Wrightsville Winter Report 2015
Capt. Jot Owens
December 30, 2014
Wrightsville Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
This winter has been up and down; really 74` one day and 47` the next day, am I seeing double??? The fishing overall even with this weather has been pretty good most days. I've said once, I have said it 1000 times; you really have to pick your fishing days during the winter months here in Southeast NC! Trust me give a day or two and the weather will be warmer and drier, just give it some time; you'll see!
The Red fishing lately has been pretty good most days when the wind is not howling and we've seen some nice schools of Reds. Warmer, sunny and lower wind days can be the key to catching these inshore winter Redfish. It's not hard to catch them once you find'em, look for these Reds in creeks with dark colored bottoms and oyster rocks never hurt. Scented soft plastics like Berkley Gulp should do the trick to get these Reds to hit. Patterns in Gulp like Shrimp in sizes 2" and 3" are my go too; I'm keeping the baits smaller. Colors that seem to work the best are pearl, molting and new penny; the new Fire tail colors work great too! When the rains come down and stains up the water try to go to darker color patterns, this will help you get more bites.
Try lighter jig heads like 1/16oz and 1/8oz when winter fishing; lighter jig heads help you to work the lure much slower and will still look natural. On warmer light wind days you can also find some nice schools of Reds in shallow water oyster flats and rocks. The Reds will sun on these dark colored bottom areas for a little extra warm up; this is also where you'll see some bait fish doing the same thing (warming up). Work these baits slowly in front of the Redfish schools; not right through the school, all this will do is spook the Reds and will make it very hard to catch them. If the Reds are hungry they break away from the school and eat your bait!
Surf Reds have been hit or miss; I believe that a lot of the Reds are still up in the creeks due to all the up and down weather this season. I have caught a few good days of surf Reds when the weather is just right. Casting Berkley Gulp Ripple mullets on 1/4oz and 3/8oz jig heads in colors Rootbeer gold and New penny' or MirrOlure Catch 2000's; don't forget that fluorocarbon leader this time of year the water is super clear most days!
I've made quite a few trips to the Cape Fear River year; there are three different kinds of fish to chase in the Cape Fear, Catfish, Striped Bass and even a hand full of nice Redfish most all winter long. Here is a few ways to put a CFR Striper on your line. Try Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five and six inch size; in pearl white or new penny colors and Berkley Havoc Grass Pigs. Work these baits slowly and always rig them weed-less; there are many hangs in the Cape Fear River. Try a Moaner swim bait hook with the Berkley Jerkshad or grass pig; this is a great hook at a great price. www.moanerhooks.com I use the weighted Stroker hook in 1/4oz 5/0. Look for Stripers on drop-offs, dock pilings and reed-grass lines. The Cape Fear River Striped Bass fishing is a closed fishery; all Stripers must be released.
If you would like to give the Catfish a try, use baits like cut mullet, chicken livers and cut eel. I use heavy Carolina rigs when I fish for catfish. Try an Eagle claw L42 2/0 to 4/0 hook with fifty or eighty pound mono leader to make your carolina rig. Look for the catfish on drop-offs from five to twenty feet of water. We have seen some blue cats over thirty pounds caught in the river so try not to use to light of tackle; these are not always your ‘farm pond channel cats'!
Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Conflict Spinning reels sizes 2500, 3000 & 4000 for the Redfish and Striped Bass. PENN Battalion in 6'6" & 7' medium and med/hvy action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound; Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon leader for my leader material.
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: www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487
Thanks for reading and have a Happy New Year!
Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Fishing Tackle Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff
Striped Bass, Redfish, Catfish
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