The speckled trout bite is hot along the border, with good catches coming from areas in Little River on up to Ocean Isle Beach. The fish are very concentrated though, so while the specks are thick in some areas, they are no present at all – or at least not feeding – in others.

Anglers are having success along oyster shell-lined banks near deeper water, but they are having to weed through similar areas that just are not producing any bites at all. So while it is taking some time to find the fish through trial-and-error, it’s worth it once you get on the bite.

It can be one of those “fish on every cast” days for the anglers that are finding the right water, and two of the main lures the specks are hitting include VuDu Shrimp and Z-Man Trout Tricks. The fish are hitting both of these lures anywhere from a foot deep up to 5- or 6-feet deep.

The key to fishing these lures is to let them sink once you cast them. Then reel in a little, snap your wrist a couple of times to give the lure two quick jerks, reel in the slack, then repeat until the lure is back to the boat. 

It’s easy to give up once the lure is fairly close to the boat, but anglers should ignore the temptation to quickly reel in once the lure is a certain distance away. Finish out the lure retrieve normally. Some fish follow the lures a lot longer than we realize, and often strike the lure when it’s almost back in the boat. 

Once you do find the fish, you’re going to find a good many of them because they are that concentrated right now. A good trolling motor is good to have here, and you can count on trolling up and down that same line and catching good numbers of trout. They usually stick around within about 100-yards of each other, but don’t be afraid to stretch that distance just to see if they are spread out a little more.

This time of year, it’s not uncommon to catch 10 undersized specks to every keeper, so be prepared to weed through the little ones to get to the good fish. 

The falling tide has been the best for local anglers looking for the hot trout bite, and finding creeks with large portions of acreage that turn to sandbars during low tide can be a gold mine if there is deeper water nearby. Those deeper haunts will often hold trout when the tide is dead low.

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