Captain Jot Owens Fishing Report

Wrightsville Beach May 2016 Fishing Forecast

Published on May 2nd, 2016 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

May around Wrightsville Beach in my mind is when “summer” fishing really gets going. Warmer days and most important less wind, we hope! May brings new fish species to target and also the fish start to settle in their summer locations. Here are some of my favorite fish to target during the month of May around Wrightsville Beach.

As the weather stabilizes and the temps go up in May we see a lot more days where we can get out in the ocean and look for those high speed, and good eating Bonita in earlier May (even later April this year) and Spanish mackerel all May long. These fish are a lot of fun to see busting the surface of the water and even more fun to see on the end of your line! Casting small spoons or using fly gear in weights six to eight can make for a great challenge on this light tackle. Look for these fish to be hanging around near shore artificial reefs, ledges and inlets. Trolling Clark spoons and small deep driver lures can be the key to success some days for the Bonita and Spanish mackerel. When using the Clark spoons, I would recommend the pink flash spoon in sizes #00, #0 and #1; the pink flash series has really helped me put more fish in the boat. You might come over a few False Albacore and Bluefish mixed in with the Bonita and Spanish from time to time; sometimes too many bluefish mixed in!

Redfish and May go hand and hand, this month is a favorite for casting artificial lures to them. Reds really start to settle down in their summer spots by early May. Casting Berkley Gulp Shrimp in three inch size on light jig heads is one of my go to baits for May Redfish. My go to colors are sugar spice glow, new penny, Rootbeer gold/chart tail and natural. Saltwater Assassin Sea shad lures in colors copperhead and 10W40 chart tail work well too. Another fun way to catch Redfish is casting top-water plugs like MirrOlure’s Top pup or the new Poppa Mullet. You can also cast popping or rattling corks in these shallow areas with a Berkley Gulp three inch which will catch the Redfish too. If you would rather go the bait route; try some fresh cut Mullet or Menhaden on a light Carolina rig. Try fishing fresh cut bait around docks in the ICW or along creek mouths when the tide is moving.

May is a great month for gator (bigger) Speckled trout; some of my personal largest Specks have come in May! Most of the bigger trout I see in May come off top-water plugs. My favorite is the MirrOlure Top dog, She dog and Poppa mullet; these noisy baits really make the trout come right out of the water after them! Another great bait for bigger trout is the Berkley Gulp five or six inch Jerkshad in colors pearl white and new penny; rigging on light swim-bait hooks. Live Shrimp, small Mullets and Menhaden on float rigs or very light Carolina rigs will also catch those gators!

By mid May the Cobia start to show up around Wrightsville; one of my favorites! I forecast that the Cobia will be here a little early this season. I look for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. With the water being so clear it has been easier to see those brown logs in the water. We are throwing big jigs (Blue water candy), swim baits and live bait to the Cobia. Color really does not seem to matter; but “go bright”! When I’m not sight casting for them, we are fishing around inlets, shoals and near shore artificial reefs. I float fish, bottom fish and kite fish in these areas with live menhaden, blues, pinfish and mullet as bait. Sometimes a great bonus fish when fishing for Cobia is a nice bull Redfish. You can chum if you like, but the sharks and rays will come and they will come in numbers!

With the warmer weather the Flounder will finally start showing up in better numbers, there are still a lot of smaller ones inshore, but the bigger ones will really start showing up in May! Most of the Flounder fishing I’m doing is just off the beach and around the inlets. I’ve caught Flounder on both live and artificial baits in May, what I have seen is more numbers on live bait, but more keepers on artificial baits. Mud minnows on light Carolina rigs with #one L42 Eagle Claw hooks will catch the numbers of Flounder. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five & six inch sizes will get the most keeper Flounder. I rig these Jerkshad on 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz, 3/4oz (ocean) jig heads with longer hook shanks in red or gray color.

Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Clash Spinning reels 2000, 2500, 3000 and 4000 sizes. Rods: PENN Battalions 6’6” and 7’ Med-light and Medium rods. Line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound. Cobia Reels PENN Fathom 20LW or 25LW casting or Clash & SpinFisher V in sizes 5000, 5500, 6000 or 6500 spinning reels, with a PENN Rampage Jigging rod 50 to 100 pound class.

Thanks for reading and good summer fishing to you!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
www.captainjot.com
910-233-4139

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Fishing Forecast-March 2016

Published on March 3rd, 2016 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Can you believe it’s already March??? I have to say this winter has not been to bad overall, fingers crossed we make it through April mild and that would be a great start to the summer! The fishing has already been a little better with the milder weather; it really is looking good for this spring! Here are the fishing opportunities for March that I like to target.

In March the Redfish finally start to move around a little more than they have all winter. Not that they don’t move around in the winter; they just start to show up in place’s they like more during warmer times of the year. This is the time of the year you need to get out and find where the Redfish are going and showing up. In the cooler months I’ve seen crustacean patterns work better for Redfish; due to the fact that these baits are a little easier to catch, than say baits like fish patterns. The baitfishes are not really moving yet, but the crustaceans are coming out of the mud and the Redfish know it!

On warmer days the crustaceans will move more and these are the days you need to look for Redfish during March. Working scented baits like Berkley Gulp and Gulp Alive in patterns two and three inch shrimp, two inch peeler crab and 3” ghost shrimp should get the Redfish to bite. These baits don’t have paddle tails so you can work them very slow, which is still very important because the water still be pretty cool in March. Find those banks where the sun can warm up shallows just a little more than other places. Look for dark bottom banks and places with less current these are the areas where the water will be warmer and the Redfish will be feeding. Remember to keep your eyes peeled in the shallow water areas for Reds, March can be a very good sight fishing month; just make sure you work the baits a little slower with a fluorocarbon leader for those clearer spring waters.

March can be another mouth when Cape Fear River Striped Bass fishing will pick up. You usually do not see as big of fish in March, but the numbers can be good some days. In March the Stripers will start to move in to a little bit shallower waters, I look for the Stripers in three to eight feet of water in the early spring. This is when you need to also shallow up your presentation, go lighter with you tackle. I prefer Berkley Gulp jerkshad and Berkley Havoc grass pig lures; I use colors pearl, chart pepper neon and new penny (swamp gas). Using swim bait hooks size 5/0 in 1/8 to ounce should put a Striper on the end of your line! You can also cast mid-water crank baits that dive three to eight feet, don’t let them drag the bottom to much or you will lose your lure to a stump or log! Look for Cape Fear River Stripers around mud-flat edges, bulk-heads, creeks and shallow reed-grass edges on sunny warmer days.

Don’t count out a nice Speckled trout during the month of March! But what is a trout going to hit in March? This is when you need to know where to start; what lures to try? One of my favorites is the good’ole MirrOlure; it’s been around a long time and it is still catching fish, but its cold so work them SLOW! The patterns I prefer are the 17MR, 18MR, 52M and 52MR. Colors; MirrOlure makes a lot of different colors but here are some of my go too colors around Wrightsville Beach area waters. MirrOlure color codes: 11, 21, 26, 51, 704, CFPR, CH, EC, HP AND Capt. Jot Custom color (only found at Tex’s Tackle shop). Any local tackle shop can help you with these color codes. Depths to use these lures; 17MR use these lures in two to six feet of water. 18MR, 52M & 52MR use these lures in four to fifth-teen plus feet of water.

There is another kind of fishing I like to try in March but there is no saltwater involved. I like to hit the upper Northeast Cape Fear River and Sutton Lake the do a little Large-mouth bass fishing. If you want to try something different try some bass fishing, they are a lot of fun to catch on lighter tackle. Most of the time I use heavy sink worms from Berkley Powerbait in colors black, red shad and blue-flick. Work these worms very slowly off banks and stump beds. If you like to fly fish, try slow sinking small minnow patterns along the grass flats in Sutton Lake on cloudy or foggy days.

Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Clash Spinning reels sizes2500, 3000 & 4000 for the Redfish, Large mouth Bass and Striped Bass. PENN Battalion rods in 6’6” & 7’ medium and med/hvy action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound; Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon for my leaders in twenty to thirty pound.

Thanks for reading, get outside and I hope March fishing is good to you!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Fishing Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
www.captainjot.com
910-233-4139

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