Going weedless with arguably one of the most popular soft plastic shrimp imitations on the market seemed to be the most logical next step for Egret Baits.
And owner Ken Chaumont has made it happen — and the rollout is underway to another successor of the Vudu Shrimp.
“We’re well known for our shrimp. And we now have a new weedless version of that shrimp. It has what we call a ‘belly hook’ that sits on top and gives you a weedless configuration,” Chaumont said.
“People have been asking for a weedless version. We’ve had a lot of requests from guys who throw it in the marshes. I know the redfish guys are going to go crazy,” he said. “With the hook in the body you can pull it in grass and it won’t get hung up. It’s going to be deadly in shallow water. It’ll be extremely effective to shallow water fish.
“This looks very, very natural, so it’s not only going to work in the marshes but in the open because of its gliding action. It just glides in the water.”
Most importantly, the Vudu Weedless Shrimp, like the Vudu Shrimp, also is made with TPE, a mix of rubber and plastic synthetic materials and thermoplastic elastomers that stretch and return to their original shape. As every angler who’s tried it knows, the nylon netting fabric woven into the tail section like a mesh gives it unbelievable durability.
Chaumont, 64, a 35-year veteran in the artificial lure manufacturing business, started tinkering with a weedless version late in 2017.
“We started playing with it. We had to pre-form the TPE. I said, ‘We need a different mold.’ It’s not like we took an ‘old’ shrimp,” he said. “We had to figure out how to put the hook in the mold (so that it did its job efficiently and was weedless).”
Three dozen of each color were made and a handful of anglers, including charter boat captains in Florida like Terry Shaughnessy, started to test it.
“I knew we had a hit on our hands,” Chaumont said. “I wanted to see if everybody else did.”
So far, response has been tremendous.
The Vudu Weedless Shrimp will be in stores in January, he said.
“It’s going to be a big hit. It’s being produced now and it will be ready to roll,” he said.
Take away the new hook position and the Vudu Weedless Shrimp looks just like the most popular version since Egret Baits came out with the original Vudu in 2013. Other versions followed, bigger and smaller.
The Vudu Weedless Shrimp, just like the original Vudu Shrimp, also is 3 ½ inches long, weighs 1/8-ounce and is armed with a wide gap, “super sharp coated black nickel” 3/0 hook.
There’s a reason the new weedless model is the same weight and length of the original Vudu.
“The 3 ½ is the No. 1 killer along the Louisiana coast, all along the Gulf Coast. Yes, there will be different sizes down the line. People weigh in on that,” he said, referring to the Vudu Weedless Shrimp.
The new weedless soft plastic glides in the water and falls through the water column naturally. It’s all in the tail.
“This tail, even though it has a wide foot on it, still has an up and down motion in the water. It’s very lifelike with the eyes on top. The redfish are going to love it,” he said.
“You can add weight to it but we don’t recommend that so it’ll glide. We extended the tail. We made the tail wider to give it a gliding feature. It’s more flat than concave. It sinks very evenly in the water column,” he said, noting some other soft plastic shrimp imitations sink head first.
The Vudu Weedless Shrimp, two to a pack, will be available in the most popular colors and patterns of the Vudu Shrimp, including glow and brown shrimp.
For more information about Egret Baits Vudu Weedless Shrimp and some of their other products , go to egretbaits.com.