Built-in action has made this soft-plastic bait an inshore favorite
Fishability. Catchability. Likeabilty.
Egret Baits has several artificial lures that fill the bill. One of the oldest proven models is a soft plastic — unlike the company’s widely known thermoplastic baits — that triggers fish to attack, to bite.
It’s the Wedgetail, which impersonates a mullet, a delicacy for saltwater fish.
Ken Chaumont, CEO at Egret, has overseen its rise through the years as a go-to bait across the Gulf Coast. It’s one of his favorites.
“I use it. I was a fan all along,” said Chaumont, 66. “It’s a different bait than a boot tail. I think they do better than a boot tail in sandy or brackish water. Fish key on vibrating patterns.
“The vibration is especially effective in off-colored water and cold water. Off-colored water is a great place to throw the Wedgetail.”
It’s the thump of the specially designed tail that puts the bait over the hump. That’s right. The patented shape of the tail says it all about its performance. Chaumont inherited the tail’s patented design — by Bob King —when he and his business partner purchased Stanley Jigs and formed Egret Baits in 2004.
“It was one of the properties when we bought the company,” he said. “We had a licensing agreement with him. We’re the only company that has a patent, the only company that has that shape tail.”
Egret Baits introduced the Wedgetail in the mid-2010s.
Easy to work
“It’s been around a long time,” Chaumont said. “One of the key features is you don’t have to be a genius to work it. The tail has so much resistance in the water, all you have to do is reel it. A lot of guides have told me it’s a good bait for kids. The tail does all the work.”
For that and other reasons, it has a strong following among saltwater fishermen in Texas and Louisiana who target speckled trout, redfish and flounder. Its popularity spreads beyond that region to Mississippi and Florida.
“We sell most of the Wedgetails between Corpus Christi and Biloxi; that’s the core of the market,” he said, including the hotbed around the Venice area. Saltwater fishermen in the Florida Panhandle also covet the Wedgetail.
Egret Baits recommends two sizes — two sizes only — of jigheads for the Wedgetail. For 2- to 5-foot depths, Chaumont said use a 1/8-ounce model, and for 5- to 8-foot depths, use a ¼-ounce model.
Also, if you’re fishing a Wedgetail under a popping cork, as so many anglers do, “We definitely recommend a 1/8-ounce. (That’s) the way to go,” he said, noting that size jighead allows the soft plastic to fall more slowly between pops of a cork.
It’s easy for Chaumont to pinpoint the Wedgetail’s most popular colors.
The No. 1 color across Louisiana’s coast is purple/chartreuse, which Egret Baits call the “LSU color.” There are blue flakes in the purple. Opening night and Cajun pepper/chartreuse are the next two favorites, the latter especially popular along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Pearl/chartreuse and glow/chartreuse are others high on the color chart. The No. 1 color for redfish is black/chartreuse.
“That’s definitely the atomic bomb for redfish. Those are good ones,” he said. “We don’t do a lot of colors in this bait, because you only need 10 or 12 colors to go catch fish across the country with a Wedgetail.”
Monofilament, fluorocarbon and braid work equally well with a Wedgetail.
“The majority of the people I talk with, what I call ‘everyday fishermen’ — guys that are the salt of the earth for our company — (they) primarily use mono,” he said.
Braid has its role with Wedgetails. That’s when the angler feels the bait’s action the most.
“If you put the Wedgetail on braided line, you’ll think you’re throwing a Rat-L-Trap,” he said. “We do have (redfish anglers) use braid because they want to get the fish out of the grass in the marsh. The flounder guys use a lot of braid because they can feel that real, real soft bite.”
When Chaumont and so many others are fishing open water, they throw the Wedgetail on fluorocarbon and rarely, if ever, heavier than 12-pound test.