January 2020, Volume 109
When you think about who you would want making fishing lures, I am sure you get an image of a few types of people that come to mind. When asking people this question, often you hear something about a marine biologist, or a professional angler teamed up with big bait companies, or maybe even the occasional old timer that always catches fish. Sure those are all options and are all prevalent in the industry. But what you will likely never hear is “I want a college kid to make my soft plastics.” However, in the case of Landon Baudoin, owner of Baudoin Bait Company, that is exactly what you should be thinking. Landon isn’t just another college kid shooting plastics in his dorm room, he’s an accomplished competitive angler, a seasoned plastics manufacturer, and a budding entrepreneur with a penchant for business and a passion for bass fishing.
A sophomore attending college at Nicholls State University, Landon has been fishing for many years, and making fishing lures for over 4 years. What started as a passion for his hobby of fishing has now grown into a blossoming business. The young entrepreneur filed his articles of incorporation as an LLC at the ripe age of 17 as a fresh high school graduate. After having made soft plastics for a couple of years for friends he was finally encouraged, compelled even to make a go at it as a business. When asked how he got his start in the business Landon recalls his time fishing competitively in high school; “I realized how much it costs to buy all the plastics you need and with tournament fishing it just gets expensive.” So he set out to save some money to help continue with his tournament fishing as a senior in high school. Eventually his “buddies saw [he] was catching fish on them and started asking for them” so he started “handing out bags in Wal-Mart Zip-Lock bags, and grew from there.” With time, he was encouraged that he should stop giving them away and start selling them, so he incorporated his LLC and Baudoin Bait Company was born.
In recounting his time in business, Landon is humbled by his success saying “I had a lot of support throughout this journey and am very fortunate to have had all the support so far.” And what support he has. Landon cranks out several hundred packages each month, many of which are “bulk” orders ranging from 80-100 baits per package. What started with one mold and sharing with friends is now a full blown passion encompassing a sizeable collection of molds, now offering over 10 baits in over 50 standard colors and limitless custom color combinations, along with market presence in two brick and mortar stores and an online marketplace. Because Landon’s passion is custom lures, he focuses on the limitless color and flake combinations, but says he has standardized about 50 colors for stock selections with strict quality control and high repeatability due to exacting recipes. Landon is a true student of his craft with literally entire notebooks full of exact measurements for color recipes, and lure designs and sketches.
Baudoin Bait Company logo. Be sure to check out their Facebook page by clicking the logo above!
Landon Baudoin showing off his bag anchors that put him in the top ten of the BASSNATION event held on Toledo Bend in March 2019. These fish were caught on a Baudoin Baits shimmer shad swimbait and a sexy shad mudbugz trailer by Baudoin Baits.
His exacting nature is shown when I asked him what his current business focus was, to which he responded: “…business wise the focus stays on keeping customers happy. As long as I have customers that are happy I am good with what I have.” “Of course I want to grow and get into more stores, increase my stock on my standard colors, and much more, but selling custom colors and custom baits is what I enjoy the most and what sets me apart from everyone else.” What might some of his other focuses be? Well as we said Landon is in his Sophomore year at Nicholls State majoring in Petroleum Engineering Technology and Safety Management, working his way through college, all the while fishing competitively for the Nicholls State Fishing Team which he serves as secretary for. With his duties of course comes an increased work and travel load for maintaining the Nicholls competitiveness. Landon will travel to numerous out of state tournaments this year but says he has planned well and feels confident in his ability to manage his time to not only maintain his business but to improve in the year ahead. So what exactly might be in store for this year? Well Landon is one busy guy. He looks to increase his production capabilities with new equipment this year, as well as grow his brand by expanding his pro staff this year. Staying true to his roots, he said he is working with a few standout high school fisherman, some of which may or may not have been featured in prior editions of Bassin’ In The Boot. This of course is on top of his commitment to his team to help ensure the other Nicholls State anglers can afford to compete by helping curb the costs of soft plastics for his teammates. Additionally, Landon is looking to grow his product lineup, with a soon to be released custom Jerking Shrimp to spearhead his product expansion.
With his expansion, Baudoin Baits will continue to offer their full lineup of baits in both standard and custom colors. Customization is king at Baudoin Baits, as he specializes in custom colors and color matching. While talking to Landon I found out his favorite custom color was one he dug out of his grandfather’s tackle box. When he found the worm he immediately took to the color and loved its ability to produce on the water. Unfortunately the commercial production of the style and color worm stopped even before Landon was born. No problem he says, “I’ll just match it; so I call it ole purple.” This is just one of the things that sets Baudoin apart. In an industry with the “big boys” making millions of plastics a year in a multi-billion dollar market, “it’s the things that set you apart that I focus on.” So in addition to color matching, custom colors, and some unique baits, Landon also takes care to ensure his product is of just as high of quality when the customer gets them as it is when he makes them. “Every bag of Baudoin Baits is hand packed to ensure the plastics are protected and not kinked while being packaged, and then the package is vacuum sealed so the baits last longer and maintain their quality” extending the life of the lure ensuring when the package is opened the lure is in top shape. All of this delivered from a custom lure manufacturer at a price competitive with the national brands that mass produces and ship tons of plastics in bulk that sit in storage and on shelves for months or years before ultimately seeing the water. At Bassin’ In The Boot we completely agree with this sentiment and the idea of paying for quality rather than quantity.
Baudoin has also produced numerous water specific colors. With customer requests to color match or make a custom color, Baudoin says he has made custom baits for “Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend, Bayou Black, and among others, a small mouth hotspot in New York State.” With a wealth of knowledge growing up on the waters of Des Allemands, the Atchafalaya Basin, Lake Verret, Bayou Black, and others, Baudoin has also made some baits for waters a little closer to home. But when asked, Landon says his go to baits and colors are his Mudbugz craw style bait, and various baits in his colors of Junebug and Watermelon Candy Red. “I throw these baits and colors all over the place because they just catch fish everywhere, but if it’s a little too cold I will swap to a senko in Watermelon Candy Red.”
With a full plate, we look for more exciting things to come from Baudoin Baits. We are told there is a ton more in the works including some new designs, more social media work, as well as a website launch and more brick and mortar store placements. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Baudoin Baits in stores across Louisiana and a scaled up production from Landon in the next few years. So the next time you think about needing just the right soft plastic for your waterbody, instead of staring at the isles in the big box stores to just find something that will do, reach out and let a college kid make the custom fish catching plastic that is just what you have in mind!
The original color match of Ole Purple shown in Baudoin's 4.5" Mini Tricks worms.
Baudoin Baits 4.4" Swamp Hogs and 4.5" Devil Craw in Junebug Red.
Baudoin Baits 3.3" Mudbugz in Watermelon Red.
A few unopened packages of Baudoin Baits showing their commitment to quality by hand packaging and vacuum sealing each bag to maximize lifespan and prevent baits from kinking.