Living and working in Johnson Bayou nestled between Sabine and Calcasieu lakes, 60-year-od Hank Badon is in a unique position to practice his art of taxidermy on the many trophy speckled trout taken in the area.
“Last year, I prepared a 10-pounder that was 31 inches in length for a client,” Badon said. “There has been only one 10-pounder I know of taken this year here — but a few (were taken) from Baffin and Matagorda (bays) in Texas.”
Badon said preparation is the key to quality taxidermy.
“If it’s (going to be) a skin mount, it is best to immediately bring (the trout) to a taxidermist once it’s caught,” he said. “If not, then wrap it completely with a wet towel and place it in a plastic bag and into a freezer.
“Taxidermists have a saying about speckled trout that they’re thin skinned and thin scaled, making special preparation necessary.”
He said one of the challenges is the oily composition of trout.
“They hold a lot of oil, and their heads and fins have a tendency to shrink up quickly,” Badon said.Now, if an angler wants a replica of a released trout, Badon said that is a very simple process for the angler.
“For a replica, an angler only needs to bring to me a photo and the trout’s length and girth,” he said.
Badon can be reached at 337-287-0071.
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