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Louisiana Council of Underwater Diving Clubs Information that relates to the LCUDC is posted here for discussion.

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Old 12-27-2007, 01:37 PM   #1
notyet
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New Orleans Free Diving?

All - i may be planning on a trip down to the N.O area, and i have a few questinos... I am of course familiar with the rig diving off of LA, but it seems as if most <all?> of that is done on tanks...

a few questions -

how far of a ride is out to the rigs?

does anyone free dive the rigs?

what is the non-rig diving like?

are there any areas where shore diving is realistic,or does the river ruin the vis?

thanks in advance
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:49 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Free Diving?

I'm from Texas, but may be able to help.

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Originally Posted by notyet View Post
All - i may be planning on a trip down to the N.O area, and i have a few questinos... I am of course familiar with the rig diving off of LA, but it seems as if most <all?> of that is done on tanks...
Most of it is. There are big fish down deep. But that is pretty irrelevant because you can do whatever you want to shoot your fish. Take a mini-sub if you want.

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how far of a ride is out to the rigs?
Do you mean the ones that are close in, or the ones that are far out? It depends on conditions, visability, how much you want to spend on gas, etc...

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does anyone free dive the rigs?
Certainly. Myself included.

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what is the non-rig diving like?
Boring and unproductive. There are no reefs and why would you want to spearfish a wreck with a perfectly good rig a few miles away?

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are there any areas where shore diving is realistic,or does the river ruin the vis?
No shore diving. From NO you can head down to South Texas or over to Panama City. But you would still have to wait for summer.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Free Diving?

thanks for the quick response JLittle.

As for free diving the rigs, what species can i expect to come across in the 20-50 foot depth range? any chance you (or anyone) has a link to a page that shows the local regs?

thanks again
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Free Diving?

http://www.wlf.state.la.us/fishing/

You'll probably be in federal waters though, so you need federal regs too.

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/regulations/reg.htm
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Free Diving?

Hey notyet. You are absolutley correct that most of the diving is scuba oriented. But that does not keep a free-diver out of the mix. The best time is summer. If you make it out you can expect mangrove snapper, triggerfish, cobia (summer/fall). If you can get to at least 40' or more you increase your chance for red snapper, amberjack and grouper. Viz ranges from 0' to carribean blue. It is best in the summer but is also dependent on your distance from shore. The closest rigs we normally dive are at least 15 miles out with 25+ being the norm. We dove a rig out of Port Fourchon 15 miles out and had viz in September of 65'. The winter is dependent on the North wind which kills the viz. This time of year we have the lump for those brave freedivers. Usually good viz. The lump is an old salt done which rises to 196' from 400' or so around. Huge yellowfin, blackfin and wahoo make it a home over the winter and spring. It is about 20 miles out of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Oh did I mention it is also a favorite haunt of large makos. The lump is strictly bluewater with no rigs in the vicinity so floats are a must. Hope this helps. Robbie
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Free Diving?

I do not personally freedive, but there are a lot of very good freedivers in La. I can tell you they shoot some fine wahoo, mahi mahi, tuna as well as fat mangoves, cobia & triggers. Grouper/red snapper are usually too deep.

Forget shore & non-rig diving.

It is a 2.5 hour drive to Venice from NO & then a 30-60nm boat ride depending on the rigs.

Someone from there will certainly chime in.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:26 AM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Free Diving?

red snapper are usually the easiest, but I will refrain from shooting more since I now know they are too deep

The freediving is great on the upper gulf coast. We dive out of Venice, Grand Isle, or Biloxi typically. We have a great group of divers locally and a freedive club as well. Check out www.pelagicpredators.com our club site. It supposed to get an overhaul soon.

I work on a trveling yacht so Im usually tied up in the keys or the Bahamas during the best hunting times for the rigs but many of the cluib members makes 2-3 trips a week.
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