More Fishing at the Speckled Trout Capital of the
World- Hackberry Rod and Gun
Note: The first week in June, I fished at the Speckled
Trout Capital of the World – Hackberry, Louisiana,
located on Lake Calcasieu. In 2005, Hackberry 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 home to giant
speckled trout, big redfish and plenty of medium-to
small-sized fish. This week, we’ll take another
look at fishing in Hackberry. Kirk Stansel, one of the
owners of Hackberry Rod and Gun, a guide service in
Lake Calcasieu, was my guide at Lake Calcasieu. Although
the weather was extremely hot (mid-90 degrees with high
humidity), I was cool wearing my new Under Armour fishing
shirts and shorts. Under Armour’s HeatGear Performance
Polos wicked moisture away from my body to keep me dry
and provided ultraviolet protection from the sun’s
intense rays. And, the Guide Shorts had mesh venting
Question: Kirk, tell me about your night boat.
Stansel: One of our biggest successes is our night-fishing
boat, which is 44-feet long
and powered with twin, 115 hp Mercury four-stroke engines.
This is the fourth year we’ve been doing night
fishing, running from May through October. This trip
is definitely a beat-the-heat fishing trip. The boat
has a 1200 kW generator that powers five, 1500-watt
lights that are as bright as those found on a football
field. The boat goes out into Lake Calcasieu, anchors
up on an oyster reef and turns on the lights that draw
in baitfish, which attracts speckled trout and redfish.
Question: What kinds of fish do you catch?
Stansel: Our night boat catches speckled trout and redfish
that will be from keeper size to 15- to 18-inches long,
and occasionally, the fishermen will catch a big one.
We mainly fish with live bait because at night fishing
with live bait is easiest.
Question: How is the trip conducted?
Stansel: We serve dinner at Hackberry Rod and Gun at
7:00 pm. After dinner, the fishermen ride out to the
reef in the boat. They fish all night and return to
the dock at 4:00 am or 5:00 am. The boat is a houseboat,
so they can sleep, if they get tired. The boat carries
six people plus the captain and a deck hand. Most nights,
all the fishermen catch their limits.
Question: What does it cost for a night of night fishing?
Stansel: We charge $1200 for up to six people, a price
that includes dinner before you get on the boat and
lodging until noon. You can bring your own rod, or we
rent rods for $10 each per day. But you have to buy
your own shrimp.
Question: What do you charge for daytime fishing?
Stansel: We have two ways of charging. For walk-ins,
we charge $500 per day, Monday through Thursday, and
$525 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That price includes
up to three people fishing. Our package deal, which
includes dinner, lodging, breakfast, lunch and drinks
on the boat, is $350 per person with two or three people
on the boat. We recommend a minimum of two people.
Question: Why does Lake Calcasieu produce so many big
speckled trout and redfish?
Stansel: Because we’re surrounded by 500 miles
of private and federal marsh and there’s a tremendous
amount of baitfish in Lake Calcasieu, the trout and
redfish at Calcasieu have a very productive habitat.
With the large amount of bait available, the lake draws
plenty of fish and provides an area for a lot of fish
to breed and grow to legal size. Our fishing will remain
productive year round, as long as we don’t get
a lot of rain. Even in December, January and February,
we make great catches of speckled trout and redfish.
We usually don’t catch the numbers of fish we
catch in the spring, the summer and the fall, but during
those winter months, we usually catch big fish.
Question: How do fishermen book a trip with you?
Stansel: They can contact us by phone, or by visiting
For more information on Under Armour’s top-quality
summer wear, go to www.underarmour.com.
To learn more about Hackberry, go to the web page at
or call 888-762-3391.
Tomorrow: Fan Casting