Captain Jot Owens Fishing Report

Wrightsville Beach August Fishing Forecast

Published on July 28th, 2015 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

August fishing around Southeast NC can be great, but due to a few different weather scenarios; high heat, super dry, super wet etc… you may need to tune how you fish during August. Go earlier or much later in the day, if we have had lots of rain, look for cleaner waters to fish etc… By making adjustments will increase your chances of catching more during August hot dog days!

Flounder are a great hot weather fish because it really does not seem to matter how hot it gets they still bite! Live bait is the key for catching higher numbers of Flounder, but if you want to catch bigger Flounder try artificial bait. Mud minnows and small finger mullet will be the best live baits for Flounder in August. Rigging the live bait on carolina rigs with Eagle Claw L42 1/0 or 2/0 hooks is a good choice of rigs for Flounder. If you prefer to use artificial baits; scented and none scented grubs as well as spinner baits will do the job. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five and six inch and colors of new penny, pearl white and chart pepper neon are all good. Also try Berkley’s Havoc Grass Pig lure in colors, chartreuse, pearl white silver and swamp gas. I rig these lures on long hook shank jig heads in 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz weights in colors red, gray or white.

One fish that is always on my hot weather list is the Sheephead. The Sheephead is a good challenge to catch and they fight hard, but they are also good to eat! Another great thing about Sheephead fishing when it’s hot outside is that you can hide under a bridge out of the sun to catch them. Just think; fishing somewhere out of the sun and you’re catching great eating fish! All you need is some fiddler crabs or sand fleas for bait. A medium/heavy action spinning or casting rod with Spiderwire twenty or thirty pound braid for line will help you bring in that big Sheephead in. Tie on a short carolina rig with forty or fifty pound fluorocarbon leader and a small live bait J hook (sharp/strong)! Drop that fiddler crab down beside a piling on the carolina rig and when you feel that little bump; set the hook and hold on!

North Carolina is not really known for Tarpon fishing but we do see a few pushing just off Masonboro inlet and the lower Cape Fear River form time to time. If you want a good challenge, give Carolina Tarpon fishing a try this August. The best times are very early morning or late afternoon and in to the night. I fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, mullet and Menhaden. I rig these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound fluorocarbon leaders. Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 9/0 depending what hook series you like. It not easy to catch a NC Tarpon, but I promise if you do or even just jump one off; you will try again!

I also enjoy shark fishing later in the summer (late July to early September). Sharks on light tackle are always a good pull and boy the kids love to catch’em! I drift live and fresh dead bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mullet or menhaden in thirty to forty five feet of water offshore. I rig these baits with a 7/0 circle hook with one foot of ninety pound wire and six to eight feet of eighty pound mono leader. I push down the hook barb on my shark hooks for easy release of the shark if you like. You can free line the bait and /or put a small egg sinker on to keep the bait close to the bottom. You’ll know when you get a bite! Most sharks are in the ten to one hundred plus pound range.

Last but certainly not lest is Bull Redfish (big Red Drum). The Bull Reds will start showing up in good numbers around inlets and hard/live bottoms just off the beach to about ten miles out in early August. Live or fresh dead bait is the key to catching these brutes. Most fish will be twenty-eight to over forty inches in length, very fun to catch size! It’s not hard to rig for the Bull reds; short carolina rigs with a 9/0 to 12/0 circle hook will do the trick. Remember if your catching larger Drum, please use heavier tackle; these Drum will work so hard when the water is hot and it is easy to kill them using to light of tackle (fighting them to long).

Have a good August, stay cool and thanks for reading!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Pro Staff

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Wrightsville Beach area waters Fishing Forecast May/June

Published on April 14th, 2015 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

May around Wrightsville Beach is when most of our summer species really start to bite well and by June the fishing is in full swing! I love May and June because there are so many different fish to target, if ones not biting that day you can easily go target a different species. Here are some of my “goto” Wrightsville May & June fish.

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 and Spanish mackerel all May & June 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.

Redfish; May & June go hand and hand, these months are some of my favorite for casting artificial lures to them. Reds really start to settle down in their summer spots by mid May. Casting Berkley Gulp Shrimp in three inch size on light jig heads is one of my go to baits for early summer Redfish. My go to colors are sugar spice glow, new penny, Rootbeer gold/chart tail and natural. Another fun way to catch Redfish is casting top-water plugs like MirrOlure’s Top pup and Sebile’s slim Stick; cast these plugs along mash grass lines and oyster flats. You can also cast popping or rattling corks in these shallow areas with a Berkley Gulp three inch and 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 this should work for most of the summer.

The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets by late May. You never know when you might hook one of these hard fighting fish. When I fish for bigger Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use fish finder rigs with 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks and eighty pound Berkley Big game mono leaders. Don’t forget to keep your drag tight when using circle hook so they will do their job. One tip I can give you when fishing for Bull Reds, is don’t use to light of tackle for these bigger Reds. If you fight them to long, there is a chance you can tire them out to much and kill them. Try a med/heavy rod and a reel with at least thirty pound mono or braid, this will help you get the fish in quicker; with a better chance of a good release. Check to see if the Red has a yellow tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Big Reds out there.

May & early June is a great time for gator (bigger) Speckled trout; some of my personal largest Specks have come in May to mid June. Most of the bigger trout I see in this month’s come off top-water plugs. My favorite is the MirrOlure Top dog, She dog and Sebile’s slim stick; 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 to late May the Cobia start to show up around Wrightsville; one of my favorites and will run good until early July most years. 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, 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 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 jig heads with longer hook shanks in red or gray color.

Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Conflict Spinning reels 2000, 2500, 3000 and 4000 sizes. Rods: PENN Battalion 6’6” and 7’ Med-light and Medium rods. Line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound. Cobia/Bull Reds Reels PENN Fathom 20LW or 25LW with a PENN Rampage Jigging rod 50 to 100 pound class.

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff

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