If you shy away from using big lures when fishing inshore for flounder, you might want to rethink things, especially if you plan on fishing near the Morehead City port wall anytime soon. James Ellis caught a 10.15-pound flounder there this week, and he did it with a pretty sizable lure.

Ellis was fishing along the port wall with a 2-ounce Spro bucktail, tipped with a Berkley Gulp! Shrimp. He weighed the fish at Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle, who congratulated him on the catch of a lifetime.

They also said the flounder are starting to move to the ocean, and that anglers are reporting catches of flounder in the 3 to 6-pound range from AR315 over the past couple of weeks. That same Spro bucktail tipped with 4-inch white or glow Gulp! soft lures are doing the trick there. Still, as Ellis proved, some flounder are also hanging out inshore, especially near the port wall, which has depths in the 40-plus foot range.

As is the case up and down the coast of both Carolinas, the guys at Chasin’ Tails said the speckled trout bite has been insane in the Atlantic Beach area, and they don’t see an end to that anytime soon. While very few anglers caught keeper trout this time last year, plenty of anglers are stopping by with limits of trout that range from 3 to 4 pounds. 

And the good news, they said, is that it will improve when the water gets cold, and it is just now beginning to cool down.

Lures that are catching the trout right now pretty much cover everything you’ll find in a typical inshore angler’s tacklebox. Z-Man soft plastics, Gulp!, D.O.A. lures, soft plastic shrimp, MirrOlures, soft plastics under popping corks – if you can cast it and it has hooks, it’s catching trout right now.

And if the bite slows down on any of those lures, live bait – especially shrimp – is the way to pick it back up, and right now they’ve got plenty of live shrimp, mud minnows, frozen bait, and a variety of artificial lures, and any other tackle you could need. 

It’s not too late to sign up for their 9th Annual Speckled Trout Challenge, which runs through Jan. 31. You can win a variety of prizes, including $3000 for first place. And if you’ve never won a tournament, don’t fret, the top ten anglers win prizes, and best of all, the angler that finishes last will win a Star Rod combo.