Wrightsville Beach Mild Winter Fishing is Great!

2011-12-14 13:39:01
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina - Saltwater Fishing Report
Masonboro Inlet and Sound
Jot Owens

Well folks as soon as it gets colder; here comes some more mild weather, hey I'll take it! Two cold winters in a row, we need it and deserve it! I have got to tell you not much has changed since my last report as what fish are biting and what they a hitting. One thing that has changed is I'm starting to see some very nice size trout biting, with trophy trout coming in the boat on most of my trips.

This season has been a very good grub/jig season with hundreds of trout coming to the boat on grubs. The two hot grubs this season for me has been the Berkley Gulp Fire tail 3" shrimp and Saltwater Assassin 4" sea shad pattern. The colors that are catching the most and biggest trout in the fire tail shrimp are watermelon red fleck, pearl and new penny. In the sea shads; chicken on a chain, salt&pepper silver with chart tail, sweet pea, cantaloupe, chart diamond and 10w40 with chart tail. If you really just want to target bigger trout try a Berkley Gulp 6" Jerkshad or a Gulp 4" Shrimp pattern; you'll need to work these baits a bit slower, but it might just put that five pound or bigger trout in the boat for you.

Live baits like Shrimp, mud minnows and small finger mullet have caught my charters some big numbers of keeper trout lately. I rig these baits on float rigs in shallow waters of three to five feet and light Carolina rigs for deeper waters of six to over ten foot deep. Lively bait is very important to getting Speckled trout to eat your live bait, take care of your live bait. The livelier the bait the more bites you will get; trust me!

There have still been lots of good by-catches while we are trout fishing; these include Tautogs, Sheephead, Flounder, Black drum and Red drum. These by-catches are hitting the grubs and live shrimp we are using for the trout. The great thing is they are all good eating! My favorites are the Tautogs and Sheephead. If your bait gets close to the bottom, you've got a good chance at picking up one of these guys. One client last week put a four pound Tautog in the boat with a Berkley Gulp Fire tail shrimp; I just knew he had a nice trout on the line, but no it was a nice tog!

When the waters start to cool down the Cape Fear River Striped Bass start bite; these fish are not the easiest to catch, but they fight very well even in cold water. Working drop offs on the edge of the river is where you can find the Stripers, using swim bait lures and Berkley Power Bait and Berkley Gulp Jerkshad should put a few Cape Fear Stripers on you line. Don't forget that the Cape Fear River Striped Bass Fishery is closed; catch and release only!

Large winter Redfish schools are one of my favorite fish to look for during winter mouths. On calm, light wind days you can find these Reds on dark mud flats and oyster rocks. Also you can find large schools around inlets and sand bars just off the local beaches. When you find these schools approach very slow and quietly, for they spoke very easily. Most of the time the winter school Reds will bite pretty easily, but one thing that will help is scented baits like Berkley Gulp! I prefer Berkley Gulp Ripple Mullet in colors Pearl/chart tail, New Penny and Rootbeer gold/chart tail; also the Berkley Gulp 5" and 6" Jerkshad work well too. Sometimes you may need to work the bait a little slower during colder months, so try using a light jig head; this will allow you to work the bait slower.

If you have any questions about the tactics I use fishing the local waters please e-mail me or catch me on Face Book at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

Don't forget my special rates will start January 1st2012 and will run to March 31st2012 save on great winter fishing trips for Redfish, Striped Bass, Speckled trout and Large Mouth Bass. Winter fishing around this area can be great and it looks like we are going to have a milder winter; which means even better fishing this winter!

Fishing Gear I use:

Speckled trout, Striped Bass and Redfish: Reels Penn Battle 2000, 3000 & 4000 spinning reels. Rods: Fenwick HMG GS 70ML and Penn Legion rods Line: *new line I'm using and really enjoying for Trout fishing is NanoFil from Berkley, this line is for spinning reels and its very smooth casting line! I prefer eight and ten pound for trout fishing. Fluorocarbon leader material, Stren Tinted Fluorocarbon in tints Gunsmoke for clearer waters and Tannic for river or stained waters in twenty pound test.

Thanks for reading! Don't forget take a kid fishing and good fall fishing to you!

Captain Jot Owens

Ranger Boats Pro Staff

Penn Reels Elite Staff



Fish Species: Speckled Trout, Redfish, Striped Bass
Bait Used: Berkley Gulp Fire Tail Shrimp
Tackle Used: Penn Legion Rods, Penn Battle Spinning reels
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Capt. Jot with two Trophy Speckled trout!
Capt. Jot with two Trophy Speckled trout!

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