inside Inshore Fishing 101.

    As for your other question, either one. It depends on you and what you’re comfortable with, as described in the video.

    After all, nothing beats time on water, but this video will help you make the most of it.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Great video. Never been on that side of the dam. Is the yellow route Bakers canal and how long is that route? Is it also shallow? Which route is best/safest for a 21’ Bay boat?

  • Hey Reid, thank you for the compliments! I’m glad you enjoyed IF101.

    Your question is a broad one, but I will do my best to answer it, first covering conditions then fishing strategy:

    So, whether or not is best really depends on a lot of variables.

    After all, if it were as easy as “fish this spot during X tide”, then Inshore Fishing 101 would be reduced to a giant spreadsheet with locations in one column and another column indicating which tide is best to fish them on.

    But that’s not the case, and never will be.

    Time of year, primary forage, what you want to catch, salinity, trending conditions, and a lot of stuff that’s really just too much to list here is what you have to consider.

    We’ve smashed the trout with NO TIDE on the south side of the rocks, and that was during the winter. So what does that say about fishing a rising tide?

    That’s why you really need to look at the Fishing Trip Reviews, they tie it all together based upon specific conditions and an ACTUAL fishing trip, not spitballing on the Internet.

    Inshore Fishing 101 is good, but it’s only the foundation, just like the foundation of a house: the house cannot stand without it, but by itself it is not a house.

    With that said, why is it so important to game the tide for a specific spot to make the decision as whether or not to fish it?

    There’s more to fishing than knowing conditions, and strategy and judgment calls are two of those items.

    Consider this: If you’re running past the south side of the MRGO Rock Dam, then why not stop and give it a few casts as per the Elements of Effective Fishing?

    Will doing so completely derail your fishing trip?

    I don’t think so.

    Now consider this: If you want to know if a rising tide is best or not for the south side of the Rock Dam so you know if you should even bother fishing it or not, then what are you going to do when you get there and no fish are there at all?

    Because it absolutely happens that conditions can be “perfect” and fish won’t be there at all.

    So now you made that 8+ mile run with no idea as where else to go since the ONE spot you gambled on completely bombed.

    That’s more likely than not, and why no professional angler ever hangs his/her charter or tournament on one fishing spot. He has more than one and, if you watch my fishing trip reviews, you’ll see how I pick them out based upon the conditions and you’ll see that it is ALWAYS more than one fishing spot (up to 40+ picked out).

    Have there been times I’ve only fished one spot all day? Yes. But those are extra-special circumstances that are the exception that ultimately proves the rule: don’t gamble it all on one fishing spot.

    Lastly, consider this: Let’s pretend I did say “yes, a rising tide is best” to fish the south side of the Rock Dam. Well, let’s say that on a hypothetical fishing trip you are on, you have run all over creation and not caught a single fish. You are hurting and really want to go home with something to show for your effort. So you’re running past the south side of the Rock Dam and think about fishing it, but it’s obvious the tide is falling and not rising.

    Will you keep going? Or will you stop and give it ten minutes of your time?

    I think you’d be crazy to not try.

    Anyway, that’s a long response and I hope you didn’t find it too much to read and, above all, that it answers your question.

    Tight lines

  • Devin, I appreciate the knowledge and your willingness to share the best routes. I recently completed Inshore101 and the material was presented perfect. Thanks for dropping#knowledgebombs daily.

    Is it best to fish the SE side of the rock dam on a rising tide or does it matter due to the depth of the canal? This is assuming the wind direction is ideal.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    End The Frustration, Start Getting Results!

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

    My experience was excellent, I found that the knowledge gained in Inshore Fishing 101 is priceless. I found that a lot of the things I thought I knew were not what I thought I knew. This course has expanded my knowledge and has already honed some of my skills.

    I am forever grateful for finding LAFB and for joining LAFB Elite.

    Devin, I can honestly say there is nothing in this course I dislike.

    I made it through the course in 3 days watching all videos and webinars. I live in Greensburg Louisiana and managed to make a run to the Long Rocks to check out the action Wednesday, this within the 3 days it took me to get through 101.

    To do everything I've done in the last three days and manage to make it through this course means it had my unconditional attention. Thank you so much for the knowledge!

    Colin BamberFree Mason

    Inshore Fishing 101 was absolutely amazing. It is exactly what I needed! That's because I was clueless to finding speckled trout, but this course was very eye opening on what needs to change in my game in order to find and catch them.

    As a 17ft boat owner, as well as a kayak. The knowledge you provided in this course was worth every penny of the yearly subscription. Looking forward to Inshore Fishing 201 as well as the rest of the courses.

    Jeremy LeBlancLouisiana Native