Hackberry Rod & Gun – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Hackberry Rod & Gun – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Three decades of camaraderie, recalling exciting times and resiliency all adds to a rich history of outdoor excellence. 

Story and photography by Bill L. Olson

Texas Outdoors Journal’s first 15 issues, beginning with October 1992 was printed in Alexandria Louisiana.  That was also then the home of Bill Lewis Lures, makers of Rat-L-Trap.  Regular monthly visits to their office while in town for press-checks resulted in their then Sales and Marketing Manager, Ken Chaumont introducing me to a fishing destination in southwest Louisiana called Hackberry Rod & Gun Club, ramrodded by Capt. Terry Shaughnessy.

Being a slightly misinformed and prejudice Texas coastal angler back then, I scoffed at the notion of anything special being offered other than little “Louisiana jug-trout.”  Instead of taking time to investigate myself, I assigned then contributing editor Phil Shook this foray.

Upon his return, a wide-eyed, excited Shook shared glowing reports of waters filled with quality speckled trout, redfish, and flounder in numbers he had not experienced in his extensive outdoor career.  His enthusiasm encouraged me to see first-hand this “new” fishing destination on Lake Calcasieu.

My arrival to HR&G’s lodge, founded in 1975 and located on the south side of quaint Hackberry Louisiana, began a new phase of enlightenment of coastal fishing and waterfowl hunting excellence.  Over three decades I have been introduced to a cast of personable characters that remain close friends to this day, cherish their camaraderie over those years with me and my family, plus watched with great respect as this tenacious group has overcome some of Mother Nature’s most destructive onslaughts.

The first moments on the water with the burly, boisterous and friendly former professional football linebacker and five-tour Viet Nam Army veteran Shaughnessy captured my intrigue.

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