The Carolinas

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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 and thunderstorms!  Hopefully the rains will slow down and we’ll start to see some breaks of cooler weather! I’m sure ready to see some cooler fall 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 and catch 2000jr in waters of two to six feet deep with light or no current.  In deeper waters of five to fifteen plus feet with or without current I prefer MirrOlure’s 18MR and 52M & MR (slow sinking) As far as colors go try this rule of thumb; lighter colors in clearer blue & green waters and darker colors in river, tannic or stained waters.

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 newer 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, rainbow trout or 10w40 with lime tail.  One thing I really believe in is using fluorocarbon leaders for Speckled trout fishing; these fish have very good eye sight.  Using fluorocarbon will help you catch more trout; try Berkley’s new Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader material. As the local waters cool the trout fishing will only get better!

The Bull Reds (over slot) are really starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms, shoals 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/carolina 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 yellow tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Bull Reds out there.

This has been a good Flounder season for me 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 but better in 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 fluorocarbon 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.  During September the fall southern bait run will start to crank up, when this happens the Flounder will turn up a notch or two!

Fishing Gear I use:

Reels: Speckled trout and Flounder: PENN Battle II spinning in sizes 2000, 2500 & 3000 sizes.  Bull Reds Fishing reels: PENN Battle II 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: (Inshore) PENN Battalion.  Bull Reds Rods: PENN Rampage jigging series in 30-80 class spinning and casting.  Leader material: (inshore) Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon in thirty to forty pound, Bull Reds; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred 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 and tackle giveaways; yes free stuff!

Thanks for reading, 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


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