I’ve known Ken Chaumont a long time. As an outdoors writer, it’s hard not to know him — likely one of the 10 most prominent names in Louisiana fishing today. 

To me, he was always “Mr. Rat-L-Trap,” the gregarious and friendly guy who was the face of the enormously popular bass and saltwater lure.

Then along came this Vudu Shrimp thing which swept the speckled trout fishing community. To my surprise, he was the one behind Egret Baits, the maker of Vudu Shrimp. 

So I hunted an invitation from him to learn how to master the lure.

“Come in the fall,” he said expansively. “That will be perfect. That time of year in Calcasieu Lake there is a lot of bird activity (gulls diving on schools of feeding speckled trout).

“They just aren’t as big as they used to be. Bird trout used to average 1 ½ pounds, but this is the third year of small fish. People are asking, ‘This is unbelieveable. When are they ever going to grow up?’ 

“But there will be plenty of them.”

We launched at Calcasieu Point Boat Launch, a beautiful public launch operated by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury just outside of Lake Charles. Chaumont’s prediction was that speckled trout would already be in Turner’s Bay at the north end of the big lake or in Lake Prien.

Both are favored wintering spots for the quicksilver predators.

We got there too early for gulls to be working actively, so Chaumont passed the time walking the dog with black-backed clear Zombie Ghost Walker surface lure, also made by Egret.

Following my line of