The Speckled Trout Capital of the World- Lake Calcasieu
More Trout and More Reds on an Ill Wind
Note: Last week, I fished the Speckled Trout Capital
of the world – Hackberry, Louisiana, located on
Lake Calcasieu in the western section of the state.
In 2005, Hackberry Rod and Gun was destroyed by Hurricane
Rita. However, in 10 months, with a lot of hard work
and sweat, it was restored. Today, it’s better
and stronger than ever before, and the lake homes giant
speckled trout, big redfish and plenty of medium-to-
small fish. This week, we’ll take a look at fishing
from Hackberry Rod and Gun. But I won’t be able
to show you the delicious food I ate – gumbo,
fish and all your favorite vegetables, meats and desserts.
Life doesn’t get any better
than it is at Hackberry. Kirk Stansel, one of the owners
of Hackberry Rod and Gun, was my guide this past week
on Lake Calcasieu.
Question: Kirk, what happened when Rita hit?
Stansel: A 9-foot storm surge came through Hackberry
and wiped out the docks, the lodge and everything we
owned. The surge was powered by 100- to 150-mile-per-hour
winds that pushed the water right through our building.
Question: What happened to the fish?
Stansel: We had a fish kill right after the storm, but
when all the organic matter from the banks was flushed
back into the lake and started decaying, the numbers
and varieties of fish returned with a vengeance.
Question: What is speckled-trout fishing like now at
Stansel: All the new vegetation in the water has stimulated
the baitfish and the shrimp, and this region really
has started on an upward trend of not only seeing larger
numbers of speckled trout and redfish,
but bigger speckled trout and redfish than we’ve
seen in recent years.
Question: How big are the trout you’re catching
Stansel: We’re catching 7- to 9-pound trout regularly.
Some days, you may only catch one that size, and some
days, you may catch three or four that size, if you
fish for big trout instead of
Question: How many guides do you have at Hackberry
Rod and Gun?
Stansel: On an average day, we’ll send out 14
to 15 boats with guides, but we can run as many as 20
with two or three fishermen in each boat, plus the guide.
Question: How are you finding and catching the fish?
Stansle: Right now, to catch the big trout, we’re
fishing the shoreline. We also fish under working birds
and drift over oyster reefs. We’re fishing with
many artificial lures or live bait. The fishing has
been so good that you can catch specks and reds with
any kind of bait you want to fish. There are plenty
of fish right now, and most of our customers are catching
and releasing trout and reds each day, keeping the bigger
fish to eat. However, we do release our trophy fish.
To learn more about Hackberry Rod and Gun, go to www.hackberryrodandgun.com,
or call 888-762-3391.
Tomorrow: Big Trout on the Shoreline