Captain Jot Owens Fishing Report

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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Wrightsville Beach, NC Fishing report/forecast November 2014

Published on October 31st, 2014 by Captain Jot Owens | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Where has this year gone??? Wow its November already, hey the good news is it’s time for another one of my favorites to fish for; Speckled trout. These fish are a challenge to catch “sometimes” and it’s a light tackle fishery! Here is how I catch trout and a few other species during November.

In early November I look for Speckled trout in the creeks and channels just off the ICW; any where water is moving with tide flow and bait. Speckled trout like current; whether it’s hard current in a main channel or light current up a creek. You need current flow to catch trout; rising and falling tide can be good for trout don’t let the tide keep you form going trout fishing! Marsh grass banks with oyster rocks that run in to a channel or along a marsh grass bank with oysters and drop-offs in channels are all good places to find Speckled trout in November. Later in November I start to find the trout in the above area as well as around the inlets in good numbers.

One key point to trout fishing I’ve found is that most days Specks will bite, but what are they hitting that day? I’ve found that hard baits work through November and catch all sizes of speckled trout. 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. The patterns I prefer are the Catch 2000, 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 and HP. Any local tackle shop can help you with these color codes or go to for a color chart.

If you have ever done any trout fishing at all you know that a grub (soft plastic) lures work very good for Speckled trout too! Berkley Gulp shrimp three inch is a great bait form Berkley, I really like these baits. The colors I prefer in the Fire tail shrimp are rootbeer/gold chart tail, Cajun purple/chart tail, watermelon red glitter/chart tail and glow white/glow chart tail. In non fire tail color I like sugar spice glow. Saltwater Assassin’s four inch sea shad in colors chicken on a chain, sweet pea, mullet, Green moon, rainbow trout and cantaloupe are all good choices in November as well. Remember when it comes to color; try light colors in clear water and darker colors in stained or dirty waters. The color chicken on a chain is great when the water gets stained from rain; which sometimes we get lots of in the fall around here!

Don’t count out live bait if you would rather fish with it. Try live smaller mullets, mud minnows and live shrimp. In shallow waters of two to five feet I like to float these live baits with a cork. In deeper waters of six to ten plus I rig them on light Carolina rigs with a small #1 J-hook. Just wait until you feel that trout take off with the bait and lightly set the hook, remember trout have very soft mouths.

The Redfish bite can be good during November, sometimes while trout fishing I find nice schools of Redfish. November can also be a very good mouth for large schools of Reds in the surf or the creeks. Casting lures to these Reds like Berkley Gulp Ripple mullets or five inch jerkshads will surely get you a bite! Most all the time when I find Redfish in November they are hungry and ready to bite.

The Flounder fishing starts to slow down in later November, but you can still catch some big ones during November. A couple of years ago I had a client put a eight and a half pounder in the boat while we were trout fishing during November; talk about a fight on very light tackle!

There will also be just about all the Bluefish you can handle during November as well. Just look for the birds and bait schools close to the local inlets and cast metal spoons at these bait schools. 99.9% of the time there will be Bluefish there, just about every cast! Don’t’ forget to beef up your leader when catching Bluefish; I use forty or fifty pound fluorocarbon or mono when casting to Bluefish. You surely do not want to lose those trout lures to a bluefish!

Tackle run down: PENN Battle II or Conflict Spinning reels sizes 2000, 2500 & 3000 for the Bluefish, Redfish and Speckled trout. Rods PENN Battalion 6’6” & 7’ med/light and medium action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in eight, ten and fifth-teen pound. Leaders: Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon leader material in 20 or 30 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, videos and tackle giveaways; yes free stuff!

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

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

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