Just west of Lafayette, the bottomlands swamp geography of Louisiana gives way to sprawling miles of coastal prairie running all the way to the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas.
There is a break in this transition however where Sportsman’s Paradise is unveiled in its glory, as coastal prairie marsh meets an expansive inland salt lake just south of Lake Charles.
This huge inland waterbody is named Calcasieu Lake, also known as “Big Lake” to the residents acquainted with its treasures.
It’s a large, inland waterbody running 12 miles long and as much as 9 miles wide in some locations. The deep Calcasieu Ship Channel, used primarily by the petrochemical industry, runs closer to the western edge of the lake leaving the shallow mideastern portion a haven for fisheries and crustaceans important to the area.
Recreational fishing is extremely important to the local economy, as Calcasieu Lake’s habitat is truly exceptional and noted for producing trophy speckled trout to anglers.
For several decades, it has not been unusual for anglers to score on speckled trout ranging from 8 to 10 pounds each and every year.
Redfish too are abundant and can be found in schools in the lake, its jetties and on the southern beaches to the east and west where the area meets the rich Gulf of Mexico.
Flounder are also numerous and can be taken wherever broken shell meets shoreline during periods of tidal movement on many days.
Crabs and shrimp are also plentiful in the lake and residents enjoy exemplary cuisine of these crustaceans complementing the fisheries.
This southwestern Louisiana region is also noted habitat that supports 400 species of birds including a diverse variety of wintering waterfowl.
A huge population of alligators in the region far exceeds the number of residents in the area.
The nearby well-traversed Creole Nature Trail is popular to national and international tourists in exemplifying the diverse flora and fauna of the area.
East meets west here as the culture and architecture on the shores of the lake are influenced by prairie Cajun traditions to the east and nearby Texas customs to the west.
Large ranch-like homes and weekend villas accent both eastern and western shores of the lake, and these offer a unique experience of the area’s culture and rich seafood cuisine.
SWLA Sportsman Calcasieu Lake Lodge
Now in its second year, the SWLA Calcasieu Lake Lodge is again offering its lakeside, ranch-style villa to state, national and international tourists who are eager to experience the western Louisiana culture and rich cuisine during summer 2016.
This lodge is located on the central portion of the lake on the eastern shore just 18 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana north of Hebert’s Marina.
The villa-style ranch home offers a large living area with adjacent fully equipped kitchen and three bedrooms sleeping 10 visitors very comfortably.
Located downstairs is a well-equipped outdoor cooking area with adjacent wet bar, jacuzzi and nearby large flat-screen, satellite TV.
The ranch offers a lighted pier/wharf that extends well into the lake for fishing and crabbing adventures. Frequenting the pier are schools of speckled trout, sand trout and sporadic redfish. The structure of the pier offers habitat to other saltwater fish species such as sheepshead and saltwater drum.
Crabbing with drop-nets and hand lines baited with turkey necks offer both recreation and the opportunity to complement the evening seafood cuisine.
Shrimp and even crawfish when available can be obtained from many local vendors in the area.
Local catering is also an option for visitors enjoying SWLA’s Calcasieu Lake Lodge.
A broad network of local guides to choose from is also available for inland fishing trips for speckled trout and redfish, or offshore adventures for big-game species such as cobia, red snapper and other species.
Both the wet bar area and the extended pier are engineered with a SONOS surround sound system.
The villa is a WiFi environment which extends downstairs to the wet bar and jacuzzi area.
Interested guests and clients may contact April Cox (337-661-1163) for more information to schedule and plan your stay for summer 2016.
At SWLA’s Calcasieu Lodge, there are many booking options available to make your experience of southwestern Louisiana very memorable and eventful.