Deadly Dudleys

Two Deadly Dudley lures
The concave bottom of a Deadly Dudley is what makes it so effective.

Lake Pontchartrain is on fire, and there’s certainly a good variety of baits that’ll put big speckled trout in your boat.

But without question, more Pontchartrain lunkers have come on Deadly Dudleys than on all other baits combined.

The productivity of Dudleys is surely related to their crazy falling action, a direct result of the concave bottom of the soft-plastic lures. When teamed with a jig head, the bait waggles on the way down, and that seems to be irresistible to trout.

When Capt. Dudley Vandenborre, who designed the lures, fishes Deadly Dudleys on the bridges, he makes an initial cast, and lets the bait fall all the way to the bottom. After engaging his reel, he’ll take up the slack and then hop the lure before allowing it to fall again.

Dudley Vandenborre with 10.5-pound speckled trout.
April is primetime to be fishing Deadly Dudleys in Lake Pontchartrain. Dudley Vandenborre caught this 10.5-pounder on April 17, 2002.

At least 90 percent of the strikes come as the lure is falling, so Vandenborre maintains close contact with the lure even on the fall. He sets the hook on anything that could remotely be considered a bite.

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