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Jenke's Reef

Capt. Paul, What is the coordinates for Jenke's reef on the south end of Lake Borgne?
~ Captain Paul's response to: ~ Harlequin11 ~

~ Captain Paul's response to: ~ Harlequin11 ~

I have the north end of the shell Reef just north of Jahncke”s Ditch at or about 29°52.804’ ~ 89° 35.853’ W. Longitude. The reef runs from that point toward the shoreline just east of where Jahncke”s Ditch enters Lake Borgne which is at or about 29°52.7313’ N ~ 89° 35.842’ W . Most of the time the reef is under water, but at low tide it can clearly be seen. It is about 940 yards at a heading of 221° from the mouth of Bayou St. Malo at Lake Borgne.

Be careful when in the area as it is most of the time just below the surface of the water.

The shoreline site immediately west of the Ditch was a staging area for the Jahncke Company which was a big entity in the 1910-60’s. For additional information on the Jahncke endeavor, see the WYES TV web site at It is alleged that the Jahncke company paved most of the city streets and provided material for major endeavors such as the Tulane Stadium, the Robert E. Lee circle monument and many other building projects in and around the city of New Orleans.

There are remnants of clam shells through out that area. The actual site was in the tree line area just off of the shoreline and was mounted on concrete footings with heavy joists linking them together. There were several sheds there that housed their office and operating equipment. After the Jahncke moved its operations, the site was used by boaters as a protective cove if adverse weather caught them in the open lake. It was an ideal site for such use by small boats. I used it several times to escape bad weather.
Back then we rented skiffs from Campo’s at Shell Beach and put our 10 h.p. motor on them and ventured into Lake Borgne. The MRGO was just being cut at that time, so the Jahncke Ditch and the Priest camp farther to the west by Doullutte’s canal were the only way to get out of bad weather other than Bayous St Malo and Yscloskey. Several times we were grateful for the protective waters of the Ditch and the small “Y” bayou just inside the mouth of the Ditch. Other times we would wade fish the reef while actually anchored in the “Ditch.” We would pull the big ones up to the skif.

That whole area is a very productive location. The southern part of Lake Borgne from the old Fort Beauregard Ruins , the pilings around the mouth of Bayou Yscloskey, the mouth of the Doulluts Canal, and the canal itself, the Jahncke Ditch and Reef and the mouth of the Bayou St Malo area have always been a prime fishing area. It is unique in that it can be fished with a South, East and West wind. The only time I would avoid it would be in a sustained or heavy northern blow.

There was the remnants of the old road that was on the high just in from the shoreline. It was an old asphalt road that linked the buildings along the shoreline with Shell Beach and it even had a bridge over Doulluts Canal. It joined LA 46 at Bayou Yscloskey.

I remember that big reds would run hundred of mullet up on the shore line and even onto the roadway. We had several wade fishing spots along that stretch of the shoreline that were very productive. Be careful wading the area now, as I don’t know if the entire shoreline is safe to wade fish as there have been several major storms visit the area since out trips there in the 50’s.

Most anglers speed by these locations to what they think is better fishing areas; Oh if they only knew about these locations!

You are on to a very good fishing area, that doesn’t require 100 gallons of fuel to reach the location. It can be reached of course from the Shell beach area and from the Hopedale launches by using Bayous La Loutre and St Malo. The area is a very worth while stop.

Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 DATUM. All Headings/bearings/courses are stated in Magnetic Degrees.

Keep Safe,
Captain Paul
'Old Spots'
Capt. Paul...that was a grand old spot...wish I could re-live just a few days fish'n it times some use to get out the boat and fish off the reef...hope you can remember the Navy Attachment just 2 miles away...think they dumped old munitions for years just about a 1000 yrds out into the lake...makes me wonder what else is down there ???...cheers to 'ya
Admiral...I'm not old enough to remember any of that but the fishing is still great there at times. And some of us youngsters also know the fishing can be much better getting out of the boat and wade fishing the reef! I don't think many of us know that but some of us do! lol