Hot Weather and Hot Flounder Fishing around the area

2011-06-29 10:42:58
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina - Saltwater Fishing Report
Masonboro Sound, Masonboro inlet
Jot Owens

Can you say hot weather and yes we need the rain, but the fishing has been great for the most part! Going a little earlier in the morning lately and getting back earlier has been my fishing times for the last few weeks! With this heat the water temps have come up a bit and this has changed a few patterns of fishing this last few weeks.

Flounder has been the winner for me in the last few weeks, my clients have caught a few very nice Flounder lately and the bigger Flounder are hitting artificial baits! I have found most of the Flounder just off the beach on hard bottoms, ledges, around the local inlets and docks in the ICW. The Flounder are still mixed in size, but there are some very nice Flounder starting to mix in with the throw backs. I have always been a live bait guy when it comes to Flounder, but let me tell you my clients have caught some big Flounder in the last few weeks on artificial baits.

Barkley Gulp and Gulp Alive Jerkshad are really putting some nice Flounder in my boat for my clients! I am rigging these five inch Gulp Jerkshad on 1/4oz, 3/8ox and 1/2oz jig heads; I use forty pound mono or fluorocarbon as leader. The colors I prefer for the Jerkshads are pearl, chart pepper neon, new penny and root beer gold. If you would rather go the live bait root, try live baits like mud minnows, finger mullets or small menhaden. Rig these live baits on Carolina rigs with Eagle Claw L42 #1 and 1/0 hook sizes.

The Redfish action has been a little slower with all the warm air and warm water temps, but I'm catching a hand full in the early mornings with a little patients. Working scented baits like Berkley Gulp slowly along grass banks and docks has worked the best for me lately. A new Berkley bait that is just getting in to stores now has been very good for me on the Redfish; the baits are the Berkley Fire Tail three inch Shrimp. These are good looking baits with great action and in proven color patterns! The colors I have had the best luck with are the rootbeer gold/chart, new penny/chart and cajun purple/chart; rigging these shrimp on jigs heads in sizes 1/8oz and 1/4oz weights. Thirty of forty pound mono or a better choice fluorocarbon for leader when casting grubs/jigs for Redfish. Tip: when water temps are up try to work your jig a bit slower for the Redfish; "who wants to run in hot weather?"

Spanish Mackerel are hitting very good most days just off the beach in twenty to fifty feet of water, just look for the bait on your fish finder and you are sure to catch some Spanish Macks! I've had the best luck with deeper spoons on number one planners, yes I'm seeing a few on the top line but the best has been deeper. Clark-spoons in sizes 00 and 0 are doing the trick in colors silver, gold and pink flash. The Spanish hitting the top baits are hitting Blue Water Candy's Spanish Daisy chains in colors pink, blue and silver; the great thing about this rig is you can pull it off lighter tackle outfits. When the Spanish are jumping I'm casting spoons in sizes one to three inches long with a fast retrieve and keeping my rod tip low to the water to keep the spoon just under the surface. Tip: most of the Spanish I'm finding are in the cleaner and clearer waters off the beach.

I'm starting to see the first push of Tarpon heading up the coast, last week we jumped off about a seventy pound Tarpon just off Masonboro inlet.

Tarpon fishing in North Carolina can be very fun, but it can be a challenge to get one to bite! I fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, bluefish and Menhaden. I'm rigging these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound mono leaders. Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 10/0 depending what hook series/maker you like. I have also had a fair share of Tarpon on my kite rig with live baits like mullets, bluefish and menhaden. Keep your eyes peeled for rolling and feeding Tarpon if you're in the hunt for one of these beasts.

Fishing Gear I use:

Reels Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Tarpon Fishing reels: Penn Battle 6000 & 7000, Penn 320LD and Torque 12 & 15. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast and Berkley Fireline braid in 8, 10 and 15 pound. Tarpon Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Fenwick HMG GS 70M-MF. Tarpon Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series or Penn Toarque jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Tarpon; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

*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! Just Fan (like) the page on I'll have monthly random drawings of Fans for free tackle!

Hey thanks for reading, have a great 4th of July, be safe and good fishing to ya!

Capt. Jot Owens

Penn Tackle Elite Staff

Ranger Boats Pro Staff


Fish Species: Flounder, Redfish, Tarpon
Bait Used: Berkley Gulp
Tackle Used: Penn Battle Spinning reels, Fenwick HMG rods, Ranger Bay boats
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Jot Owens

About The Author: Captain Jot Owens

Company: Jot It Down Fishing Charters LLC

Area Reporting: Southeast NC Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington

Bio: Captain Jot Owens, IV, born and raised in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, has been fishing the waters of the Cape Fear, Masonboro Sound and the North Atlantic Ocean for thirteen years. He began his career at the age of 15 commercial fishing for Grouper and King Mackerel. After the experience in commercial fishing, he began working as a Mate on a charter boat that specialized in offshore fishing for King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, tuna, Wahoo and billfish. During this time he made offshore rigs and prepared baits for the charters. In 2000, Jot began work as a Mate on The Fortune Hunter. During the six years Jot worked as a Mate, he was working towards his Captain�s license. In February 2002, he achieved his goal of obtaining his Captain�s license. Since this time, Jot has been the Master and Captain of the Fortune Hunter Too, fishing for trout, Red Drum, Flounder, Cobia, Tarpon and many other species. Today Captain Jot runs his own boat; the (Jot It down). Captain Jot enjoys everyday he is on the water and brings his passion for fishing to his customers by teaching new techniques and providing knowledge about the many different species of fish found on the East Coast. He looks forward to sharing with you the many fishing techniques that he is so passionate about.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Jot Owens