Difficult to believe, but it’s only been two years since Egret Baits’ original, 3.25-inch VuDu Shrimp first went to market.
Immediately, inland saltwater anglers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts were impressed in just how effective these powerhouse plastics were in catching inland species to include speckled trout, redfish, flounder, snook and many others.
They were also amazed just how durable these plastics were. Some were claiming catches ranging from 30 to even 75 speckled trout on just one VuDu Shrimp lure alone.
“That’s because unlike most other plastic lures on the market today, Egret Baits’ VuDu Shrimp are made with TPE plastics (Thermoplastic Elastomers), a much more durable plastic commonly found in tennis shoes and flip-flops,” Egret Baits’ Ken Chaumont said. “It is much stronger than Plastisol used in making most other plastic lures.”
And in just two years in response to the varied needs of anglers, Egret Baits has offered two additional sizes of VuDu Shrimp – a Jumbo 4-inch version and a Baby 2-inch model.
VuDu Shrimp accessories also abound, and these include the VuDu Rattling Cork, the V-Rig and most recently – Egret Baits’ VuDu Shrimp Sauce.
Besides the tremendous reception this remarkable lure has received, there equally has been much more expertise gained on how to use it effectively.
How to VuDu
Egret Baits’ Ken Chaumont has the most experience in casting VuDu Shrimp and catching loads of speckled trout and redfish.
“The No. 1 way to be successful is to cast this lure under a popping cork,” Chaumont said.
“It’s during the summer and fall when trout school in numbers under shrimp when the VuDu Shrimp is most effective,” he said.
“When this happens, I cast the VuDu Shrimp set 18- to 20-inches under a VuDu Rattling Cork,” he said. “And I will use light tackle with a baitcasting or spinning reel spooled with 10-pound test fluorocarbon.”
“You want to pop the cork a couple of times, stop and then pop it a twice again – and stop,” the angler said. “Most of the time it’s when you stop it, after you’ve popped it, when the trout attacks the shrimp.”
When trout are scattered deeper in the cold months of the year, Chaumont will also freeline (tightline) this lure.
“I’ll simply fish it on the bottom and pop it every now and then,” he said. “The notched tail is extremely effective at providing a lot of action, and the VuDu shrimp’s eyes glow in the water.”
Whenever Chaumont will tightline VuDu Shrimp on the bottom, he will most always use a loop knot known as the Canoe Man Loop knot. This loop knot allows the VuDu Mullet more freedom to move unrestricted in the water column and on the bottom.
This knot is recommended for use on all other plastics and on all suspending and topwater plugs without split rings as well. See Florida Inshore Fishing Charters’ Capt. Drew Cavanaugh’s excellent YouTube demonstration of tying the Canoe Man Loop knot by clicking on the following underlined link: Canoe Man Loop Knot.
Another well-known angler based in Florida is kayaker/writer/editor Jerry McBride, who currently holds the record for the largest speckled trout to be taken on VuDu Shrimp – a 32-inch behemoth from Florida’s fabled Indian River Lagoon.
McBride has many other trophy trout to his credit, and he continues his search for a bonafide 40-incher in Florida waters.
“This shrimp (VuDu) amazes me in the water,” McBride said. “It offers a ton of movement and casts fairly well.
“And it is now a mainstay in my tackle since I have absolutely caught big trout on it. And it’s all I throw at pompano.”
According to McBride, he uses the 3.25-inch VuDu Shrimp in its current configuration when fishing in Florida waters even with the abundance of grass in inshore estuaries or even freshwater lakes. “Bass and crappie love it.
“I am experimenting with a weedless setup for the 4-inch version,” he said. “Currently I am casting it on a 4/0 Trokar which locks the nose into place.
“I wrap about 1/8-ounce of lead on the hook shank, plus a small glass rattle in the original hook tunnel. I’m still experimenting, but the Gold Jumbo looks incredibly life-like rigged this way.”
McBride most always tightlines his VuDu Shrimp when fishing for speckled trout.
When casting, McBride most often throws this lure upstream and lets it drop. He is careful to retrieve the lure in the direction where trout will be feeding.
“I make quick wrist snaps to pop the bait up, and then let it settle before popping it again. This imitates panicked forage flushed out of the grass or sand, and draws a quick reaction strike as the shrimp provides a brief feeding opportunity,” he said. “And I’ll repeat this over and over when fishing the VuDu.”
McBride normally fishes from one of his Hobie Kayaks, but will step out and wade often when larger trout, redfish or snook are in the area.
He is certainly a stealth angler for the big fish.
He is a light tackle angler as the rest of his setup includes: an Aqua Dream ADS72S8/15 rod; an Okuma 35S Helios reel; 10-pound PowerPro Slick braid; and 30-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader.
In the clear inland waters of Florida, McBride has a tendency to cast VuDu Shrimp in the following colors: natural, gold and tiger. He too uses the Canoe Man loop knot in attaching this lure to his leader.
VuDu changes in 2015
“We’re looking at developing another size VuDu Shrimp,” Egret Baits’ Ken Chaumont said. “We have had the 3.25- and 4-inch sizes, but some have indicated that the 4-inch Jumbos are a little too big.
“Some people love it (4-inch version) for the big reds and fishing the beaches,” he said. “But we’re having a lot of requests for 3.5- to 3.6-inch version with a ¼-ounce head.
“We’re developing these right now, and the ¼-ounce heads will be available for purchase.
“With the new ¼-ounce head, anglers will experience longer casts with VuDu Shrimp,” he said.
Chaumont has also been meticulously and painstakingly working on a new weedless VuDu configuration.
“In making the VuDu Shrimp weedless, we’re looking at an underbelly design, where the hook comes over the top of the shrimp with a slot in it to keep it weedless,” he said.
“We’re still in the testing phase right now. As soon as the design allows it to be pulled easily through grass – we’ll have it up for sale in 2015.”
Chaumont added that he has been testing new colors for VuDu Shrimp, and a couple that he and others have tried will soon appear on the market.
The lure designer also announced a major change that looms for VuDu Shrimp in 2015.
“The big news is we are testing a belly rattle, where the VuDu Shrimp will come with a tiny glass or plastic rattle,” he said. “The rattle will insert right below the hook and in the belly.
“So we’ll have a rattling shrimp that’s already tested and they work well,” he said. “This will be rolling out in 2015 too.”
For more information regarding Egret Baits’ VuDu Shrimp, visit the Egret Baits Website at www.egretbaits.com.
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