January 19, 2024

Redfish Jubilee 2024: When It Happens & Where To Go

The Redfish Jubilee is the best bank fishing one can do in Louisiana, possibly even the world.

But it rarely happens. One day a fishing spot is dead with no action, then the next it's red-hot catching with every cast in the midst of a Redfish Jubilee.

So, how can you know when it happens? Where should you go?

In this guide you will discover the answers to those questions, along with a little lagniappe.

redfish jubilee bank fishing hopedale 750

When does the Redfish Jubilee take place?

Redfish Jubilees take place during the coldest parts of winter, ranging from December to February.

Yes, I said "Jubilees" because it is possible that more than one could take place.

However, it is likely to only have a single one happen, and it is possible to not have any happen at all.

This is because the conditions need to be just right, which brings us to this next question...

What exactly causes a Redfish Jubilee to happen in the first place?

A Redfish Jubilee doesn't just happen for no reason at all. It occurs when a certain set of conditions get just right.

These conditions happen after a strong cold front hits Louisiana's coast, and these two are what you want to look out for:

  • freezing air temperature
  • extremely low water level

Freezing Temperature

Both need to happen or a Redfish Jubilee will not. The most important is the cold air temperature.

For reference, I like to see it freezing. Icicles, sleet and snow are good indicators that it's cold enough. 

Air temperature in the 20's and teens is what you're looking for.

Snow in Slidell LA

When I saw this snow outside my residence in January 2018, I just knew that a Redfish Jubilee was going to happen!

This will drop the water temperature to the mid to low 40s, which is key for a good Redfish Jubilee. Otherwise, you really don't see one happen when the water is warmer, say in the 50s.

Redfish Jubilee Water Temperature

This is water temperature from an actual Redfish Jubilee in December 2022.

Low Water Level

After that is low water level. If you're familiar with my thoughts on Stairs Theory, then you know that the marsh can be described as being a set of stairs, with deeper water at the bottom and shallower water at the top.

As water drains out of the marsh, more fish will be forced to leave the top of the stairs and drain to the next step, or next level.

If enough water drains out, then fish will become concentrated at the bottom of the stairs. The graphics below really drive home this idea.

Water Level B
Water Level C
Redfish Normal Water Levels
Extreme Low Water Levels Redfish

How do you know if the water is low or not?

I like to use the NOAA weather stations such as the Shell Beach Buoy.

There you can see observed conditions such as temperature, wind and water level.

Specifically, I am looking for the observed water level to reach or drop below the predicted water level.

Redfish Jubilee Water Levels

These are water levels from an actual Redfish Jubilee in December 2022.

If you're not sure what this resource is or how to use it to power your fishing trips, then I strongly recommend joining LAFB Elite and taking my Fishing Trip Resources Course.

Why do these conditions cause a Redfish Jubilee?

This rare fishing event takes place not just because of the conditions, but because of how redfish react to those conditions.

The cold causes them to seek deep holes and protection from a harsh north wind.

They seek this deeper water to escape rapidly changing temperature, which is worse for them than the cold temperature itself.

Remember, redfish are cold blooded.

On top of the temperature change, they are dealing with rapidly dropping water levels.

Ponds and shorelines they would normally inhabit are now bone-dry and the only place to go is the next step of the stairs.

These two factors cause them to congregate in the hundreds, making it easy to guesstimate when and where they will be when the conditions get just right.

hundreds of redfish on sonar redfish jubilee

These are redfish on down scan sonar during a Jubilee. Note the water temperature and depth.

Where specifically does the Redfish Jubilee take place?

In case it's not obvious, a Redfish Jubilee is something specific to Louisiana.

I'm not saying that these conditions don't happen elsewhere to create a similar phenomenon.

It's a safe assumption that they absolutely could. So, if you're a smart and savvy inshore angler — residing in some place like Georgia or Mississippi — then there's no reason why you couldn't apply what I am teaching here to your own stomping grounds.

But, my website is called Louisiana Fishing Blog, what I do is Louisiana-based and that's because Louisiana is unique from other states redfish swim in.

You may find the fishing knowledge here useful, but I'm not going to pretend to be an expert at catching redfish in another state, because I am not.

So, it's important that I clear the air and, for now, we will say that the Redfish Jubilee happens in Louisiana, during winter.

But what specific place in Louisiana?

The Redfish Jubilee is best known to take place along the banks of Bayou LaLoutre in Yscloskey and Hopedale.

Specifically, you will want to start fishing around the drawbridge there.

Yscloskey Louisiana Fishing Spots

But the banks of Delacroix Highway are a great location, too.

Delacroix Fishing Spots

Redfish Jubilee Lagniappe

Everything you've learned so far is really all you need to know in order to have fun catching redfish!

However, there are some additional ideas and details that may make your experience even better:

Tackle & Lures You Should Use

You will want to have a stout rod and reel with strong fishing line.

A medium-heavy rod is a good choice and braided line that's 20lbs or heavier will do well.

dead shrimp jighead 750

As for bait, all you really need is dead shrimp and a 3/8oz jighead. It's that simple.

If you want more details as well as where to buy, then please consult this fishing tackle guide.

Don't Wait For Fishing Reports

If you wait for Facebook to tell you when to go fishing, then you are doing it wrong.

Instead, it's better to learn how to judge the conditions and go fishing before the word gets out and the fish get pressured.

This is one reason why I recommend not fishing community holes.

Fishing Report

Don't Be Sleazy, Pick Up Your Trash

The Redfish Jubilee can become really crowded, especially once the word gets out.

Anytime you get a bunch of people together, things get overlooked and trash inevitably gets left behind.

Let's avoid this by being conscientious, picking up after ourselves and bringing a trash bag to put garbage in.

Roadside trash is an eyesore, nobody wants to see it. Be an adult, pick up after yourself.

Maybe Don't Go, But Definitely Go If...

...you haven't been, you can't fish from a boat or want to bring the magic of catching fish to kids or to anyone else who cannot otherwise experience going fishing under normal circumstances.

I say this because there is an ethical question of the Redfish Jubilee: should we take advantage of these fish when they are at their weakest?

It's not exactly very sporting of a "Louisiana Sportsman" to hammer the fish when they're just trying to survive the extremes of winter, no more than it is to spotlight deer.

Maybe a little catch and release will go a long way here.

This is especially something to consider since our speckled trout and redfish stocks have taken a plunge in the wake of the Freshening.

So, if you haven't experienced a Redfish Jubilee, or want to give the experience of this once-a-year event to some kids or a special someone, then you really ought to go.

But if you're a healthy grown-ass man, with a boat, who fishes a lot and has been to umpteen Redfish Jubilees, then beating up on some redfish in a community hole with your drinking buddies probably isn't the most sportsman-like thing you can do.

I personally prefer to free up some space on the bank and find my own jubilee.

Consider This Big Idea

By now you understand that the Redfish Jubilee is based upon the conditions.

If you have a complete understanding of redfish behavior, the conditions, and location of deep and shallow water, you will be able to find your own Redfish Jubilee and avoid the crowd.

You will find these fishing spots out in the marsh, away from the dock and — more often than not — have them all to yourself.

The roadside fishing spots in Yscloskey and Delacroix are not the only places redfish pile up when a strong cold front hits. Absolutely not.

There are plenty of places out in the marsh where you can find a school of redfish eating up, and they are similar to the roadside spots: they're protected from a harsh north wind and are relatively deeper than the surrounding area.

landing redfish with net

If you have a boat, then you're ultimately better off finding Jubilee-pattern spots in the marsh that you can enjoy without worrying about the additional fishing pressure.

In fact, there is this great video detailing one kind of fishing spot to try.

If you can put together a good plan, then there's no reason why you can't go catch a bunch of redfish, just like this time I found my own Redfish Jubilee, catching 15+ redfish.

The knowledge you've learned in this guide is enough to get you started, but if you want to learn it all — from top to bottom — then you may want to learn more about my courses, Inshore Fishing 101 and Winter Fish Location.

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Over To You

That wraps it up for the Redfish Jubilee!

I hope this guide helps you catch a few and that — above all — you have fun catching fish!

Thank you for taking time to visit my website! If you have any questions or comments, then please chime in below!

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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  • Hey Michael, thanks for commenting.

    Although North Carolina has a great fishery, I’ve never fished there for reds.

    However, I’d imagine redfish would still congregate in deeper water when it gets really cold.

    Again, I am not a subject matter expert on North Carolina, and it’d be up to you to find them.

    Tight lines

  • Devin, would this redfish jubilee happen here in North Carolina? I would think this is common with redfish. Do I need to check back bay areas or ocean beach or both. Sounds like a lot of fun!
    We do have a jubilee In the summer where the flounder and crabs are prectically coming out of the water. You can walk the beach and pick the ones you want.

  • Jeff, you’re thinking.

    And you’re right.

    But consider that when fish lay on the bottom, like literally resting on the bottom, they achieve much better hydrodynamic efficiency and don’t need to exert themselves to stay put.

    I’ve caught fish in cold water with current. What that speed is, I do not know. What speed you are referring to, I do not know, either.

  • Will the fish be there if the current is strong? Or will the fish be in the canals running into Bayou LaLoutre? It’s my understanding that fish are lazy when the water temperature is low, therefore, they don’t want to fight a strong current while they are cold.

  • I just fished out there with a friend yesterday. He pulled out around 30 with two other people, but only 7 keepers.

    Very important to bring lots of extra rigs/weights because there is tons of debris on the bottom. In about an hour I had to snap it off 6 times.

  • Unless you are plugged in to the right grapevine , By the time you hear about it happening it will be over. Learn the conditions that cause the “jubilee’ and you will be able to predict when it will happen ahead of time.

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