Archives for : VuDu shrimp

Protected: VuDu Shrimp casting powerful spells

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Fall redfish bonanza – Part 1

Chris Berzas Photo This spotty marsh redfish was taken on Egret Baits' Kick A Mullet by Lake Charles' Ken Chaumont.

Chris Berzas Photo
This spotty marsh redfish was taken on Egret Baits’ Kick A Mullet by Lake Charles’ Ken Chaumont.

It’s that time for drag-screaming, rod-bending adventures if you’re an inland saltwater angler.

By all indications, redfish in the upper slot sizes are prowling marshes, bays and lakes to feed voraciously in fattening up for the rigors of the spawn.

Even some bull reds are venturing into inland waters to join up and enjoy the banquet.

It’s during mid-August through October when these bronzed beauties school up due chiefly to Mother Nature’s call to spawn. Baitfish, crabs and shrimp are targeted by redfish as they begin moving out of the marsh and into the edges and central portions of lakes and bays in good numbers.

Anglers savor these times as they will be ready and equipped to engage in battles with these pugnacious fish.

 

Calcasieu Lake – southwestern Louisiana

“In the early fall, I’ll find redfish mixed in with schools of trout in Calcasieu Lake,” Ken Chaumont of Egret Baits said.

“I’ll just cruise the lake at about 25 mph while picking up my binoculars to look around. If I see some gulls sitting and one of them flying around, that’s as good as gold to me in finding schooling redfish.”

To catch these lake reds, Chaumont will use Egret Baits’ Kick A Mullets and 3.5-inch Wedgetail Mullets on either 1/8- or ¼-ounce Beer Belly jigheads. He will also cast the VuDu Mullet in both the 3.5- and 4.5-inch models.

In the marshes bordering the lake on the southeastern and southwestern borders, Chaumont will cast Egret Baits’ Bayou Spin (spinnerbait) with a Wedgetail Mullet trailer. He will also use both sizes of Egret Baits’ jointed Kick A Mullets – the 4- and 5-inch versions.

“With the Bayou Spin, you have the flash and vibration of a gold Colorado blade with the added attraction of our patented Wedgetail design which makes that plastic tail flutter too,” Chaumont said.

A group of gulls will often hover over marsh pods of redfish, and Chaumont glasses for these birds as well.

Chaumont will cast his lures ahead of the tailing redfish or the wakes that usually signal their presence. Another lure that Chaumont will throw for marsh redfish with success is the 4-inch VuDu Shrimp under a VuDu Rattling Cork.

“Fall is just a great time to be fishing for redfish here in Calcasieu Lake,” Chaumont added. “It’s a numbers game at this time of the year. Anglers should have no trouble catching more than just a few and limiting their keepers to the sizes they choose.”

For more information regarding Egret Baits, visit their website at www.egretbaits.com. You can also join the Egret Baits’ Facebook Page for much more information about new and existing products at www.facebook.com/EgretBaits.

 

 Dularge – southeastern Louisiana

Photo courtesy of Capt. Bill Jean Lake (left), Capt. Bill's wife, and his son, Chris, display a few fall redfish taken south of Dularge.

Photo courtesy of Capt. Bill
Jean Lake (left), Capt. Bill’s wife, and his son, Chris, display a few fall redfish taken south of Dularge.

In southeast Louisiana, the sheer magnitude of the marsh environment there dictates different strategies at catching the area’s bountiful redfish population.

“Right now (September), we’re catching them in deeper holes here out of Dularge,” said Capt. Bill Lake of Bayou Guide Service (www.captlake.com).

“In October and November before the big cold fronts hit, we’ll fish for them in lakes and duck ponds,” he said.

In the deeper waterways in areas 12- to 25-feet deep, Lake will use crab and minnows for bait as the reds will stack up in good numbers. Live baitfish and crabs will also frequent the deeper holes as they follow tidal movement and flow.

“We will also sight-fish for redfish in certain areas,” he said.

“One of my favorite areas is Lost Lake where we’ll drop our trolling motors and move away from the banks,” he said. “On some days, we could find schools of 5 to 6 fish and other schools may number as many as 35 redfish.”

Lake and his clients will find tailing redfish on gold spoons and Egret Baits LSU Bayou Chubs.

“If there’s baitfish and a good current, those redfish will school on the points in Coup Platte Pass,” the angler said. “We’ll go along the north and south banks and fish the points. These areas will often be shallow, 2 to 3 feet of water, and we’ll find the reds and just burn them.”

As for Lake’s other chosen artificials, these include Wedgetail Mullets, spinnerbaits, and VuDu Shrimp.

The larger specimens, what anglers refer to as bulls (20- to 40-pounders), also prowl in numbers inshore but also near barrier islands, passes and beaches in the Gulf.

“Bull reds can be found out of Dularge in Grand Pass,” Lake said. “Just anchor up along the Pass and cast crabs on Carolina rigs with a 2-ounce weight and a No. 9 hook, and you can catch bull reds and black drum from 25 to 40 pounds when the tide is moving,” he said.

For more information, you can contact Capt. Lake at 985-637-3712.

 

 

Sabine sweetwater bass

Chris Berzas photo On the southern end of the Sabine River below I-10, a major prey for the masses of small bass in the sweetwaters of the Sabine River are shrimp – and shrimp imitations such as the VuDu work well.

Chris Berzas photo
On the southern end of the Sabine River below I-10, a major prey species for the masses of small marsh bass in the sweetwaters of the Sabine River are shrimp – and shrimp imitations such as the VuDu work well.

 

In the corner of his eye, Lake Charles’ Ken Chaumont spied what he was looking for.

On a weedy point on the Louisiana side of the Sabine River across from Orange, Texas, balls of “rain shad” as he called them were erupting out of the water.

“Oh, we are gonna get into them now,” said the 59-year-old angler and veteran lure designer with Egret Baits.

Picking up his rod, he quickly cast a pearly-white, 3 ¼-inch plastic VuDu shrimp within the boiling fray on the eddy side of the point. He worked the shrimp as a swim-bait moving it slowly without a popping cork when suddenly he felt the tap and set the hook.

“It’s a small bass, and there should be plenty more here,” he said.

Sure enough and cast after cast, four 10- to 12-inch fish were taken on that point.

“Lots of numbers,” said the angler. “We have some tidal movement, and as you can see the baitfish are here.”

The bite slowed after the fourth fish, so Chaumont then backed his boat off the point. Picking up another rod, he re-maneuvered back up the current flow while tying on a small, ¼-ounce white-skirted spinnerbait adorned with a small Colorado, thumper blade – a lure he named as the Stanley Speed Bump spinnerbait.

This bait too he cast into the tidal movement, and once again the line started running.

He pulled the fish in, a tad larger specimen at 15 inches.

“Now then, this is exactly what I call the standard length of the bass you catch here in the fall,” said Chaumont. “But you’ll catch one keeper (14 inches and over) out of every four- to five-bass taken. The rest of them will be under the limit.”

“My largest taken in this system was a six- pounder some years ago,” he said. “But I can tell you that’s an extremely rare bass weight on the Sabine.”

Chris Berzas photo Redfish too can be taken along with bass on the southern section of the Sabine River before its eventual entry into Sabine Lake.

Chris Berzas photo
Redfish too can be taken along with bass on the southern section of the Sabine River before its eventual entry into Sabine Lake.

Chaumont is no stranger to the Sabine River as he has fished the area for some 43 years with friends and family. He also enjoyed the nearby Calcasieu River for 52 years as its banks were home to his family’s camp in Indian Village.

“The Calcasieu may offer better bass quality and size,” said Chaumont. “But the Sabine in comparison has a much greater bass population.”

Sabine River located on the Louisiana/Texas border was placed in the national spotlight during the first Bassmaster Elite tournament of 2013, the Sabine River Challenge conducted in March. Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Tx. won the event with 49.6- pounds of bass taken near Texas’ Taylor Bayou – reachable waters from the launch site in Orange.

Many of the elite professional bass anglers found the Sabine River itself very tough in March – with loads of small, non-keeper bass reported.

The fact of the matter however is prior to this event, the Sabine River was also an unknown to the vast majority of Louisiana bass anglers – save those in the northwestern, western and southwestern parishes who fished this river basin regularly.

As for the Sabine River estuary itself, it divides Louisiana and Texas for approximately 275 miles, including Toledo Bend Reservoir, before emptying into Sabine Lake and ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The southern sweetwaters south of I-10

 On the southern end just north of the City of Orange’s public boat landing, Chaumont motored to points, drains, marsh cuts, old bridge remnants and abandoned dock pilings.

In these areas, he caught small bass and a few keepers above 14- inches on white Stanley Speed Bump spinnerbaits and pearly white (ghost) VuDu shrimp.

“You want to work current,” he said. “So if the river is dead, and there is no current whatsoever – you’re looking at tough fishing. This southern part is tide-driven off the Sabine Lake and the Gulf of Mexico.

“You have two major influences here – the water coming down the river from the north, and your tides moving in and out on the south end,” he explained. “So you have to try and coordinate a little bit.

Chris Berzas photo With small, white spinnerbaits, Chaumont works what he calls a “Wake and Break” technique whereby the lure is reeled just a little submerged creating a wake and quickly lifted above allowing the blade to pop the surface quickly imitating shad breaking the water.

Chris Berzas photo
With small, white spinnerbaits, Chaumont works what he calls a “Wake and Break” technique whereby the lure is reeled just a little submerged creating a wake and quickly lifted above allowing the blade to pop the surface quickly imitating shad breaking the water.

“I like to fish a falling tide, and you’ll see the cuts bleed around the points and the eddies forming around the old pilings and abandoned dock structures. So if you pull up to a piling or to a stump during a flow, you’ll find bass concentrated in numbers on the down side of the eddy created by the resistance of the structure. These fish will hold and wait for bait to swim by and then charge out and hit the lures.”

According to the angler, shrimp on the southern end are prime bass prey in addition to schools of shad

“Watch for your balls of shad, as they’ll look like little balls of bait swimming,” he described. “You’ll see them explode on top and the ball break apart to the surface. A spinnerbait with a silver blade on it and a shad-colored crankbait will work well by casting them in there and ripping it to those shrimp and shad balls.

“You don’t want to just plow your baits through it. You want the lure to run up into the shad and then let the bait fall through the ball. Slowly pick it up and bass will charge it and hit it.”

Chaumont also picked up a couple of small redfish, but he did see larger redfish in the system on the day of the trip.

Chaumont uses a spinnerbait technique he termed as the “Wake and Break” to mimic the erupting balls of shad on the waters.

Chris Berzas photo Egret Baits' new VuDu Mullet is a potent swimbait for marsh bass, redfish and even speckled trout that roam the southern Sabine River below I-10.

Chris Berzas photo
Egret Baits’ new VuDu Mullet is a potent swimbait for marsh bass, redfish and even speckled trout that roam the southern Sabine River below I-10.

“You want to take that white Stanley Speed Bump spinnerbait and wake it to the surface near and within the shad ball and then let it fall and immediately wake it again,” he explained. “When doing this the blade pops out the water and imitates shad breaking on top.

“On the south end, you can actually catch a mixed bag of fish in the sweetwaters here to include bass, redfish, trout and flounder in just one trip especially when using VuDu shrimp, the new VuDu Mullet and small spinnerbaits,” he said. “This can be expected to occur in August, September, October and early November. The keys are little to no rainfall, tidal movement and the presence of baitfish balls and shrimp popping out the water.”

On the Louisiana side, there is a landing accessible to the southern sweetwaters of the Sabine River although it can be congested especially on weekends. It is termed the Old Hwy. 90 Burnout Bridge launch and ventures into a tributary of the Sabine River located on the western end of the old Hwy. 90 near Vinton. The launch however is better suited towards small craft, aluminum boats, canoes and kayaks.

Other than the Burnout Bridge Launch, the available launch for both small and large craft alike close to areas south of I-10 is the City of Orange Boat Ramp, a free public landing located at 1000 Simmons Dr. & Harry Reed Rd. in Orange, Texas.

 

Jerry McBride takes 3 trophy snook on Egret Baits

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride This snook taken by Jerry McBride measured nearly 46 inches in length. McBride caught this fish in the St. Lucie Estuary on April 3.  The angler caught this huge snook on an Egret Baits Bone Mo-Flash, 3.5-inch Wedgetail Mullet.

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride
This snook taken by Jerry McBride measured nearly 46 inches in length. McBride caught this fish on an Egret Baits, Bone Mo-Flash, 3.5-inch Wedgetail Mullet in the St. Lucie Estuary on April 3.

 

Jerry McBride of Jensen Beach, Florida. is quite the well-known expert angler for the gator speckled trout that cruise the Indian River Lagoon.

Currently the angler is on a personal quest for a 40-inch trophy trout, as he has already taken more than just a few of this species at 30 inches and more. Admittedly his largest, a 15-pounder, was taken some years back.

More recently, however, McBride experienced the delight of catching and releasing some of the longest snook caught and released in recent years. Two of them would have broken the current all-tackle IGFA length record of 109 centimeters, had McBride measured them with the official IGFA ruler.

All of these monster snook were taken on Egret Baits.

 

Snook No. 1

It was the afternoon of Thursday, April 3 when McBride steered his Hobie kayak into the South Fork of the St. Lucie Estuary near Stuart.

“It was actually the first time I fished the Egret Baits Bone Mo-Flash, 3.5-inch Wedgetail Mullet,” he said. “I had it rigged on the ¼-ounce Egret Baits’ red Beer Belly jighead.

According to the angler, the tide was almost dead low, which aided McBride in later landing this fish.

“When I hooked her, she went through the bridge pilings and then tried to cut the line in the mangrove root systems and oysters,” he said. “But thanks to the low tide, she was too big to reach the shallow water under the mangroves.”

After bringing the prized snook to the kayak, McBride measured her at almost 46 inches in length and estimated she weighed in the low 30s.

“I was very lucky as there was a youngster fishing on shore about 75 yards away. He took some great shots with my camera before I released her. Typical old snook from the South Fork, very dark and kinda skinny,” he said.

 

Snook No. 2

Prior to leaving for a writers conference on May 10, McBride had spied a huge snook cruising shallow flats in the Indian River Lagoon. He never had the time to have a try at this fish before the trip, however.

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride McBride's snook No. 2, caught on an Egret Baits 3.25-inch tiger VuDu Shrimp rigged weedless.  It was measured to be over 43-inches in length.

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride
McBride’s snook No. 2  was taken on an Egret Baits 3.25-inch tiger VuDu Shrimp rigged weedless. It was measured to be over 43-inches in length.

“She was very distinctive due to her width and light color. She snuck up behind me twice in knee-deep water, and I never got a shot at her,” McBride said.

Upon return from the conference, McBride had his chance again at the fish on Monday, May 19.

“I saw her twice that afternoon, and I was careful not to spook her when she swam past me,” he said.

McBride decided to give the area a rest and let the fish settle down while the tide dropped, landing a couple good trout a quarter-mile away before sneaking back to where he’d seen the big snook.

“The tide had dropped, so I switched to a VuDu shrimp I rigged weedless. I caught her blind-casting in a small area where the big girls consistently stage around the tide change,” he said.

“I hooked her on an Egret Baits’ 3.25-inch tiger VuDu Shrimp. I rigged the VuDu weedless on a 2/0 short neck weighted worm hook. ”

According to McBride, this snook was photographed and measured with assistance from a couple of friends, including Capt. Michael Connor, publisher and editor-in-chief of Fly & Light Tackle Angler.

Its length was a little over 43 inches – almost 3 inches shorter than McBride’s snook taken on April 3. But both Conner and McBride estimated the snook to be in the 40-pound class.

“I’ve caught longer snook, but we’d never seen one nearly as wide across the shoulders,” McBride said. “Mike and I both put the snook in the 40-pound class, which I wouldn’t have thought possible for a 43-inch snook. She unfortunately had a very short tail section, but was otherwise absolutely massive.”

According to the IGFA website, McBride’s second snook would have slightly bettered the current 109-centimeter catch-and-release all-tackle length record.

In retrospect, the angler’s previous snook taken on April 3 would have broken the record by an amazing 7 centimeters.

“The guy at the IGFA tells me I need to buy their $45 ruler,” McBride laughed. “But the record I’d love to break is the 17-7 world-record trout that was caught here about 20 years ago.”

 

Snook No. 3

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride This snook No. 3 was taken by McBride when fishing an Egret Baits 4-inch gold VuDu Shrimp. This snook measured 39-inches.

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride
McBride’s snook No. 3 was taken when fishing an Egret Baits 4-inch gold VuDu Shrimp. This snook measured 39-inches.

 

Two days later, McBride was again paddling on the Indian River Lagoon.

“I only saw one big snook all morning. She blew up on a mullet in a shallow trough,” McBride said.

This time, McBride had an Egret Baits 4-inch gold VuDu Shrimp tied to his line, and three casts later he was in a battle with yet another giant snook.

“This snook jumped a whole bunch, and shook her head harder than any snook I’d caught before,” he said. “I didn’t work her hard because I could see my line was shredded due to her abrasive teeth and razor-sharp gill plates. It actually took longer to land her than the two bigger fish.”

“She measured 39 inches,” he said. “A very nice lady just happened to paddle by and shot a few pictures before I turned her loose.”

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride Besides using Egret Baits as his lures, McBride used the following tackle components in catching his three trophy snook: an Aqua Dream ADS72S8/15 rod; an Okuma 35S Helios reel; 10-pound PowerPro Slick braid; and 30-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.

Photo courtesy of Jerry McBride
Besides using Egret Baits as his lures, McBride used the following tackle components in catching his three trophy snook: an Aqua Dream ADS72S8/15 rod; an Okuma 35S Helios reel; 10-pound PowerPro Slick braid; and 30-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.

 

 

Besides using Egret Baits as his lures, McBride used the following tackle components in catching his three trophy snook: an Aqua Dream ADS72S8/15 rod; an Okuma 35S Helios reel; 10-pound PowerPro Slick braid; and 30-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.

 

 

 

For more information on all Egret Baits products, visit: www.egretbaits.com.

Egret Baits Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EgretBaits.

 

Impressive numbers of fall speckled trout

Capt. Bill Lake Photo Tony Fontenot of Castin' Cajun and Chris Lake display two speckled trout of many taken on VuDu Shrimp when fishing south of Dularge.

Capt. Bill Lake Photo
Tony Fontenot of Castin’ Cajun and Chris Lake display two speckled trout of many taken on VuDu Shrimp when fishing south of Dularge.

On November 9, the day before duck season opened last year (2012), Captain Bill Lake of Houma had what he called a great day of inland fishing for speckled trout.

“We hit Lake Mechant first, and birds were working everywhere with shrimp jumping at the mouth of Bayou Raccourci and Trapper’s Bayou,” he said.

“Out of every 10 fish taken, only one- to two- were keepers, so we moved off these fish and motored over to Lost Lake,” said the angler.

Lake then explained that there were falling waters in this location, and he arrived with his crew at a point at Coup Platte Pass where three- to four- birds were working.

“When we got close, I observed some jumbo shrimp jumping and the trout were just boiling under them,” he said. “So I dropped my Power Pole in four feet of water and started fishing.

“We had VuDu shrimp tied on – root beer and glow/chartreuse colors – and we started catching specks on every cast,” said Lake. “These were good, keeper fish, all ranging 15- to 17- inches.”

According to Lake, he and his anglers managed to pull in 100 speckled trout in 35- to 40- minutes.

“It was incredible action,” he described. “My clients were swinging them in the boat rapidly. We never got off that point until all limits were taken.”

The next morning, Lake’s boat ventured straight to the same location, and the trout were there.

“I had a lady and a gentleman with me on that trip,” he said. “We caught 46 trout there and the bite stopped. We finished out our limits at a second location.”

For certain, Captain Lake’s experiences on fall fishing trips for speckled trout are but a sample of what area anglers can expect. Also, hunting seasons get going well by November, and the lack of fishing pressure and cool weather combine for pleasant inland fishing trips along the coast.

What can the anglers in the Houma/Thibodaux area expect in terms of fall fishing in the area?

“Hopefully with no major storms hitting the coast this year, we will have a fine fall of catching good numbers of specks,” said Lake.

“When good weather prevails, we really never have a bad fall here in terms of numbers and quality,” he said.

“By November, we are seeing trout in Lost Lake and Lake Mechant,” said Lake. “Lake Mechant can really be a killer in delivering great numbers, yet Lost Lake is rarely fished.

Capt. Bill Lake Photo This picture illustrates the bounty of speckled trout that can be taken in the fall in inland waters south of Dularge. These fish were taken on LSU Bayou Chubs by Capt. Bill Lake's clients.

Capt. Bill Lake Photo
This picture illustrates the bounty of speckled trout that can be taken in the fall in inland waters south of Dularge. These fish were taken on LSU Bayou Chubs by Capt. Bill Lake’s clients.

“I would also recommend the mouth of Bayou Raccourci, actually both ends,” he said. “You’ll find trout on the north end where it goes into the Bay, and fish will be on the south end as well. There will also be fish in Deer Bayou on the northeast corner of Lake Mechant.

“The shrimp will be moving out of drains in these areas, and the trout will be stacked up on the mouth of these bayous,” explained Lake. “Look for birds working the area.

Regarding lures for these specks, Lake made specific recommendations.

“There is absolutely no doubt that the best baits anglers can throw are VuDu shrimp under a cork,” he said. “We also throw Bayou Chubs under a cork, and the colors that work are LSU, Cajun Pepper and Chicken-on-a-chain.”

“As we head into the colder fishing days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ll be then focusing on deeper waters in the dead end canals in the area,” said the angler.

At that time of the year, Lake throws the aforementioned Bayou Chubs on a ¼- oz. jighead without a cork.

In the dead end canals, he will also cast three- inch Tsunami swimbaits in the following colors: blue/back, purple haze, glow, bunker and speckled trout/beige with black dots. Reel the Tsunami swimbaits in slowly on the bottom after casting recommended the angler.

For more fishing information and guide service, Captain Bill Lake’s Bayou Guide Service can be reached at 985-637-3712 (cell). He can be messaged by e-mail at b.lakejr@comcast.net.

 

Fall flounder fanaticism

Ken Chaumont Photo Ken Chaumont of Lake Charles is finding flounder on mud flats and shell bottoms in Calcasieu Lake. He uses Egret Baits' green chili pepper Wedgetail Mullets on 1/8 oz. Beer Belly jigs slowly worked over mud flats to the nearby ledge meeting deeper waters.

Ken Chaumont Photo
Ken Chaumont of Lake Charles is finding flounder on mud flats and shell bottoms in Calcasieu Lake. He uses Egret Baits’ green chili pepper Wedgetail Mullets on 1/8 oz. Beer Belly jigs slowly worked over mud flats to the nearby ledge meeting deeper waters.

Most of the year, flounder may be considered a sporadic, yet valued by-catch species for many saltwater anglers along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

But once the Autumn Equinox sets in and water temperatures begin to fall, flounder fever soars as coastal anglers target these flatties for quick, easy catches.

On Saturday, September 14, Craig Vidrine of Opelousas and I started a Saturday morning catching bass and a few speckled trout north of the Saltwater Barrier near Lake Charles, La.

“Let’s go to Cameron for some flounder,” Vidrine said.

We knew it was a gamble as it was a little early for flatties, but the tides were moving well and were forecast to continue for most of the day. So we trailered the boat and headed south on Hwy. 27 to the Cameron Ferry landing in hopes of finding a few of these

Upon reaching our fishing location on the Calcasieu Ship Channel, it didn’t take long.

“I have one now,” Vidrine said as he was reeling the fish in, his rod arching a little.

Photo by Chris Berzas Craig Vidrine of Opelousas enjoys taking flounders along the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Flounders are known to stage on shell and hard-packed bottoms prior to their migration into the Gulf of Mexico for spawning . This fish was taken on a pearl chartreuse-tail Egret Baits' VuDu Shrimp.

Photo by Chris Berzas
Craig Vidrine of Opelousas enjoys taking flounders along the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Flounders are known to stage on shell and hard-packed bottoms prior to their migration into the Gulf of Mexico for spawning . This fish was taken on a pearl chartreuse-tail Egret Baits’ VuDu Shrimp.

Just a little while later, my rod too was bending as I had hooked another  flatty definitely headed to the cooler.

“They’re here already,” I said.

“Yes, but when we caught our limits each day for three days last year, that was only two weeks from now,” Vidrine said. “I figured some must be here.”

But the word “some” in his remark was an understatement.

In just two hours, we each caught a limit (10 flounder in Louisiana). Also included in the catch were a few speckled trout that just happened to be cruising by.

Very particularly, the flatties we caught were very interested in our pearl/chartreuse VuDu Shrimp by Egret Baits and Berkley Gulp! Shrimp of the same color.

The flounder were biting with subtlety, so Vidrine and I both used medium/light spinning rods with fast-action tips at 7- feet in length with low profile spinning reels.

Of importance was the fact that we moved at less than drifting speed, thus allowing the bottom bumping baits to be worked slowly and meticulously.

“They’re kinda like just loading up on the VuDus,” Vidrine said.

“Yah, I noticed the same,” I replied. “Very much like crappie . . . the bite is so subtle.”

Photo by Chris Berzas Haven Wills, at 10 years of age catches his first ever saltwater fish - a slot redfish - while fishing with his grandfather, Keeta Arnold of Opelousas.

Photo by Chris Berzas
Haven Wills, at 10 years of age catches his first ever saltwater fish – a slot redfish – while fishing with his grandfather, Keeta Arnold of Opelousas.

Two weeks later, Lake Charles’ Ken Chaumont and a buddy were fishing south of the Grand Bayou Boat Bay in Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge (before the government shutdown).

“We got into the flounder too,” Chaumont said. “We caught them by slowly working Egret Baits’ 3.5- inch green chili pepper Wedgetail Mullets on 1/8 oz. Beer Belly jigs. “We were able to keep the Wedgetails upright when slowly moving them on the mud flats to where the flats met deeper water with our Beer Belly jig.

“One more cool front and these flounder are going to stack in quick and thick,” he said.

Certainly, it is well known that all along the coastline the fall flounder migration is nearly here. Sometimes in mid-October through Mid-November, flounder in marshes, bays and estuaries will begin a mass migration to Gulf of Mexico waters to spawn.

But before that, they’ll stage in grand numbers on the southern end of the estuaries and choose shell- and hard-packed bottoms to lay flat and ambush prey to fatten up before the rigors of the spawn.

Therefore, if you’re in the game for these flatty delicacies – now’s the time to go get them.

Photo by Chris Berzas At day's end, two limits of flounder as well as a few speckled trout were taken in Calcasieu Lake. The bass were taken earlier that morning at the Saltwater Barrier.

Photo by Chris Berzas
At day’s end, two limits of flounder as well as a few speckled trout were taken in Calcasieu Lake. The bass were taken earlier that morning at the Saltwater Barrier.

For more information regarding Egret Baits, you can find their website at www.egretbaits.com. You can also visit their Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/EgretBaits.

Hefty Tripletail mesmerized by VuDu shrimp

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Reulet  Jonathan Reulet recently caught this hefty Tripletail at 20- pounds on an Egret Bait VuDu Shrimp - Root Beer color south of Thibodaux.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Reulet
Jonathan Reulet recently caught this hefty Tripletail at 20- pounds on an Egret Bait VuDu Shrimp – Root Beer color south of Thibodaux.

In December of 2012, Egret Baits began offering for sale their hottest new item yet on the market – the VuDu shrimp.

Designed initially to catch school trout under birds and over reefs, the VuDu shrimp has boated several speckled trout over 6- pounds, the largest of which was a 8.25- pounder taken by Captain Brent Roy in the Venice area on Wednesday, May 15.

And the VuDu shrimp has also been responsible for catches of other saltwater species since its inception – especially hefty redfish and large flounders.

Just recently on Wednesday, June 19, Egret Baits’ Ken Chaumont received word of yet another hefty saltwater species taken on a VuDu, a very tough fighting fish taken by Jonathan Reulet of Thibodaux, La. on Tuesday, June 11.

“I was fishing for specks in the Gulf approximately 7 miles south of the mouth of Oyster Bayou in Terrebonne Parish,” wrote Reulet to Chaumont.

“We tied up to a small oil/gas platform,” he explained.

“On my first cast using a Root Beer VuDu shrimp under a popping cork with a heavy mono leader tied to 12 lbs. Berkley big game mono, I hooked up to a Tripletail!”

Upon hooking the fish, Reulet admitted to concerns he had heard about the VuDu Shrimp, as he had heard of its hook straightening on larger redfish and big trout.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Reulet Upon hooking the large Tripletail, Reulet had initial concerns over the VuDu hook, but "both the baits and the hook held up perfectly."

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Reulet
Upon hooking the large Tripletail, Reulet had initial concerns over the VuDu hook, but “both the bait and the hook held up perfectly.”

“After about 5 minutes fighting, I was able to land the fish,” wrote Reulet. “Both the bait and hook held up perfectly!”

Upon boating the large tripletail and weighing it, the scale read 20- pounds!

Reulet went on to write, “Catching a Tripletail is proof that the action of the Vudu shrimp mimics that of live shrimp extremely well.

“While I currently only have the root beer shrimp, I do plan to expand my tackle collection with other colors,” the angler wrote.

 

 

Egret Baits’ VuDu Shrimp

 

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Reulet Reulet's Tripletail at 20- pounds was taken on the root beer VuDu shrimp.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Reulet
Reulet’s Tripletail at 20- pounds was taken on the root beer VuDu shrimp.

Egret Baits’ VuDu shrimp could be best described as a 3.25- inch plastic shrimp that is notched along the tail and weaved with strands of durable nylon. Also, a 3/16 oz. jighead with an attached hook courses the length of the interior of the body with the hook protruding on its dorsal surface.

 

Fishing the VuDu

“The number one way to fish the VuDu for speckled trout is under a popping cork,” said Chaumont. “I’ll use a Comal 3-inch cork with the VuDu shrimp at 18- to 20- inches below it. The cork is weighted and will cast better than any non-weighted ones.”

“You want to pop it a couple of times, stop – and then pop it a couple of times again and stop. Most of the time it’s when you stop it – after you’ve popped it – when the trout attacks the shrimp,” he said.

“Another excellent method to work these baits is to troll the VuDu,” said Chaumont. “You place the trolling motor on low and cast the bait behind the boat without a cork.”

For more information regarding Egret Baits’ VuDu shrimp, visit their website at Egret Baits. Egret Baits also has a Facebook site (www.facebook.com/EgretBaits/) where news, information, stories and progress on new developments can be obtained.

 

 

Putting VuDu magic on speckled trout

Egret Baits' Ken Chaumont displays a quality speckled trout taken on the new VuDu shrimp when fishing Louisiana's Calcasieu Lake.

Egret Baits’ Ken Chaumont displays a quality speckled trout taken on the new VuDu shrimp when fishing Louisiana’s Calcasieu Lake.

By Chris Berzas

Fishing under the birds this past fall in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Lake, Egret Baits’ Ken Chaumont of Lake Charles, La. decided to test a new lure that caught his attention.

Its design could be best described as a 3 1/4- inch plastic shrimp that is notched along the tail and weaved with strands of durable nylon. Also, a ¼ oz. jighead with an attached hook courses the length of the interior of the body with the hook protruding on its dorsal surface.

At the time, this shrimp was only one of two sent to him by the manufacturer for testing.

I happened to be there doing a trout story earlier that morning, and I admit I wanted to see how lure company reps test new items before marketing them.

Of course, I had to swear an oath of confidentiality short of signing a non-disclosure agreement – but I am certainly happy I stayed around for the duration.

We were working the main reef out of Turner’s Bay on a sunny afternoon during the week, and the water was void of boats and other guides.

“Look here, I have a trout already,” said Chaumont hoisting aboard what was the first of many trout in the 14- to 17- inch range.

The angler was using a 3-inch, weighted Comal popping cork with the shrimp placed about 18- inches below the cork.

For a couple of weeks, Chaumont kept catching trout after trout in the same 14- to 17- inch lengths under birds and atop reefs throughout Calcasieu Lake.

“I caught over 50 specks on just one of the baits before I began working the other one,” said the angler.

“And I’m calling it the VuDu because it’s like magic the way it catches so many trout,” he said.HandVuDu1

In November and December, anglers Chris Ramos and Raymond Duhon joined Chaumont in testing a few more VuDus as Chaumont offered Egret Baits’ first batch for sale.

Here are some fishing tips this trio has to offer since these baits are now offered in good numbers to saltwater anglers.

 

Under popping corks

“The number one way to fish the VuDu for speckled trout is under a popping cork,” said Chaumont. “I’ll use a Comal 3-inch popping cork (coned) with the VuDu shrimp at 18- to 20- inches below it. The cork is weighted and will cast better than any non-weighted ones.”

According to Chaumont, he’ll use light or ultra-light tackle with a Lew’s speed spool baitcasting reel or spinning reel spooled with 10-pound test fluorocarbon line.

“It will be easier to cast and you’ll get more distance,” he said.

“You want to pop it a couple of times . . . stop . . . pop it a couple of times again . . . and stop,” said the angler. “Most of the time it’s when you stop it – after you’ve popped it – when the trout attacks the shrimp.”

Angler Chris Ramos of Sulphur has also been successful yet with a slightly different style and method.

Chris Ramos of Lake Charles, La. said that the VuDu shrimp is extremely effective on school trout. But he and his fishing buddy Raymond Duhon have also taken a couple that weighed 4 pounds.

Chris Ramos of Lake Charles, La. said that the VuDu shrimp is extremely effective on school trout. But he and his fishing buddy Raymond Duhon have also taken a couple that weighed 4 pounds.

“I’ll fish the VuDu under a Bomber Paradise float,” said Ramos. “I’ll place the VuDu 12- to 18- inches below the float and pop it often. It really works well when fishing under the birds, and I find it imitates the sound of a trout popping the shrimp on top.”

Both Chaumont and Ramos agreed that the VuDu shrimp lends itself to be easily worked by youth anglers as well as adults learning to fish for speckled trout.

“This shrimp will allow children and adults to spend more time on casting and catching fish as opposed to the length of time spent changing live- or market- shrimp repeatedly on their hooks,” said Chaumont.

“This bait is designed for schooling trout – not trophy trout,” emphasized Chaumont. “The VuDu shrimp is best utilized when fishing under birds and over reefs when trout are active.”

Lake Charles’ Raymond Duhon is amazed by what happens to the VuDu once it’s inside a trout’s mouth.

“Whenever I got a strike, I have yet to lose a fish on a VuDu,” said Duhon. “The trout get hooked on the hard palates on the top of their mouths. And that occurs no matter what size they are.”

And Chris Ramos said that it’s not only small, 12-inch school trout that attack the VuDu.

“Many of the fish we have taken were above 14- inches,” said Ramos. “Two we caught on the VuDu were at 4 pounds!”

On one VuDu shrimp alone, Ramos said he has taken over 100 trout, and the bait was still in good shape.

 

Tightlining the VuDu

“Another excellent method to work these baits is to troll the VuDu,” said Chaumont. “You place the trolling motor on low and cast the bait behind the boat without a cork.”

Prien Lake anglers will readily recall when this fall, many speckled trout were taken in 12- to 18- feet of water on the edges of the channel that runs through Prien Lake northwards. Trolling then worked very well for these suspended speckled trout.

“I also work it without a cork,” said Ramos. “I’ll use a steady retrieve and then allow it to stop and fall. I’ll give it a one- two- count after casting before beginning the retrieve.

Lake Charles' Raymond Duhon has yet to lose a fish when they strike the VuDu.. He said the trout get hooked on the hard palates on the top of their mouths.

Lake Charles’ Raymond Duhon has yet to lose a fish when they strike the VuDu.. He said the trout get hooked on the hard palates on the top of their mouths.

“Or I’ll simply fish it on the bottom and pop it every now and then,” said the angler. “The tail is so loose that it provides a lot of action, and the VuDu shrimp’s eyes glow in the water.

“It’s really a great effective bait that attracts trout,” said Ramos.

Chaumont has also enticed flounder with the VuDu.

“It’s also excellent on sand flats when tightlining for flounder,” said Chaumont. “I’ve taken many flounder when working the usual locations where you find them.”

 

Where to obtain the VuDu

For now, Egret Bait’s new VuDu shrimp can be bought two per pack only online through their website and Facebook site.

These can be accessed at: http://www.egretbaits.com/egret_store.html#!/~/category/id=4232109&offset=0&sort=nameAsc online, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EgretBaits/app_251458316228.

Some tackle establishments are also offering them now, but it’s best to check by giving them a telephone call for availability.

 

%d bloggers like this: