Calcasieu Lake winter specks

Putting his binoculars down, Lake Charles’ Ken Chaumont pointed toward the interior of a cove in western Calcasieu Lake.

“See that area over there?” he asked. “I like what I’m seeing . . . mullet are moving.”

Chaumont then trolled up to 100 yards of the area and cast a chartreuse-head Kick A Mullet, a five-inch hard bait that is jointed at the tail.

Ken Chaumont displays a great Calcasieu Lake trout.
Ken Chaumont displays a great Calcasieu Lake trout.

“There she is!” said Chaumont, as a trout slammed the bait after a couple of slight rips of the lure atop the water.

“I think this is a nice trout,” he added as the fish remained subsurface somewhat longer than usual.

Sure enough, it didn’t take long to hoist a quality, 17- inch yellowmouth aboard. After a few photos, the trout was released into the waters.

“There’s more here,” said the angler. “And they’re mixed in with smaller trout and reds.”

Chaumont’s predictions were right as later we were catching and photographing trout ranging from 12- inches to 17- inches.

As most anglers fishing the immense Calcasieu estuary in Louisiana can attest, winter action in Big Lake means quality trout. These fish suddenly turn on flats and reefs throughout the lake seeking mullet.

For the newcomer to the area, Calcasieu Lake refers to an immense estuary that encompasses 12×9 miles of a combination of lakes and southern marshes.

The “Big Lake” area is that part of the estuary at Turner’s Bay and below that is extremely wide and studded with submerged oyster reefs and expansive flats that average five or so feet in depth. A ship channel with industrial traffic runs the course of the entire estuary on its western edge.

Big Lake is well known throughout the south to deliver quality and trophy speckled trout to anglers, more than just a few measuring over two feet in length.

As for the Kick A Mullet which premiered in early 2012 by Egret Baits (www.egretbaits.com), this hard plastic lure follows in the tradition of well-known suspension baits, specifically the ever popular Corky by Paul Brown, MirrOlure’s Catch 2000 and the Storm jointed Thunderstick – all quality and trophy trout catchers from Calcasieu Lake westwards.

The lure’s chief purpose is to mimic the shape and action of mullet – the lake’s top prey of quality and trophy specks.

Thus far, a couple of trophies have been taken with the Kick A Mullet to include a trout at 26- inches and over nine pounds taken by Captain Bruce Shuler in Texas waters, as well as Chaumont’s own eight- pounder taken on Big Lake in February of 2012.

When finding the quality specks of the fall on Big Lake, visiting anglers are advised to look for mullet working over reefs and flats, and also on the smaller lakes to the north to include Moss Lake, Prien Lake and also Lake Charles.

Fishing reports from Calcasieu Lake can be obtained by viewing the American Press Newspaper’s online outdoors coverage at http://www.americanpress.com/sports/outdoors/.

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