Interviewee: Arthur Blanchard

Role: Commercial Fisherman

Date of Interview: 8/5/09

Collection: Louisiana Sea Grant Oral Histories

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Arthur Blanchard is a fisherman from Grand Isle, Louisiana. He discusses the variety of fish found in the waters off Grand Isle.


My name's Arthur Blanchard. I was born on St. Patrick's day in 1930 on the seventeenth, and I am a charter captain, and only in the summertime that I go out. I usually come in all the time with my limit of, depending on how many people I have, and we usually come in with either speck, red, or um, flounder, drum, sheephead, all depends what they want. If they want sheephead, I'll bring them to certain spots. If they want speckled trout, I bring them where the speckled trout out on the reef – oyster reefs and all.

In the Fall, you got the big drums, um, runs about about forty pound drums, redfish, they – depending if you hit the school, you can get a school of small ones, run 21, 25 pounds, and if you go into deeper water, you are – you're uh catch some uh 36, sometimes 40 pound bull reds, and some people fish them with crabs, and some of them fish them with mullets. And if you want to charm them, you can take mullets and cut them into small pieces and throw them overboard. But I never charm them. I usually go on the reefs, and I catch all the redfish I want.

And you can also go in the back bay in the Barataria Bay on the oyster reefs, and certain times of the year, the bull reds are stay – they stay on that oyster reef, but we can only catch one per person. Usually you get a school – a big school of fish – speck on the oyster reefs or in the Gulf of Mexico, right along the bank, um, maybe four five hundred feet from the bank, you got a bunch of seagulls that are fishing. But usually these fish there, they're between ten and eleven inches – they're not big, big fish. Once in a while you may catch a big speck, but in the back bay when you can get a school of speckled trout, they usually run fourteen, sixteen inches. So that's why I usually stay all the time in the back bay fishing.

Tarpon is offshore, um, you got spade fish, you got, oh they've got a bunch of fish – I'm trying to think of their names right now. That, that you can go out by the rigs – the rigs are perfect for that. The fishing is good over here.

To read Arthur's full transcript, click here.