As far as I am concerned, the only downside to guiding is that a large percentage of my fishing time is not spent fishing the lure or even the pattern that I would be fishing if I were alone. The average client, however, does not want to experiment or target only big trout. He or she anticipates you having already done all that experimenting stuff and a big fish is okay provided it is one of many!

The numbers game is the reason I am usually a day late on any new lure or pattern that is working on bragging size trout. I had enough open days and determined fishermen last year to put the Shiney Hiney head and DieDapper together and catch some great trout, but even then I was missing out on a super topwater bite that was color specific.

Make no mistake about it, the big trout bite is still very much on right now, but you have to fish where they are with what they want to eat. Given a choice, I would put my waders on, tie on a She Dog or Spook and wade the shallow flats on the north end of the lake or Louisiana shoreline.

As a matter of fact, It was tough getting back in the boat and drifting with clients the latter part of last week after catching and releasing trout in the five to seven pound class while wading with a friend Monday evening. We had a productive week in spite of the wind, but while we caught solid numbers I knew our chances of catching a trophy trout weren’t nearly as good.

The reward for fishing the more user-friendly patterns, however, is that I have now fished a new lure long enough to establish whether it is another flash in the pan or the real deal. Based on what I have experienced so far…it has exceeded all expectations!

The new lure is the VuDu shrimp and for the most part, color has made little or no difference to the trout and redfish. I have fished it exclusively under a cork and, at least for the past month, it has consistently out produced both Gulp and the DOA shrimp. I am being a little unfair to Gulp in that comparison in that we quit using it when the gafftops showed up.

I have fished virtually every style of plastic lure known to man under a cork, but I cannot figure out why this diminutive shrimp is so effective. Johnny Cormier says that it is only because I have everyone on Sabine throwing them and the fish have no choice, but fishing folks will relegate any lure to the “has been” pile very quickly if it doesn’t catch fish in a hurry.

Not only are fishermen not laying them aside, they are hoarding them. They are all but impossible to find in local tackle shops and it’s not because they aren’t getting in a bunch at a time. After a “stupid good” day last week I volunteered to ride to a Tackle Shop with my clients so that they could buy their own VuDu shrimp before going back to Tyler.

At the second stop we found only two packs left on a peg, but there were at least twenty more still in a box on the counter.“Don’t even ask,” said the young man looking at a new rod a short distance away. “Those are mine!” He later said that he had given them a try after reading something I had written and graciously parted with five of his packs.

They are not scented and I cannot for the life of me figure out why they work so well. They look exactly like a shrimp, but so do lots of other shrimp imitations. Maybe there is something to all that VuDu stuff!

As you would expect I always get an ear full of the bad as well as the good when I declare any bait a winner and to a small degree this has been the case with the VuDu shrimp. No one has complained about it not catching fish, but the thin wire hook has a tendency to open up while fighting heavier fish.

I have found that the problem generally occurs only after catching a number of fish. The first time that does occur I tie on another one rather than attempting to reshape the hook with pliers. Once they open the first time, I find that they aren’t as strong as they were right out of the package.

Egret Lure’s, Ken Chaumont, the man behind developing yet another pretty successful lure called the Rattle Trap, admits that their shrimp hit an unexpected home run and that they are already in the process of upgrading to a stronger hook. When you aren’t sure why a lure is working so well, however, you are reluctant to make wholesale changes and that includes the weight and size of the hook.

I can assure you that I am going to continue using the current model as long as I can find them as I have a pile of other lures that may or may not have the greatest of hooks as well. Unlike the VuDu Shrimp, the fish never bit them so I’ll never know.

I don’t know if it works fished any other way than under a cork at this point, but that is plenty good enough for me and my clients. We have caught trout up to seven pounds on it thus far, but more importantly for the occasional angler…it catches trout and reds with minimal expertise required!

Catching numbers isn’t all bad!