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  • Here it is almost Thanksgiving and I think the Speckled trout fishing will go to Christmas this year; I hope! With all this up and down weather the fishing has really been up and down too; I’ve had some very good days of fishing. The problem has been as soon as it gets good the weather changes and I’ve got the start my hunt for fish all over again. Here are some of the tactics I’ve been using lately to catch fish and these tactics should work right up to Christmas.

    The Speckled trout has been the name of the game for the last two months and the trout should continue to bite very well. With most of my charters coming to the dock with there limit and some days with over forty trout coming over the side of the boat. The real good news is the big trout are just starting to show up!

    When the trout bite is on they are hitting just about any lure or live bait you throw at them, but there are a few colors/lures that are catching more keepers then other colors/lures. 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, rainbow trout and 10w40 with chart tail.

    I prefer to rig all my grubs on red, gray or black jig heads in weights of 1/16oz, 1/8oz or 1/4oz; you really don’t need a much heavier jig,head, a slow sink will catch you more trout! Remember trout typically hit lures that are sinking down or just above them. Keeping this in mind; a slower sinking lure stays in the strike zone longer which gives the trout more time to hit you lure. Another rule I stand by when Speckled trout is the fact that trout have very good eye sight and with this said I always use a high quality fluorocarbon leader for all my trout rigs. I prefer Berkley Pro Spec tinted fluorocarbon leader material in twenty pound test; with gunsmoke tint for clear waters and tannic for river or stained water applications.

    My charters have caught a few nice trout on hard baits like MirrOlures and Sebile baits. We’ve caught trout the 17MR and 18MR but some of the bigger ones are hitting the good old 52M&MR this season. Another bait that has really picked up a few nice trout this season is the Stick Shadd by Sebile in sizes 90 and 114 with colors in white lady, hollow mullet and yellow pepper. The colors for the MirrOlures that are having the most luck are; 17MR and 18MR’s in colors: 11, 26, 808, CFPR, CH, EC and BCH. As far as the 52M & MR in colors: 11, 26, 51, 704, 808, CFPR, CH and HP.

    If you would like to go with the live bait for your trout outing, try live mud minnows, small finger mullet or shrimp all of these baits will catch trout. I rig all these different baits on float rigs in waters of three to six feet deep and a light Carolina rig for deeper waters of five to twenty feet deep. Still here again even with live bait I always use fluorocarbon as leader; it will make a difference.

    One cool thing that is always fun during trout season is all the ‘bonus fish’ that you will catch while Speckled trout fishing. My charters have caught a good bunch of Redfish, Sheephead and Flounder in the last few weeks of fishing. Another fish that we catch during trout season is the Black drum and I feel this fish is looked over a lot. There are very good to eat and put up a nice fight on trout tackle! So you never know what might be on the end of your rod to you get it to the boat this time of year.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Speckled trout, Flounder and Redfish: Reels PENN Battle, 1000, 2000 & 3000 PENN Conflict 2000 & 2500 spinning reels. Rods: PENN Legion and Regiment in classes of 4 to 10 and 6 to 12 pound class Line: Spiderwire eight and ten pound test braid (Ultracast) Fluorocarbon leader material, Berkley Pro Spec Tinted Fluorocarbon in tints Gunsmoke for clearer waters and Tannic for river or stained waters in twenty pound test.

    Thanks so much for reading this report/forecast and have a great Thanksgiving! I’m booking now and booking up fast for trophy Speckled trout trips for December. Don’t forget take a kid fishing and good fall fishing to ya!

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff

    November 22, 2013 at 8:45am

    Finally school is out and summer fishing is getting good! The warmer weather has really gotten the fish bite fired off in the last two weeks and I’m super excited about it!!! My customers have put some very nice fish in the boat the last few weeks; three Cobia (largest 63.2 pounds) dozens of over-slot Redfish and a few keeper sizes. All the Spanish mackerel you could just about want and the Flounder really started to show this week! Here my report/forecast for June>>>

    The Spanish Mackerel are biting good most days, but the best bite has been earlier in the morning when the sun is lower in the sky; also the fish have been a little deeper in thirty to fifty feet of water for the last few weeks. When you mark big balls of bait with your fish finder this is usually where you’ll find the most Spanish biting. Clark-spoons in sizes 00 and 0 are doing the trick in colors silver, gold and pink flash behind number one planners. The Spanish hitting on top 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. Another lure that is working well for the Spanish when I’m casting to them is the River2Sea Sea Rock lure, these little casting jigs are just the right weight and size to get those fast moving Spanish to bite! The colors that I like to use are purple, white and blue; I prefer the two smallest sizes of Sea Rock in the number seven and four-teen. All so the hook that comes on these lures is great, finally a good hook on a lure right out of the package!

    I love to catch Cobia; here are the ways I target the big brown beasts. This time of year I look for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. I throw big jigs, swim baits and live bait to the Cobia when I see them. Color really does not seem to matter, brighter the better; Blue Water Candy makes some very nice Cobia jigs, check them out at our local tackle shops! Tip your Cobia Jig with a six inch curly tail grub or six inch Jerkshad from Berkley Gulp; this will help get that Cobia to eat that jig! 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.

    The hot weather has really brought out the Flounder and they are finally showing up in better numbers, there are still a lot of smaller ones inshore, but the bigger ones are showing every day! 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 lately, 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 are catching the numbers of Flounder. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five & six inch sizes are getting the most keeper Flounder; ‘yes a nine pounder last year’ came off a six inch Jerkshad in pearl white color! I’m rigging these Jerkshad on 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz jig heads with longer hook shanks in red or gray color.

    The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. 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 there 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.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Reds, Blues and Flounder: PENN Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes PENN Conquer 2000. Cobia fishing reels: PENN Battle 5000, 6000 & 7000, PENN Fathom 20LW (Great Cobia and Tarpon reel). Line: Reds, Blues and Flounder: Spiderwire Ultra-cast 15# Cobia Line: 30# Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: PENN Legion Medium and Medium heavy. Cobia Rods: PENN Bluewater Carnage 20 to 40# class 7’. Leader material: Cobia; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Reds, Blues, Flounder: Berkley Pro-Spec Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

    If you would like to get real time and on the water reports, as well as free tackle giveaways each month; check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

    Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know!
    Good Luck,

    Captain Jot Owens
    PENN Reels Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    June 04, 2013 at 1:05pm

    Summer has really been showing its face around here lately and with the warm air comes more bait and more means more fish to catch! I’ve seen a big change in water temps in the last few weeks, the waters around Wrightsville Beach are hanging around 65` inshore most days; it will not be long before we are swimming! The warm water has really brought out the bait fish, which is always a good thing for fishing! The water will only get better as May temps start to really hit summer time!

    The Bluefish are really starting showing just off the beaches from twenty feet to forty feet of water; you should have no problem catching them. 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. I’m using thirty and forty pound clear Berkley Big Game mono for all my trolling leaders. Tip: keep your trolling and casting speed up; faster moving baits seem to get more bites, I troll around five knots or six mph. There is a few Bonita and False Albacore around too and more should start to show soon!

    When the Bonita and Albacore are on top feeding; cast Sea Rock and Sea striker jig-spoons. The colors that seem to work the best are pink/purple, white, green and blue. I use a forty pound Fluorocarbon leader; about twenty to thirty inches long. I really like Berkley’s Pro Spec tinted (gunsmoke) fluorocarbon leader material for clear water conditions. A good light seven foot rod is very important for casting to these fish: the reason for this is the further you can cast equals more chance’s you will hook up. When there are a lot of boats chasing the Bonita, they get wearer of boats. If you can cast farther; you will cover more area and you will catch more fish!

    The Cobia should be here most any day and you know I’m always looking for them! I look this time of year for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. With the wind and rain we’ve had lately it will be a little harder to see those brown logs in the stained water, but that does not mean they are not around and hungry. I like 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. If you hook one of these beast, take your time fighting them, they don’t tire out easily; a green Cobia can really tear up a boat and/or you!

    The Redfish have slowed a little bit over the last week due to the waters warming up, but we are still catching them; going earlier in the morning seems to help the bite some. Fishing top-water baits like MirrOlure’s Top Dog Jr or Top Pup also Sebile’s Ghost Walker are catching me some really nice Reds in shallow water. When I’m fishing in deeper water for Reds like around docks, creek mouths and deeper grass lines; I’m casting Berkley Gulp products like the four inch Ripple Mullet or the three inch Gulp shrimp. The colors I prefer in the Ripple Mullet are rootbeer gold/chart tail, goby magic chart tail, new penny and pearl white; in the three inch shrimp new penny, sugar spice glow and natural colors.

    Rig these baits on a red, black, brown or gray jig head with a thirty to forty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader. I have had some good luck lately with spinner baits for the Redfish and the trick that seems to work for me is a Ripple Mullet in the color rootbeer gold/chart tail as the grub on the spinner bait. Remember reel that spinner bait; just fast enough to keep it off the bottom.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Reds, Blues, Bonita: PENN Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes Penn Conquer 2000. Cobia Fishing reels: PENN Battle 5000, 6000 & 7000, PENN Fathom 25N. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast Cobia Line: 30 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Reds, Blues, Bonits: PENN Legion Medium and Medium heavy. Cobia Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Cobia; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Reds, Blues Bonita: Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon.

    If you would like to get real time and on the water reports, as well as free
    tackle giveaways each month; check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

    Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know!

    Good Luck Fishing,

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com

    April 29, 2013 at 2:54pm

    April is here; finally some warmer weather, better fishing and the list of fish species starts to really grow the month of April! Now I’ll tell you that there is some very good day’s weather wise in April around Wrightsville Beach, but the wind can really blow sometimes during April. With this said you need to pick your days of fishing and be ready to move your days around sometimes. Fishing during April can be very good around Wrightsville Beach; here are some of the species I target during April.

    I know I talk about the Redfish (Red Drum) a lot, but hey they are one of my favorites to catch! In April we are going to see the Redfish really start to move around and one thing I’ve found is if there moving around they are looking for food. If they are looking for food then they are probably going to bite your hook! There is not a lot of bait around Wrightsville in April so I rely on artificial baits to catch spring Reds. You can not go wrong with Berkley Gulp 3” Shrimp in colors molting, new penny/chart tail, sugar spice glow and pearl. Rigging these Gulp baits on light jig heads (1/8oz & 1/4oz) in colors reds and gray should get the Reds to bite for you! Look for the Reds on the edges of oyster rocks, mash grass edge lines and creek mouths. Darker bottoms that warm up faster will hold more Redfish during April.

    I love saltwater fishing but, I like any kind of fish pulling on my line salt or fresh and this time of year you can catch some really nice fresh water fish. I have run a few fresh water trips in the last few weeks with some pretty good success; we even got a few very nice bass on a fly rod early last week that went just over six pounds. Fishing local lakes, ponds and the Northeast Cape Fear River has been producing good catches of large-mouth bass. The best baits lately have been Berkley Powerbait 5” Sinkworms in colors green pumpkin/watermelon, black with red flake and watermelon. I’m rigging these worms Texas and wacky style on 4/0 wide gap worm hooks. When we are casting the fly rod we are using; six to eight weight rods with floating line and eight to twelve pound tippets.

    Something that I love to do this time of year (late March to early June) is go up to lock & dam #1 and fish for Shad. These fish are so much fun to catch; they run, jump and run some more. Light tackle and fly fishing is the name of the game here! I see so many people fishing for shad use to heavy of tackle. Lighter tackle equals more bites and more fun! All you need is a light rod and reel; I use a Pflueger Echelon or a PENN Battle 1000 combo loaded with six pound Berkley Nanofil line. A two shad dart rig with Fifth teen or twenty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader; darts in colors pink and green; also some days Berkley Powerbait two inch grubs work great too. If you have not ever tried it; you need too! Also while your shad fishing you can put out a catfish line and sometimes catch a very nice Blue catfish using cut shad for bait.

    Another fish that really starts to show around the inlets of Southeast North Carolina is the good’ole Bluefish. The good news of this is you can catch some choppers (big blues) this time of year. In mid April to mid May I look for chopper blues around the inlets and just off the beach. These blues will hit Berkley Gulp 7” jerkshad in colors pearl and pearl/chart pepper; hard baits like Sebile’s Koolie Minnow ML and spoons like Sebile’s Ondu spoon will also get these choppers to bite. Don’t forget the steal leaders for these fish or they will get a free lure form you every time! Try light single strand wire in sizes #2, #3 or #4 will keep your lures on the end of your line and not in a bluefish’s pocket! You can also use live baits like shad, pinfish or menhaden in King mackerel rigs to catch these bigger blues.

    There is one fish that a lot of anglers over look in April and that is the Black Drum. What I love about these fish is you can catch them in good numbers this time of year and there pretty darn good to eat! On top of all that they are also easy to catch; all you need is a little fresh as you can get shrimp. Use a light two hook bottom rig with number two or number three size eagle claw bait holder hooks. Fish around docks, oyster rocks and inlets for these Black Drum; you might even get a Redfish mixed in as well! Sometimes I catch two Black Drum at the same time on the same rig; that’s what I call good fishing!

    Towards mid April the Bonita should show up just offshore of Wrightsville. Trolling Clark spoons and small deep driver lures can be the key to success some days for the Bonita. 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. A bird rig on top with a Clark spoon about five to six feet behind it or Blue water Candy Spanish daisy chain (blue, silver, pink) have worked very well for me on top too. Look for birds working or marking bait on you fish finder is the way to find the feeding fish. When the fish are not on top, I’ve caught some nice Blues and a few Bonita by casting a spoon out and letting it sink down before reeling is in. I’ve found that some times these fish are deeper and you can get them by getting down to deeper water.

    Tackle run down: PENN Battle Spinning reels 3000& 4000 sizes. Rods: PENN Legion 6’6” & 7’ medium and med/heavy action. Line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound.

    If you would like to get real time and on the water reports check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

    Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know! If you would like to go fishing drop me a line; I’m booking now for this coming summer fishing season and don’t forget to take a kid fishing!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    April 08, 2013 at 8:19am

    Well folks, as soon as the weather got warm, it got cold again, but wait here comes another (little) warm up? And then cold again; welcome to North Carolina winter weather! There are good things to this up and down weather, if you time it right the fishing can be good on the warmer weather times or just as it starts to cool off again! I can tell you not much has changed since my last report/forecast. I’m going to give a little more detail info on what I’m doing this time of year to keep y’all reading my reports!

    The Cape Fear River Striped Bass fishing has been pretty steady for much of this winter and I’ve seen a hand full of very nice Striped Bass come form the river; a few over fifthteen pounds and one or two over twenty pounds. The most important tip I can give you for these fish is as its gets colder (water temps) you really need to slow down your presentation while fishing. I truly slow down just how fast I work my lures and it really will get you more bites when the water is colder.

    Here are the ways I fish for Cape Fear River Striper’s. Try Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five and six inch size; in pearl & new penny colors. 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; this is a great hook at a great price. www.moanerhooks.com I use the weighted Stroker hook in 1/4oz 5/0. If you would like to cast hard baits, try casting X-raps in color green back or glass-ghost or MirrOlure 17MR or 27MR’s. Look for Stripers on drop-offs, dock pilings and reed-grass lines.

    As the waters cool down it gets a little harder to catch Redfish, but they are still here! One very good tip I can tell you about winter Redfish is; when you find a school that won’t bite for you, take some time and try to get a bite. Most of the time if you get one Red to bite the others will fire off too! Warmer, sunny and lower wind days can be the key to catching these inshore winter Redfish.

    Look for these Reds in creeks with dark colored bottoms and oyster rocks; anywhere the water may be a bit warmer. 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, colors that seem to work the best are pearl, sugar spice glow, molting and new penny. Try lighter jig heads like 1/16 and 1/8 when winter fishing; lighter jig heads help you to work the lure much slower and still look natural as possible. I always use fluorocarbon leader when I’m fishing cold water fish; the water is almost always clear during the winter months!

    When the weather warms up a bit during the winter months, you can sometimes find a good Blackdrum bite up in some of the local creeks. I find these Blackdrum in creeks from Topsail down to Bald Head Island. Look for creeks with dark mud bottoms and good oyster rocks running down the edge of a hole in the creek. These are the places on warmer days you will find red and black drum. Try smaller well scented baits like Berkley Gulp 2” shrimp on very light jig heads. You can also try light Carolina rigs with small pieces of shelled shrimp, take the shell off the shrimp; trust me! Cast down the edges of these holes and drop offs in creeks.

    Fishing gear I use:

    Gear used: Redfish, Blackdrum and Striped Bass: reels PENN Conquer 2000 and Battle 3000 & 4000 spinning reels. Rods PENN Legion or Regiment in med 8 to 15# class. Line: Spiderwire Ultracast ten and fifth teen pound. Fluorocarbon leader material, Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon in tints Gunsmoke for clearer waters and Tannic for river or stained waters in thirty.

    Thanks for reading and good luck fishing!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    January 31, 2013 at 4:28pm

    I hope everybody is making through this winter so far, the weather been up and down and that is an understatement! There are some fish biting but you just need to go on the right days to catch them. If you’re settled down for the winter and don’t feel like fishing, hit a local or regional fishing school or boat show; you never know what you might learn or see!

    The Redfishing 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 creek 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, colors that seem to work the best are pearl, sugar spice glow, molting and new penny. Try lighter jig heads like 1/16 and 1/8 when winter fishing; lighter jig heads help you to work the lure much slower and still look nature as possible. Don’t forget fluorocarbon leader in thirty pound, the water is very clear most days in the winter!

    I’ve made quite a few trips to the Cape Fear River this year; there are three different kinds of fish to chase in the Cape Fear, Catfish, Redfish and Striped Bass most all winter long. Here is a few ways to put a CFR Striper or Redfish on your line. Try Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five and six inch size; in pearl & new penny colors. Work these baits slowly and always rig them weed-less; there are many hangs in the Cape Fear River. I like www.moanerhooks.com weighted Stroker hooks in 1/4oz 5/0 size; great hook for the money! Look for Stripers on drop-offs, dock pilings and reed-grass lines. I catch the river Redfish on the same rigs for the Striped Bass. Remember the Cape Fear River Striped Bass Fishery is closed and all Striped Bass 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’!

    Fishing gear I use:
    Gear used: Redfish and Striped Bass: reels Penn Conquer 2000 and Battle 3000 & 4000 spinning reels. Catfish: PENN SSV 4500. Rods PENN Legion or Regiment in med 8 to 15# class. Line: Spiderwire Ultracast ten and fifth teen pound. Fluorocarbon leader material, Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon in tints Gunsmoke for clearer waters and Tannic for river or stained waters in thirty pound for Redfish and Striped Bass.

    Thanks for reading and good luck fishing!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    January 01, 2013 at 4:03pm

    Announcing the 1st annual Southeast North Carolina Inshore Fishing School; presented by Capt. Jot Owens in Wrightsville Beach, NC Saturday March 9th, 2013.

    Do you want to catch more fish and bigger fish while spending your time and hard earned money on the water this year? You’ve tried the other schools; trying to sell you product over technique, large crowds hard to hear what the speaker is saying and felt like you’ve heard the same thing over and over again? If this sounds like your fishing school experiences, then you need to come to Capt. Jot’s Southeast NC Inshore Fishing School! A small class format, this school is limited to the first twenty-eight (28) paid attendees, no more! We will cover Redfish, Speckled Trout and Flounder only.

    School Topics will include and cover fishing for all three species:

    • How to locate fish; time of year, position of tides and current flow.
    • How to pick which artificial lures, hard and soft baits more effectively (water depth, water color, current flow and water clarity).
    • How to cast, work and retrieve these baits correctly; this will be hands on (dockside casting of the lures)!
    • What lines, leaders and knots work best with these baits.
    • The best live and cut bait to use in Southeast NC for inshore fishing.
    • How to rig live and cut baits for inshore fishing (shallow and deeper waters).
    • What rods, reels and tackle are best suited for Southeast NC inshore fishing.
    • And more…

    For only $50 tuition fee!

    • You’ll receive six (6) plus hours of professional instruction from Capt. Jot Owens
    • A gift bag of lures etc.
    • Three “cheat sheets” for each fish; Redfish, Speckled Trout and Flounder.
    • Snacks & Beverages (soda, coffee, water)
    • One attendee will be drawn by raffle for a ½ day inshore two person fishing charter with Capt. Jot Owens. Yes that’s right a chance at a FREE charter!

    Times for this school will be March 9th (Saturday) from 8am to 5pm, with an hour and a half lunch break.

    If you would like to sign up for this class please let me know ASAP for this class will sell out! Email me (Capt. Jot) at captainjot@yahoo.com or call me at 910-233-4139. Gift Certificates for this class are also available; this will be a great Christmas gift! Forms of payment for this school are Visa, Master Card or Check you must pay in advance to get your spot or spots in this class!

    December 17, 2012 at 9:20am

    Well folks as soon as it gets colder; here comes some more mild weather, hey I’ll take it! November was a cold, windy and rainy month; 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, greenback shiner and rainbow trout. 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 Tautog, Sheephead, Flounder, Black drum and Red drum. These by-catches are hitting the Gulp, minnows and live shrimp we are using for the trout. The great thing is they are all good eating! My favorites are the Tautog and Sheephead. If your bait gets close to the bottom, you’ve got a good chance at picking up one of these guys. One trip last week put four Tautogs in the boat with Berkley Gulp Fire tail shrimp!

    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
    I give lots of daily fishing reports and photos coming right from the boat on my Facebook page.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Speckled trout, Striped Bass and Redfish: Reels PENN Battle 2000, 3000 & 4000 spinning reels. Rods: PENN Legion rods Line: Spiderwire Ultracast Invisi-Braid; I prefer eight and ten pound for trout fishing and ten to fifth teen for Redfish and Striped Bass. Fluorocarbon leader material, Berkley Pro Spec 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 Tackle Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    December 06, 2012 at 12:47pm

    Can you believe October is over?!?! We made it through Sandy pretty good over all (here at least)! Here it is already November and if you know me when it comes to Wrightsville beach, NC fishing in November you know I’ll be Speckled trout fishing most days! November is by far the best Speckled trout month around Wrightsville Beach area waters. Big trout and good numbers all the way through the end of November and most years in to December too!

    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 lines, oyster rocks that run in to a channel and drop-offs in channels are all good places to find Speckled trout in November. Almost any grass lines with oysters will hold some trout during November.

    One key point to trout I’ve found is that most days Specks will bite, but what are they hitting that day? I’ve found that in early November hard baits work well. 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 17MR, 18MR, 27MR, 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 MirrOlure.com.

    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 Fire Tail shrimp is a new 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.
    Saltwater Assassin’s 4” 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.

    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.

    Don’t count out Redfish in 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 too. Casting lures to these Reds like Berkley Gulp Ripple mullets or 5” 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. Last year I had a client put a eight and a half pounder in the boat while we were trout fishing; 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.

    Tackle run down: Penn Battle Spinning reels sizes 2000& 3000 for the Bluefish, Redfish and Speckled trout. Rods PENN Legion in 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!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    November 01, 2012 at 2:04pm

    Well Folks, fall is really trying to show and then it gets warm and wet! A real roller coaster of weather: one day with hot temps, breezy and wet; very next day cool and sunshine! Hey that’s what gets those fall fish biting so we can’t complain too much. With that said lets talk fall fishing!

    I’ve had some very good Spanish mackerel runs lately. Most of the Spanish are hitting Clark spoons on number one planners; a few nicer fish have hit live bait on top as well. I have also caught some on Fly’s and SeaRock jigs casting when the Spanish get on top to feed. The Spanish are very nice in size; most fish are two to some over four pounds “nice fall size”. They are biting around the inlets, just off the beach to about two miles off. The water has been very clear some days, so I’ve used fluorocarbon leaders on these days and it has really helped me get more bites. I don’t know how much longer they will be here with the cooler air moving in; will just have to see!

    The Flounder fishing has been good for the most part, on some trips I’ve caught over twelve keeper fish. Most of the Flounder are eating Mullet and Mud minnows on light Carolina rigs. The Flounder are mixed in size to just under keeper size to a few over five pounds. I have caught some Flounder on artificial baits as well and it seems that most of the bigger flounder are hitting bigger artificial baits. I’ve had the best luck with Berkley Gulp five and six inch Jerkshad in colors pearl white and chart-pepper neon. I’m rigging these jerkshad on a red or black jig heads with forty pound fluorocarbon leaders for best results.

    Redfish schools are starting to show up in the surf. You can find these schools of twenty to over a thousand Redfish around inlets, outer sand bars and jetties. Once you find these schools there pretty easy to catch if the weather is calm. I cast 1/4oz to 1/2oz jig heads with five inch Berkley Gulp jerkshad or four inch Berkley Gulp Ripple mullet; in colors new penny or pearl white. Be very careful in the surf if your in a boat, you really have got to watch the waves and try not to run over the school with your boat!

    We’ve caught some bigger bull Redfish on hard/live bottoms just off the beach and around the local inlets. We are catching Reds in the 24 to over 38 inch range, some days their over the slot some days their in the slot. Most of the Reds are hitting mullets and fresh menhaden on Carolina rigs; using heavier egg sinkers with circle hooks 6/0 to 9/0. Don’t forget to keep your drag tight when using circle hook so they will do there 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 tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Bull Reds out there.

    And last but Not lest, Speckled Trout are starting to show and bite! The Speckled trout fishing has gotten better and better around this area every year! It looks like it will be the same this year as well; especially since we had such a mild winter; “I Can’t wait, I love Trout fishing”! The best trout bites lately have been on grubs and hard baits, but we have caught some on the good ‘ole live shrimp as well.

    The best grubs I’ve had luck with lately are Berkley Gulp three inch shrimp in colors pearl white, new penny, and new penny flick/chart tail. I also have caught a good fair amount of trout on Saltwater Assassin’s four inch sea-shad in colors greenback shiner, chicken on a chain and silver mullet. I Rig the grubs and shrimp patterns on a red or black jig heads and I always use fluorocarbon leader for trout fishing!

    Hard lures that seem to be bringing the trout to the boat are Mirrolure’s 17MR, Catch 2000 Jr, 52M and Sebile’s Koolie minnow & Magic swimmer lures in colors pink, chartreuse, and white. Most of the trout we have caught have been in the creeks and main channels connecting to the ICW and inlets as well as the Cape Fear River.

    The Fishing gear I use:

    Reds, Trout and Flounder: Reels PENN Battle and Conquer spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 and 4000. Rods: PENN Legion 6’6” and 7’ Med/light and Med. Line: Spiderwire Ultracast in 10, 15 and 20 pound. Bull Redfish: PENN Spinfisher V 5500 and PENN Torque 12. Rods: PENN Legion 1530S70 with the Spinfisher V 5500 and PENN Bluewater Carnage 700ML 20-40 class with the TRQ12. Line: thirty pound Berkley Big Game mono.

    *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!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    October 03, 2012 at 10:50am

    Fall is trying so very hard to show up around the area but, with these weather changes comes ‘weather’ and for the last few weeks it’s been in the form of rain. Hopefully the rains have slowed down and this break of cooler weather is a sign of good things to come; cooler, dryer and good fall fishing weather!

    With all this talk of cooler fall weather, one fish that pops up on my radar is the very fun to catch Speckled trout and will not be long before they are here in good numbers! My easy break down of what lures I use are by current flow and water death. I prefer baits like MirrOlure’s 17MR; catch 2000jr and Sebile’s Flatt Shad in waters of two to six feet deep with light or no current. In deeper waters of three to fifth teen plus with or with out current I prefer MirrOlure’s 18MR, 52M & MR and Sebile’s Stick Shadd 90, 114 series.

    I will use grubs in any water death or current when trout fishing, but I’ll adjust the weight of the jig head for the death or current of the water I’m fishing. Try lures like the Berkley Gulp Fire Tail 3” shrimp or the new 3” Ripple Mullet for Speckled trout. Another lure that works well for trout is Saltwater Assassin’s Sea shad series, try colors like chicken on a chain, chart/diamond, copperhead or 10w40 with lime tail. One thing I really believe in is using fluorocarbon leaders for Speckled trout fishing; these fish have very good sight. Using fluorocarbon will help you catch more trout; try Stren’s tinted fluorocarbon or Berkley’s new Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader.

    The Bull Reds (over slot) are really starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. You never know when you might hook one of these giants! When I fish for Bull Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use fish finder rigs with 5/0 to 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 there 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 tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Bull Reds out there.

    This has been one of the better Flounder years we’ve seen around this area in a while and for that reason I’ve run a lot of Flounder trips this season with good success. One thing we have seen this year is that the Flounder fishing has been good inshore as well as the ocean this season, giving us lots of opportunities to flounder fish. Live bait as well as artificial lures has put lots of flounder in the boat for us. Carolina rigs with Eagle Claw L42 1/0 size hooks and forty pound clear mono leader works well. Small finger mullets, small menhaden and mud minnows are our choice live baits.

    Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in 5” & 6” colors pearl, chart pepper neon or new penny and 4” Ripple mullets if you would like to use artificial baits. The flounder are hanging around inlets, channel drops and creeks inshore. In the ocean near shore artificial reefs, ledges and hard/live bottoms are holding some nice numbers of flounder too.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Speckled trout and Flounder: PENN Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Bull Reds Fishing reels: PENN Battle 6000 & 7000, PENN Fathom 12 & 15 or Torque 12 & 15. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast 10 and 15 pound. Bull Reds Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: PENN Legion. Bull Reds Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series or PENN Bluewater Carnage jigging series in 30-80 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Bull Reds; 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!

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

    Capt. Jot Owens
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    September 11, 2012 at 11:42am

    Well folks the summer weather of up and down temps is here; with some hotter weather in the forecast. Hey summer is here to stay for awhile; its time to go fishing! With the warmer weather the bait has really started to show up and the fishing has really gotten in its summer pattern. And just as I’m really starting to catch some nice Cobia the silver king (Tarpon) show up earlier then normal this season! Hey welcome to North Carolina fishing!

    The Flounder fishing has been good to very good this season with a fair amount of nice fish coming in over four plus pounds. The name of the game for me this season has been using artificial baits to catch the bigger Flounder. Two baits that have really worked well for me are the Berkley Gulp five and six inch Jerkshads in colors pearl white, chart pepper neon and new penny. Another bait I started using last year with good success was the Berkley Havoc Grass Pig soft plastic lure. This is a bass (fresh water) lure but man when you see this thing you’ll know why it’s sure to catch Flounder as well as Redfish! The colors I’m using in the Berkley Havoc Grass Pig are pearl white silver fleck, swamp gas and california.

    When rigging the Jerkshad and Grass Pig baits, I prefer a long shank jig head to hold the baits on securely. Sebile and Blue Water Candy both make a very good jig head with the design of a longer shank hook. Colors of jig heads for Flounder fishing does not seem to be a big deciding factor, but I stick with mostly gray and red. I prefer forty pound fluorocarbon leader from Stren’s tinted leaders in Gumsmoke for clear waters and Tannic for brown/river/stained waters. Just remember when you hook that door mat Flounder to take your time and don’t pull its head out of the water, for the flounder may just shake that hook out and nobody wants to lose a nice flounder!

    The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. 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 hooks so they will do there 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.

    The Spanish Mackerel are biting good most days, but the best bite has been earlier in the morning when the sun is lower in the sky; also the fish have been a little deeper in thirty to fifty feet of water for the last few weeks. When you mark big balls of bait with your fish finder this is usually where you’ll find the most Spanish biting. Clark-spoons in sizes 00 and 0 are doing the trick in colors silver, gold and pink flash behind number one planners. The Spanish hitting on top 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. Another lure that is working well for the Spanish when I’m casting to them is the River2Sea Sea Rock lure, these little casting jigs are just the right weight and size to get those fast moving Spanish to bite! The colors that I like to use are purple, white and blue; I prefer the two smallest sizes of Sea Rock in the number seven and four-teen. All so the hook that comes on these lures is great, finally a good hook on a lure right out of the package!

    Tarpon fishing this season has been good already and it’s early! Florida had a very good Tarpon season and these fish have come up from Florida, let’s hope they are still very hungry and ready to bite! Tarpon fishing is not easy; it takes patients and time, but the payoff can be very rewarding! I fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, bluefish, mullet and menhaden. I’m rigging these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound fluorocabon leaders (Berkley Vanish). 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.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Redfish, Flounder and Spanish casting: Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Tarpon & bigger Reds reels: Penn Battle 6000 & 7000, Penn Fathom 25N and Torque 12 & 15 conventional reels. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast braid in 8, 10 and 15 pound. Tarpon Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Penn Legion spinning 6’6” to 7’6” Med/light to Med /hvy. Tarpon Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series or Penn Bluewater Carnage 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 and fishing trivia questions to win free tackle. There is a link to my Facebook page on my website.

    Thanks for reading these reports, if you have any questions or comments just let me know. Good fishing to you and stay cool out there!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    Penn Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    June 26, 2012 at 11:56am

    School is out and summer fishing is here! The last few weeks of fishing have been very good, the weather some days not so much. The fishing seems to be right on schedule; the Cobia have been showing good, I’m starting to catch bigger Flounder and the Choppers Blues are at there peak and should start to slowly thin out soon. Here are some of the notably catches from the last few weeks that my clients have caught are; a nine & half pound Flounder, a eighteen pound Chopper Bluefish and two Cobia; a fifty-two and thirty pounder. Summer is here; its time to go fishing!

    I love to catch Cobia; here are the ways I target the big brown beasts. This time of year I look for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. The water has been stained lately from all the wind and rain; this makes it much harder to see cursing Cobias. With that said, try to look for clearer water pockets to see the Cobia. I throw big jigs, swim baits and live bait to the Cobia when I see them. Color really does not seem to matter, brighter the better; Blue Water Candy makes some very nice Cobia jigs, check them out at our local tackle shops! Tip your Cobia Jig with a four inch Shrimp or five inch Jerkshad from Berkley Gulp; this will help get that Cobia to eat that jig! 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.

    The hot weather has really brought out the Flounder and they are finally showing up in better numbers, there are still a lot of smaller ones inshore, but the bigger ones are showing every day! 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 lately, 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 are catching the numbers of Flounder. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five & six inch sizes are getting the most keeper Flounder; ‘yes the nine pounder’ came off a six inch Jerkshad in pearl white color! I’m rigging these Jerkshad on 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz jig heads with longer hook shanks in red or gray color.

    The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. 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 there 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.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Reds, Blues and Flounder: Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes Penn Conquer 2000. Cobia fishing reels: Penn Battle 5000, 6000 & 7000, Penn Fathom 25N. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast Cobia Line: 30 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Penn Legion Medium and Medium heavy. Cobia Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Cobia; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Reds, Blues, Flounder: Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

    If you would like to get real time and on the water reports, as well as free tackle giveaways each month; check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

    Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know!
    Good Luck,

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    PENN Reels Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    May 30, 2012 at 5:07pm

    Summer has really been showing its face around here lately and with the warm air comes more bait and more means more fish to catch! I’ve seen a big change in water temps in the last few days, the waters around Wrightsville Beach are hanging around 78` inshore; it will not be long before we are swimming! The warm water has really brought out the bait fish, which is always a good thing for fishing!

    The Spanish mackerel and Bluefish are really starting showing just off the beaches from twenty feet to forty feet of water; you should have no problem catching them. 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. I’m using thirty and forty pound clear Berkley Big Game mono for all my Spanish leaders. Tip: keep your trolling and casting speed up; faster moving baits seem to get more bites, I troll around five knots or six mph. There is still a few Bonita around too!

    The Cobia should be here most any day and you know I’m always looking for them! I look this time of year for Cobia around inlets, shoals and bait schools; near shore/offshore reefs and ledges are also a good place to look too. With the wind we’ve had lately it will be a little harder to see those brown logs in the stained water, but that does not mean they are not around and hungry. I like 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. If you hook one of these beast, take your time fighting them, they don’t tire out easily; a green Cobia can really tear up a boat and/or you!

    The Redfish have slowed a little bit over the last week due to the waters warming up so fast, but we are still catching them; going earlier in the morning seems to help the bite some. Fishing top-water baits like MirrOlure’s Top Dog Jr or Top Pup also Sebile’s Ghost Walker are catching me some really nice Reds in shallow water. When I’m fishing in deeper water for Reds like around docks, creek mouths and deeper grass lines; I’m casting Berkley Gulp products like the Ripple Mullet or the three inch Gulp shrimp. The colors I prefer in the Ripple Mullet are rootbeer gold/chart tail, goby magic chart tail, new penny and pearl white; in the three inch shrimp new penny, sugar spice glow and natural colors. Rig these baits on a red, black, brown or gray jig head with a thirty to forty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader. I have had some good luck lately with spinner baits for the Redfish and the trick that seems to work for me is a Ripple Mullet in the color rootbeer gold/chart tail as the grub on the spinner bait. Remember reel that spinner bait; just fast enough to keep it off the bottom.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Reds, Blues, Mackerel Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes Penn Conquer 2000. Cobia Fishing reels: Penn Battle 5000, 6000 & 7000, Penn Fathom 25N. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast Cobia Line: 30 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Penn Legion Medium and Medium heavy. Cobia Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Cobia; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Reds, Blues, Mackerel: Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

    If you would like to get real time and on the water reports, as well as free tackle giveaways each month; check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

    Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know!

    Good Luck,

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    PENN Reels Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    May 04, 2012 at 11:34am

    I just can’t say it enough; this has been some great Southeast North Carolina weather this year and it has really helped the fishing department too! I’m catching fish now that I usually don’t see until late April or May! I hope this means a very good fishing season; hey it’s already been a pretty good one! Here is the local area inshore waters report:

    The Redfish and Black drum bite in the ICW and creeks just off the ICW has been good. I’m starting to see a few smaller Reds 14” to 21” in some of the creeks on warmer days; a few over slot fish mixed in as well. Most of the reds and black drum are hitting mud minnows and “fresh as you can get shrimp”. I use two hook bottom rigs with 2, 1 & 1/0 bait holder hooks, with the fresh shrimp, when fishing for the black drum and reds. If you would like to go the artificial root, I would recommend using scented grubs. The best bait I’ve had luck with has been Berkley Gulp shrimp in colors pearl, natural, sugar spice glow and New Penny. Jigs heads for the grubs in 1/8oz to 3/8 oz, colors red and black seem to be the trick. Work’em slow around docks and drop-offs on grass lines and oyster rocks. The best tides have been falling or raising but fishing closer to the lower parts of the tides in the deeper areas and higher tides on the flats.

    I’ve a good hand full of keeper Flounder inshore for the last two weeks; always a good thing to see this early in the season! Most of the keepers have been sixteen to nineteen inches long. The best bait I’ve had luck with lately has been Berkley Gulp three inch shrimp in colors; new penny, sugar spice glow and rootbeer gold/chart tail and five inch Jerkshad in pearl color. I’m rigging these Gulps on ¼ and 3/8 ounce jig heads in colors red, brown (new penny) and gray with thirty or forty pound fluorocarbon leader. I’m working drop-offs in channels, docks and deeper oyster rock edges for the Flounders.

    Something that I love to do this time of year (late March to early June) is go up to lock & dam #1 and fish for Shad. These fish are so much fun to catch; they run, jump and run some more. Light tackle and fly fishing is the name of the game here! I see so many people fishing for shad use to heavy of tackle. Lighter tackle equals more bites and more fun! All you need is a light rod and reel; I use a Pflueger Echelon combo loaded with six pound Berkley Nanofil line. A two shad dart rig with Fifth teen or twenty pound mono or fluorocarbon leader; darts in colors pink and green; also some days Berkley Powerbait two inch grubs work great too. If you have not ever tried it; you need too! Also while your shad fishing you can put out a catfish line and sometimes catch a very nice Blue catfish using cut shad for bait.

    False Albacore fishing has been good the days I can get out for them. I’m finding the Albacore from five to twenty miles offshore. There has been a few Bonita mixed in with them form time to time as well. It should not be long before we are catching good numbers of Bonita around the area waters. The #0 and #1 pink flash, silver and gold Clark spoon has caught most of our fish lately. Trolling these spoons on #1 or #2 planner; with thirty to forty feet of forty pound Berkley big game mono as leader on the planners is the way to go. On the bird rig for the surface fishing; I rig it with five to six feet of leader to the spoon. Don’t forget to put a ball bearing swivel on the bird and planner; this will keep tangles from happing (well most of the time!)

    When the Bonita and Albacore are on top feeding; cast Sea Rock and Sea striker jig-spoons. The colors that seem to work the best are pink/purple, white, green and blue. I use a forty pound Fluorocarbon leader; about fifth teen to twenty inches long. I really like Stren’s tinted (gunsmoke) fluorocarbon leader material for clear water conditions. A good light seven foot rod is very important for casting to these fish: the reason for this is the further you can cast equals more chance’s you will hook up. When there are a lot of boats chasing the Bonita, they get wearer of boats. If you can cast farther; you will catch more of these fish!

    Fishing Gear we use:

    Reels Penn Fierce and Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes; Abu Revo Inshore and Revo Winch low-profile bait casters. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast and Berkley Nanofil in 8, 10 and 12 pound. Rods: Fenwick HMG and Penn Legions. Leader material: Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon. Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

    If you would like to get real time and on the water reports check out my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Capt-Jot-OwensJot-It-Down-Fishing-Charters-LLC/134340373310487

    Thanks for reading this report, if you have any questions just let me know! If you would like to go fishing drop me a line; I’m booking now for this coming summer fishing season and don’t forget to take a kid fishing!

    Good Luck,

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    PENN Tackle Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    captainjot@captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    March 26, 2012 at 2:53pm

    What great weather for this winter so far; lets hope it stays this way right on to Spring time! With this great weather has come some of best winter fishing I’ve seen around here in a very long time. Even on the ‘not so nice days’ the fishing has been good and other days down right great; finally a milder winter for a change! Cool mornings and warm afternoons are hard to beat in Southeast North Carolina in mid February!

    The Redfishing 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 creek 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, colors that seem to work the best are pearl, molting and new penny; the new Fire tail colors work great too! Try lighter jig heads like 1/16 and 1/8 when winter fishing; lighter jig heads help you to work the lure much slower and still look nature as possible.

    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 mild 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’ don’t forget that fluorocarbon leader this time of year the water is super clear!

    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 & new penny colors. 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; 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.

    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 Spinning reels sizes 3000 & 4000 for the Redfish and Striped Bass. Penn Legions in 6’6” & 7’ medium and med/hvy action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound; Berkley Big Game Fluorocarbon leader for my leaders.

    There are always plenty of boat shows, fishing tackle shows and fishing schools going on most weekends through the winter. Here are few I’ll be at this winter.

    February 11th, 2012 Fishermans Post Wilmington Fishing School. This school will be at the Coast Line Convention Center. I’ll be there with other Fishing Pros and Guides speaking on many different topics of local fishing tips and techniques. Check out all the topics and info www.fishermanspost.com

    February 18th, 2012-Cape Fear Christian Sportsman Fish Fest. www.capefearsportsmen.org/fishfest This is a great free event! I’ll be speaking on two topics this year; Cape Fear River Striped Bass fishing and my very popular Working Hard Baits MirrOlures Etc. with success seminar. The class will be from 8am-4:15pm February 18, 2012 at Scotts Hill Baptist Church (185 Scotts Hill Loop Road, Wilmington, NC 28411). A light breakfast and lunch catered by Middle of the Island will be provided

    February 24th & 25th March 2nd, 3rd & 4th Bass Pro Shops in Myrtle Beach, SC for there very popular 2012 Spring Fishing Classic. There will be lots of good sales and promotions on many fishing products. I’ll be there with other top Fishing Pros giving fishing seminars, helping you find the right fishing products and answering any fishing questions you may have.

    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

    Thanks for reading and good fishing to ya!

    Capt. Jot Owens
    Penn Fishing Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    February 09, 2012 at 2:48pm

    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
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    December 14, 2011 at 3:42pm

    Here it is Thanksgiving and we still have warm weather most days! Finally after two very cold winters we’ve got the best fishing weather we could have for late November! With all this nice weather the fishing has really been on fire; some of the best Speckled trout fishing I’ve seen in while around here and the Redfish as well as the Flounder bite has been good too! I believe that we will see good Speckled trout fishing all the way to Christmas this year!

    The Speckled trout has been the name of the game for the last two months and the trout continue to bite very well. With most of my charters coming to the dock with there limit and some days with over seventy trout coming over the side of the boat. It truly has been an unbelievable Speckled trout season and it looks like it will continue for the next three weeks or longer!

    When the trout bite is on they are hitting just about any lure or live bait you throw at them, but there are a few colors/lures that are catching more keepers then other colors/lures. 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.

    I prefer to rig all my grubs on red, gray or black jig heads in weights of 1/16oz, 1/8oz or 1/4oz; you really don’t need a much heavier jig, a slow sink will catch you more trout! Remember trout typically hit lures that are sinking down or just above them. Keeping this in mind; a slower sinking lure stays in the strike zone longer which gives the trout more time to hit you lure. Another rule I stand by when Speckled trout is the fact that trout have very good eye sight and with this said I always use a high quality fluorocarbon leader for all my trout rigs. I prefer Stren’s tinted fluorocarbon leader material in twenty pound test; with gunsmoke tint for clear waters and tannic for river or stained water applications.

    My charters have caught a few nice trout on hard baits like MirrOlures and Sebile baits. We’ve caught trout the 17MR and 18MR but some of the bigger ones are hitting the good old 52M&MR this season. Another bait that has really picked up a few nice trout this season is the Stick Shadd by Sebile in sizes 90 and 114 with colors in white lady, hollow mullet and yellow pepper. The colors for the MirrOlures that are having the most luck are; 17MR and 18MR’s in colors: 11, 26, 808, CFPR, CH, EC and BCH. As far as the 52M & MR in colors: 11, 26, 51, 704, 808, CFPR, CH and HP.

    If you would like to go with the live bait for your trout outing, try live mud minnows, small finger mullet or shrimp all of these baits will catch trout. I rig all these different baits on float rigs in waters of three to six feet deep and a light Carolina rig for deeper waters of five to twenty feet deep. Still here again even with live bait I always use fluorocarbon as leader; it will make a difference.

    One cool thing that is always fun during trout season is all the ‘bonus fish’ that you will catch while Speckled trout fishing. My charters have caught a good bunch of Redfish, Sheephead and Flounder in the last few weeks of fishing. We even put an eight pound one ounce Flounder in the boat last week; what a pull that was on a light trout rod! So you never know what might be on the end of your rod to you get it to the boat this time of year.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Speckled trout, Flounder and Redfish: Reels Penn Battle 2000 & 3000 spinning reels. Rods: Fenwick HMG GS 70ML & GS 70M-MF 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.

    *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!

    Thanks so much for reading this report and have a great Thanksgiving! I’m booking now and booking up fast for trophy Speckled trout trips for December. Don’t forget take a kid fishing and good fall fishing to ya!

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    Penn Reels Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    November 23, 2011 at 1:37pm

    Fall is really starting to show its face around Southeastern North Carolina these last few weeks. Some warm days, some cool days and a few colder days with rain mixed in from time to time, but over all good fishing weather. The good part of this is no more hot days but lots of hot fishing to come!

    October and November are great mouths for Speckled trout fishing and one of my favorite to fish for. They are good to eat and a lot of fun to catch on light tackle. It really does not matter if you like to fish artificial bait or live bait you can catch lots of Specks either way! So far in the last two weeks I have picked up some very nice Speckled trout as well as good numbers of keeper size trout. The gator trout (big ones) are starting to show up too and more will come with this cool weather we are having.

    Here is how I have been catching the Speckled trout lately. On the artificial side of things; MirrOlures and Sebile’s Stick Shadds are working very well for me this season so far. I’ve caught trout the 17MR and 18MR but some of the bigger ones are hitting the good old 52M&MR this season. Another bait that has really picked up a few nice trout this season is the Stick Shadd by Sebile in sizes 90 and 114 with colors in white lady, hollow mullet and yellow pepper. The colors for the MirrOlures that are having the most luck are; 17MR and 18MR’s in colors: 11, 26, 808, CFPR, CH, EC and BCH. As far as the 52M & MR in colors: 11, 26, 51, 704, 808, CFPR, CH and HP.

    Soft baits are always a winner for trout fishing and you can catch good numbers of Speckled trout on grubs etc. Berkley Ripple Mullets and Fire tail shrimp are two newer baits on the market and have been real good baits for Redfish but I’ve caught a few very nice trout on them lately. The colors I’ve had the best luck with are Goby magic/chart tail, Root-beergold/chart tail and glow/chart tail in the Ripple mullets. In the fire tail shrimp pattern colors of rootbeer gold, watermelon red fleck and new penny are working great. Saltwater Assassin makes a very large selection of great trout grubs, give one of these colors in the sea shad pattern a try on your next trout outing; chicken on a chain, copperhead, S&P silver phantom/chart, chart/diamond, sweet pea, 10w40/limetail and greenback shiner.

    I rig all of these grubs on high quality jig heads in colors red, gray and brown; in sizes 1/16, 1/8, ¼ and 3/8oz. When I say high quality; I mean a jig head with a strong yet very sharp hook, a good jig head makes a big difference in how many fish you catch and don’t miss; trust me! Check out jig heads by Sebile, Bluewater Candy and Saltwater Assassin; all of these companies make great high quality jig heads!

    So you like to catch trout on live bait, well give live shrimp a try. The trick to live shrimp is knowing when to stop feeding the trash fish like; pinfish, lizard fish, and small bluefish. Using live shrimp can get expensive but you can catch some good numbers and size trout with live shrimp. I rig live shrimp a two different ways; in shallow water two to six feet I use a float rig. My float rigs consist of twenty pound Stren or Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon about twelve inches long and a number six treble hook for a live shrimp. When I fish deeper waters (five foot plus) or with stronger currents I use a light carolina rig. These rigs consist of a very small swivel, fourteen to twenty inches of fluorocarbon and a number one L42 Eagle claw hook. The sinker for this rig needs to be light 1/16oz or 1/8oz split shot and 1/8oz or 1/4oz egg sinkers should do the trick.

    I’m still seeing the Redfish around and a few Bull reds are still biting from time to time around the inlets. There have been a few schools of Reds in the surf but due to very high winds and seas not much action there lately. On some sunny days I’ve caught a good number of Reds along the ICW and oyster flats in local creeks north and south & North of Wrightsville Beach. Live finger mullet and fresh cut bait will catch’em but, give a Berkley Gulp 3” new penny shrimp or a root-beergold/chart tail Ripple mullet a shot and I bet you’ll have no problem catching a few redfish.

    In other fishing news, the weekend of October 22nd and 23rd was the Red Bone-Cape Fear Red*Trout Tournament Series. This year again Adam Meyer and Liz Pitts of Charter Lakes Insurance Group fished with me. Liz did very well again this year taking home Grand Champion Lady Angler General Division Champion and Most Speckled trout Champion. Our team came in 1st over all in points, but the elusive keeper size Redfish was no where to be found; we got one as close at 171/2 inches (yes that hurt)! So we could not bring home Grand Champion Angler for Liz; hey there’s always next year! This is a tournament to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis; I look forward every year to fishing this tournament of a great cause.

    Fishing gear I use:

    Speckled trout and Redfish: Reels Penn Battle 2000 & 3000 spinning reels. Rods: Fenwick HMG GS 70ML & GS 70M-MF 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.

    If you are in or around the Morehead City area come by for the Grand Opening of Dick’s Sporting Goods in Morehead City on November 12th. I’ll be there with Berkley, Penn, Fenwick, Sebile and Spiderwire to help answer any questions you have about products or fishing. If you come by, please stop and say hello.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods
    Crystal Coast Plaza
    5130 Highway 70 West
    Morehead City, NC 28557

    *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!

    Thanks so much for reading this report! I’m booking now and booking up fast for trophy Speckled trout trips November to mid December. Don’t forget take a kid fishing and good fall fishing to ya!

    Captain Jot Owens
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    Penn Reels Elite Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    October 29, 2011 at 3:11pm

    Fall is trying so very hard to show up around the area but, with these weather changes comes ‘weather’ and for the last weeks it’s been in the form of rain. One thing I can tell you is that this is no different than most falls around this area; we get rain around here in the fall. Some years its light some years it’s heavier, every season it different and that is one of the reasons I live here, we (most years) have seasons here! Rain is not always a bad thing you just have got to adjust how you fish when the water gets stained form fall rains!

    Well the good news is since my last report one of my favorites is starting to show; the good’ole Speckled trout and I love fishing for these guys! A cool morning in the fall; fishing for Speckled trout is one of the many highlights of my fishing season every year! They are a challenge to catch, but some days you can catch over 100 and you never know just what kind of day you are going to have when fishing for Speckled trout. Trout fishing will only get better as the local waters cool down this fall.

    I love to catch Speckle trout on artificial lures and you can catch big Speckled trout on lures, another reason they’re fun to catch. My easy break down of what lures I use are by current flow and water death. I prefer baits like MirrOlure’s 17MR, catch 2000jr and Sebile’s Flatt Shad in waters of two to six feet deep with light or no current. In deeper waters of three to fifth teen plus with or with out current I prefer MirrOlure’s 18MR, 52M & MR and Sebile’s Stick Shadd 90, 114 series. I will use grubs in any water death or current when trout fishing, but I’ll adjust the weight of the jig head for the death or current of the water I’m fishing. Try lures like the Berkley Gulp Fire Tail 3” shrimp or the Ripple Mullet for Speckled trout. Another lure that works well for trout is Saltwater Assassin’s Sea shad series, try colors like chicken on a chain, chart/diamond, copperhead or 10w40 with lime tail.

    The Bull Reds are really starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. You never know when you might hook one of these giants! When I fish for Bull Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use fish finder rigs with 8/0 or 9/0 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 there 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 tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Bull Reds out there.

    This has been one of the better Flounder years we’ve seen around this area in a while and for that reason I’ve run a lot of Flounder trips this season with good success. One thing we have seen this year is that the Flounder fishing has been good inshore as well as the ocean this season, giving us lots of opportunities to flounder fish. Live bait as well as artificial lures has put lots of flounder in the boat for us. Carolina rigs with Eagle Claw L42 #1 size hooks and forty pound clear mono leader works well. Small finger mullets, small menhaden and mud minnows are our choice live baits. Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in 5” & 6” colors pearl, chart pepper neon or new penny work well too! The flounder are hanging around inlets, channel drops and creeks inshore. In the ocean near shore artificial reefs, ledges and hard/live bottoms are holding some nice numbers of flounder too.

    Fishing Gear I use:

    Reels: Speckled trout and Flounder: Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Bull Reds 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. Bull Reds Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Fenwick HMG GS 70M-MF. Bull Reds Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series or Penn Torque jigging series in 30-80 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Bull Reds; 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!

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

    Good Fishing to you and have a great fall,

    Capt. Jot Owens
    Penn Tackle Elite Staff
    Ranger Boats Pro Staff
    www.captainjot.com
    910-233-4139

    September 27, 2011 at 12:10pm
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