Cold Weather but the Fish are Biting around Wrightsville Beach!

December 24th, 2010 by Capt. Jot Owens

Man it’s been cold around here lately, where did fall go?  We have had some kind of weather around here in the last; oh-I’ll say over a year! Cold, hot and cold again, what a year!?!?  It has played havoc on the local fishing but I’m not one to set around and wait for it to warm up, I like to fish!  So here is the fishing report of what I’ve been trying to catch (with some success) during this cold December we are having.

Speckled trout fishing got a little harder in the last few weeks and I’ve caught a few but worked hard to catch’em.  Working baits like MirrOlures and Berkley Gulp very slow has been the best success lately.  The trout seem to be sitting deeper whether it’s in the creeks or around the inlets; the trout are feeding in the five plus feet of water.  When the trout starting doing this, it’s usually a little later in the year; I use baits that sink very slow.  The MirrOlure 52M, 52MR and TT series are some of the best for the slow pattern I look for during the cold fishing mouths.  When I use soft plastics like Berkley Gulp I use lighter jig heads in weights of 1/16oz, 1/8oz and 1/4oz.  This lighter jig heads make it much easier to work grubs much slower when trout are lethargic form cold water.  Any days when we have mostly sunny skies or warmer air temps; these are the winter days you need to try to go Speckled trout fishing.

When the cold weather hit us and decided not to leave, I knew it was time to go try for some Cape Fear River Striped Bass.  Cape Fear Stripers can be a hit and miss fishery but not to say you can’t go catch a few most days.  I look for the Striped bass in the CFR to be in around five to twelve feet of water; when its warmer they are shallower and when it’s colder they are usually deeper.  Casting soft baits like Berkley Gulp jerkshads and pogy patterns are a good choice for the Stripers.  Colors I prefer are pearl, new penny and Arkansas shiner.  When the CFR Stripers are very active, I like hard baits like MirrOlures L29M in colors 11, 18 and 808.  Always with any winter fishing, work baits slower in cold water for better results.

One thing we have not had much of this season is nice enough weather to get out and chase the winter Redfish, one of my favorite winter pass times!  The Reds are there all we need is the weather to go get’em.  When I fish for winter Redfish I use lots of Berkley Gulp!  You can’t go wrong with scented lures when the water gets cold.  Berkley Gulp Ripple Shad, 3” Shrimp and five inch Jerkshad should do the trick.  Another trick for winter Redfish is to look for dark/black mud bottoms in creeks; on warmer sunny days the Reds love to get on these flats to warm up a bit.  We all know if a fish warms up any at all they will usually bite a hook!

Fishing gear I use:

Gear used: Speckled trout, Redfish and striped Bass: reels Penn Conquer 2000 and Battle 2000 & 3000 spinning reels. *New Rod Line I’m using: Fenwick HMG series in sizes GS 70ML-F for Trout and GS 70M-MF for Redfish and Striped Bass.  Locally Intercoastal Angler carries the Fenwick line of rods.   Line: Spiderwire Ultracast ten and fifth teen pound.  Fluorocarbon leader material, Stren Tinted Fluorocarbon in tints Gunsmoke for clearer waters and Tannic for river or stained waters in twenty pound for trout and thirty pound for Redfish and Striped Bass.

In other fishing news; it’s boat show and fishing seminar/school season.  Here are some of the shows I plan to speck at or appear at.

January 7th, 8th and 9th, 2011 – Raleigh Bass & Saltwater Fishing Expo   NC State Fairgrounds – Raleigh, NC.   This is a GREAT show, with over 160 booths offering everything from the latest lures, plastics, jigs, custom rods, apparel, knives, product sample booths, hard-tops, saltwater fishing guides, fresh water guides, cast nets, gaffs… far one of the best shows of its kind in the Carolina’s and Virginia.  I will be there along with other Ranger and Pure Fishing pro staff members, as well as many others fresh and salt water pros!  I’ll be there all three days and doing two different seminars on fishing MirrOlures the right way and near shore light tackle King Mackerel Fishing.

January 29th 2011 – Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series. BRUNSWICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE-Odell Williamson Auditorium.   I’ll be there with Penn Fishing tackle showing all the new Rods and Reels from Penn.

February 4th, 5th and 6th, 2011 – Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show – Raleigh, NC. This is a great show with lots of the “top of the line” boats form around the world.  I’ll be there with other Ranger Pro’s to show you all the great benefits to the Ranger Saltwater line of boats.

February 12th Fisherman’s Post 6th Annual Saltwater Fishing school.  I look forward to this school, I’ve wanted to participate in this school in the past but my winter schedule did not allow me to.  I’ve herd many good things about this school in the past. There will be more than twelve local captains at this year school to help you learn all there is to know about any kind of local saltwater fishing.  Learn more about this school at:
February 19th, 2010-Cape Fear Christian Sportsman Fish Fest.  I don’t know what topics I’ll be speaking on yet, but as soon as I know I’ll let you know!  For more info on the day, check out this link!

Thanks for reading, hope to see you at a boat show or fishing seminar this winter; please come by and say hello.  Have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Captain Jot Owens
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
Penn Reels Elite Staff

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