The Carolinas

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November; Fall has officially arrived at Wrightsville Beach and that means great fall fishing!  When I think of November I think of Speckled trout fishing; November is the peak month around Wrightsville for trout!  Here is the way I target Speckled trout and a few others during the month of November.

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; weather its 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!  Look for places where there is a slight current break and those trout will be close by!

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, HP AND Capt. Jot Custom color (only found at Tex’s Tackle shop)  Any local tackle shop can help you with these color codes.  Depths to use these lures; 17MR & 27 MR use these lures in two to six feet of water.  18MR, 52M & 52MR use these lures in four to fifth-teen plus feet of water.

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 three inch shrimp pattern is one of my go-to lures.  I prefer colors sugar spice glow, pearl white and pearl white/fire tail.  Saltwater Assassin’s 4” sea shad in colors chicken on a chain, sweet pea, mullet and cantaloupe are all good choices in November as well.
I rig all of my trout grubs on 1/16oz, 1/8oz and 1/4oz jigs heads in colors red, gray or black; always use a fluorocarbon leader when trout fishing, I use Berkley Pro Spec twenty pound in clear.

Don’t count out live bait if you enjoy fishing 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 and a small treble hook.  In deeper waters of six to ten plus I rig them on light Carolina rigs with a small number one J-hook (EC L42).  Just wait until you feel that trout take off with the bait and lightly set the hook, remember trout have very soft mouths slow hook sets work best!

Here is one of my best tips I can give you for Speckled trout fishing around the Wrightsville area in November.  The water gets clear, sometimes very clear around Wrightsville Beach in November.  I always use Fluorocarbon leaders for Speckled trout fishing; for artificial as well as live bait fishing!  You will catch more trout using fluorocarbon leader; trust me!  I use Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader material in twenty and thirty pound test.  Give it a try; you’ll be happy you did!

The bigger Reds start to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets during September and run until later November; this year has been a epic early fall Bull Red bite.  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 their 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.
Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Clash Spinning reels sizes 2000, 2500 & 3000 for the Speckled trout.  Rods PENN Battalion in 6’6” & 7’ med/light and medium action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in eight, ten and fifth-teen pound.  Bull Reds PENN Fathom 20LW and PENN Rampage Jigging Rods.

Thanks for reading, good luck fishing and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Capt. Jot Owens
PENN Reels Elite Staff
Ranger Boats Pro Staff

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