Captain Jot Owens Fishing Report

Wrightsville Beach, NC September Fishing Forecast/Report

Published on September 1st, 2015 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Fall is trying so very hard to show up around the area but, with these weather changes comes ‘weather’ and for the last few weeks it’s been in the form of rain and thunderstorms! Hopefully the rains will slow down and we’ll start to see some breaks of cooler weather! I’m sure ready to see some cooler fall weather!

With all this talk of cooler fall weather, one fish that pops up on my radar is the very fun to catch Speckled trout and will not be long before they are here in good numbers! My easy break down of what lures I use are by current flow and water death. I prefer baits like MirrOlure’s 17MR and catch 2000jr in waters of two to six feet deep with light or no current. In deeper waters of five to fifteen plus feet with or without current I prefer MirrOlure’s 18MR and 52M & MR (slow sinking) As far as colors go try this rule of thumb; lighter colors in clearer blue & green waters and darker colors in river, tannic or stained waters.

I will use grubs in any water death or current when trout fishing, but I’ll adjust the weight of the jig head for the death or current of the water I’m fishing. Try lures like the Berkley Gulp Fire Tail 3” shrimp or the newer 3” Ripple Mullet for Speckled trout. Another lure that works well for trout is Saltwater Assassin’s Sea shad series, try colors like chicken on a chain, chart/diamond, copperhead, rainbow trout or 10w40 with lime tail. One thing I really believe in is using fluorocarbon leaders for Speckled trout fishing; these fish have very good eye sight. Using fluorocarbon will help you catch more trout; try Berkley’s new Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader material. As the local waters cool the trout fishing will only get better!

The Bull Reds (over slot) are really starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms, shoals and around the inlets. You never know when you might hook one of these giants! When I fish for Bull Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use fish finder/carolina rigs with 5/0 to 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 there 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 Bull Reds out there.

This has been a good Flounder season for me and for that reason I’ve run a lot of Flounder trips this season with good success. One thing we have seen this year is that the Flounder fishing has been good inshore but better in the ocean this season, giving us lots of opportunities to flounder fish. Live bait as well as artificial lures has put lots of flounder in the boat for us. Carolina rigs with Eagle Claw L42 1/0 size hooks and forty pound clear fluorocarbon leader works well. Small finger mullets, small menhaden and mud minnows are our choice live baits.

Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in 5” & 6” colors pearl, chart pepper neon or new penny and 4” Ripple mullets if you would like to use artificial baits. The flounder are hanging around inlets, channel drops and creeks inshore. In the ocean near shore artificial reefs, ledges and hard/live bottoms are holding some nice numbers of flounder too. During September the fall southern bait run will start to crank up, when this happens the Flounder will turn up a notch or two!

Fishing Gear I use:

Reels: Speckled trout and Flounder: PENN Battle II spinning in sizes 2000, 2500 & 3000 sizes. Bull Reds Fishing reels: PENN Battle II 6000 & 7000, PENN Fathom 12 & 15 or Torque 12 & 15. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast 10 and 15 pound. Bull Reds Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: (Inshore) PENN Battalion. Bull Reds Rods: PENN Rampage jigging series in 30-80 class spinning and casting. Leader material: (inshore) Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon in thirty to forty pound, Bull Reds; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound.

*Are you on Facebook? Check out my page Capt. Jot Owens/Jot It Down Fishing Charters LLC for lots of good info on local fishing, fishing tips, detailed live reports, photos and tackle giveaways; yes free stuff!

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or comments just let me know. Don’t’ forget to take a kid fishing!

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

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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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