The RIP in Egret Baits’ new Zombie RIP Stik doesn’t stand for “rest in peace,” although it could.
It stands for “Rip It Pause.” That’s what it’s all about, according to Egret Baits president and owner Ken Chaumont.
The Zombie RIP Stik’s slogan is “Hang Time is Bang Time” and it’s been banging speckled trout, redfish and flounder since it was put on the market a little more than a year ago. Bass, too, have been biting the hard bait, especially those in the fresher areas of brackish marshes along the coast.
Vince Theriot, a veteran charter boat captain who lives in Grand Chenier, spoke highly of it and said it should be in its prime these days along the beach west of Cameron, particularly around the Johnson Bayou Rocks. While Theriot throw soft plastics a lot around those rocks, he has a Zombie RIP Stik tied on and throws it to add speckled trout to the catch, he said when he volunteered a saltwater fishing report for the July edition of Louisiana Sportsman.
“Ken and those guys are really kicking out good stuff. He’s a fisherman himself and he wants to put stuff out there that catch fish and they do,” Theriot said, then turned his attention to the Zombie RIP Stik.
“I got introduced to it by a friend of mine, Ray Christy, before it ever hit the market,” he said. “It’s a good little bait. It produces a lot of fish. I like it.”
The Coastal Guide Service owner and hundreds of other anglers have discovered how effective the 3-inch artificial lure can be in their favorite waters from Texas all the way around Florida and up to Chesapeake Bay shared by Maryland and Virginia.
Chaumont, who lives in the Lake Charles area, said, “It’s one of the best minnow-style hard baits around. It’s a cool bait, I tell you, that has enough unique properties that separate it from other minnow style baits out there.”
The big difference is that his new product has a mechanism — a sliding bar — to enhance its suspending capabilities. It’s called the “long cast system.”
When an angler casts the Zombie RIP Stik, an internal cylindrical bar slides to the rear of the bait placing its weight near the tail. As a result, anglers can cast farther with greater accuracy toward their target. When the retrieve starts, the magnetic bar slides back into the head, where it stays magnetized securely to give the hard bait a balanced, lifelike look underwater, he said.
“For its size, it casts phenomenal. It’s only a 3-inch bait,” he said. “It’s a versatile bait, easy to cast. A lot of small baits don’t get any distance.”
Chaumont’s Egret Baits brand is known for producing the VuDu Shrimp, a soft plastic that took the industry by storm a few years ago.
“We’ve done well with that,” Chaumont said in acknowledgement. “I wanted a hard bait brand and named it Zombie.”
He got together with his fishing buddy, Christy, a transplanted Ohioan and retired saltwater fishing guide who lives in Grand Lake. Christy helped him develop the Zombie RIP Stik.
“It took us about six months to develop,” Chaumont said, noting they tweaked an existing style of hard bait developed in China. They chose a smaller size to offer the anglers and fish they target.
As a suspending hard bait, Zombie RIP Stik is hard to beat.
First, though, Chaumont talked about the word suspending. It’s difficult to find a true suspending hard bait because in water with high salinity, it will float more, albeit slowly, and with low salinity in water, it wants to sink more. Also, water temperature plays a big role in suspension.
“It’s very difficult to build a suspending bait. They all want to rise a little or fall a little,” he said. “We just say (Zombie RIP Stik is) a suspending style bait. It’s going to hang there a couple seconds, either rise a little or fall a little, but stay in the strike zone. Rip It Pause. Repeat.”
The Zombie RIP Stik retrieves at a depth of approximately 2 feet, which makes it ideal for oyster flats and mud flats where speckled trout, redfish and flounder hang out.
“It doesn’t run too deep. It rips about a foot down,” Chaumont said. “It’s really a great trout bait in the winter (when the water temperature is cool).”
It’s at that time, he said, when successful anglers alternate between a rip-and-pause method to retrieving it at a slow pace for an enticing wobble, irresistible to ol’ yellowmouths in the shallows.
Theriot, said he appreciates the armament on the Zombie RIP Stik.
“It’s got some really good hooks on it. It’s designed for saltwater,” he said.
The Zombie RIP Stik is available in six colors: (01) striped mullet (02) blue back herring (03) gold digger (04) clown around (05) moonlight and (06) lipstik.
Chaumont said the top two colors for speckled trout in its a little more than a year of existence are clown and striped mullet. For redfish, the top color has proven to be gold digger. And for bass, the most popular colors are suspending moonlight and clown.
Theriot said his favorite color is striped mullet when he’s targeting speckled trout.
For more information on the Zombie RIP Stik and other Egret Baits, go to www.egretbaits.com.