Capt. Dudley Vandenborre has never been one to seek out the spotlight. He never wanted of fame or even recognition. He just wanted to fish. But when he walks into most public places today – heads turn. Vandenborre’s success didn’t happen overnight. It came after almost three decades of mastering Lake Pontchartrain, and designing one of the hottest lures to hit the Gulf Coast in years.
His name has become synonymous with stalking monster speckled trout in Lake Pontchartrain. Because he consistently targets and catches trophy specks in the 7- to 9-pound range, the demand for his services has grown significantly. Vandenborre averages more than 260 days on the water, refining his finesse techniques and teaching others how to do it.
While not marketing his famous “Deadly Dudley” lures, Vandenborre is teaching customers why trout this size frequent these waters. He brings more than 40 years angling experience into every trip, showing every guest how to locate some of the largest trout on the Gulf Coast. To Vandenborre, fishing is a way of life, and a labor of love. Guests with Capt. Dudley Vandenborreget more than just a great day on the water. They get a learning experience on how to catch these huge trout.
“I guess I’ve been fishing since I was about three,” Vandenborre said. “My family had a camp on Lake Catherine.”
His parents could literally not keep him off the water. Before his 13th birthday he had saved enough money to buy his first boat – a used 16-foot McKeewith a 40-hp outboard. He began to explore the surrounding areas, including Lake Catherine, Lake Borgne, Delacroix, Hopedale and Bayou Bienvenue.
Some of his fondest memories were with his father and grandfather pulling monster speckled trout from Lake Pontchartrain. Some of these specks, he said, were 10- to 12-pound fish.
“No one weighed fish back then,” he said. “We just ate them.”
Today, trophy trout fishing has become a highly competitive sport, with thousands of anglers hoping to break the 12.38-pound state record that has stood for more than a half-century. In April 2002 Vandenborre came close with a 10.80-pound speck that currently ranks eighth in the state.
“I know the new state record is out there right now,” Vandenborre said. “I have no doubt.”
There is a good chance that the next state record will come off Capt. Dudley’s boat. With peak season just around the corner, book your next fishing excursion with Capt. Dudley Vandenborre right now.