The Chandeleur Islands have captured the hearts of fishermen and outdoorsmen for years. Positioned off the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, the chain of islands is home to some of the country's most abundant fisheries and picturesque landscapes. However, the islands' rich history dates back centuries, beginning with Native American tribes and extending into the modern-day. So, let’s take a journey through time and explore the fascinating past of the Chandeleur Islands. The name Chandeleur can be traced back to a French holiday called “Chandeleur,” or Candlemas, which falls on FebruaryAccording to legend, when early French explorers stumbled upon the chain of islands on that date, they decided to give it that moniker. However, artifacts and remains discovered on the islands suggest that Native Americans inhabited the region well before European explorers ever reached it. The islands offered an abundance of oysters and seafood, making them a popular spot for native tribes, such as the Biloxi and Pascagoula, to live and fish. Present day, a Chandeleur islands fishing trip is a Speckled Trout fishing experience of a lifetime. Redfish and Speckled trout thrive at these barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.
In the 1800s, fishermen from all over the Gulf began visiting the Chandeleur Islands to harvest fish and shrimp. The islands quickly became a hub for the fishing industry, with many fishermen choosing to make a permanent residence there to take advantage of the area's abundant offerings. During this period, the remote islands became home to multiple fishing lodges, general stores, and even a school for the children of fishermen. in 1915.
Finally, it is hard to talk about the Chandeleur Islands without mentioning the pristine landscape of these uninhabited barrier islands that attracts visitors from all over. From chandeleur islands fishing charters to bird watchers these islands are an outdoorsmans dream location. The islands range from small sandbars to substantial land masses, all blanketed in vast marshland, seagrass beds, and glittering white sand beaches. Its calm and shallow waters make it an ideal site for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts to witness a diverse range of habitats, including sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and more than 130 species of birds. While surf fishermen reel in big, speckled trout while wading in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
History of the Chandeleur Islands: Breton Island, Grand Gosier, and Curlew Islands.
The Chandeleur Islands have a rich history that goes beyond being a popular fishing spot for anglers. The archipelago comprises four islands, including Breton Island, Grand Gosier, Curlew Island, and North Island. These remote islands located off the coast of Louisiana offer breathtaking views, a serene environment, and a glimpse into history. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of the Chandeleur Islands, focusing mainly on Breton Island, Grand Gosier, and Curlew Islands. These islands are an easy run from Venice where we target Speckled Trout and Redfish.
Breton Island is the largest of the Chandeleur Islands, spanning just over 7,000 acres. The island is named after Armand Duplantier de Bretton, who received the island as a grant from French King Louis XV in 1770. This island has seen its fair share of conflicts over the years, serving as a site for World War II military operations and a base for fishermen and trappers in the early 1900s. In 1978, Hurricane Bob caused significant damage to the island, leading to the creation of Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Today, this Island is a remote location accessible only by boat or seaplane, featuring sandy beaches, migrating bird populations, and an abundance of marine life. A recent restoration project restored the Island before it disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico forever.
Grand Gosier is the second-largest island in the Chandeleur Islands. Its name is derived from the French term “gros serre,” meaning “big shears” due to the shoal’s shape. Grand Gosier saw an increase in shipping traffic in the late 1800s, leading to the establishment of a lighthouse on the island in 1876. The lighthouse served until 1955, after which it was replaced by a steel structure.
Curlew Island is the smallest of the Chandeleur Islands, spanning just over 200 acres. Its name is aptly derived from the bird species found in the area, the long-billed curlew. Like the other islands in the archipelago, Curlew Island was also used as a base for fishermen and trappers in the early 1900s. Later in the century, it also became a site for oil and gas exploration. However, Hurricane Katrina devastated Curlew Island, causing major erosion and splitting the island in two. In recent years, restoration efforts have taken place to address erosion on the island.
The Chandeleur Islands' rich history dates back thousands of years and spans over countless phases, from Native American tribes to the bustling fishing community of the early 1900s. Despite the natural disasters and population decline, the islands remain an iconic hub for fishers and nature lovers alike. Its spectacular surroundings and abundance of wildlife continue to mesmerize visitors from around the world, allowing them to experience a different time and place. The legacy of the Chandeleur Islands is one of resilience, adaptability, and wild beauty that will continue to shape the region for generations to come. The islands have seen their fair share of conflicts, from World War II military operations to Hurricane Katrina devastation. However, they have managed to endure and are now popular spots for fishing, birding, and outdoor recreation. By exploring the history of Breton Island, Grand Gosier, and Curlew Island, we can gain a deeper appreciation for these remote locations, and the natural beauty they offer. So, whether you're a seasoned angler or just looking for a serene escape, be sure to add the Chandeleur Islands fishing trip to your bucket list! The chandeleur island chain needs us as outdoorsmen to make sure we don't allow them to wash away into history due to erosion. These islands are important barrier islands for the Gulf coast and are filled with forgotten history. As a kid I fished these islands with my Dad and made memories of a lifetime. We stayed at the Chandeleur islander fishing Lodge, which is still one of my most memorable experiences with my Dad. All fishermen need to check the islander hotel out for a true fishing experience of a lifetime.To this day I get excited every time I run a chandeleur islands fishing charters with my clients. Like me as a kid, my kids absolutely love the fishing trips we take to these uninhabited barrier islands. The day always ends with my kids walking on the beach shoreline collecting seashells and catching hermit crabs. These islands offer light tackle fishing and fly fishing opportunies, giving anglers a chance to test their angling skills.
There are only 2 ways to get to the chandeleur islands, by Boat and By Sea plane. Foe a seaplane trip to the Chandeleur islands give Southern SeaPlane, Inc a call.
Chandeleur Islander | Southern Seaplane
To experience the full Chandeleur experience, I recommend everyone stay a few nights at the Chandeleur Islander Fishing Lodge.
Chandleur Islander Fishing Lodge (chandeleur-islander.com)
Contact Blue Line Charter Service out of Venice La to schedule your Chandeleur islands fishing charters where you will enjoy a scenic boat ride through the Gulf of Mexico.
Blue Line Charter Service
A Chandeleur islands fishing charters awaits you.