Capt. Noah Lynk of Noah’s Ark Charters understands the waters around Harkers Island as well as anyone and knows that there are times when speckled trout gather in the few channels and deep holes in the vast expanse of shallow – and this is one of those times.

On a trip earlier this week, Lynk was fighting a stiff northeast wind preceding the arrival of a low-pressure system and cold front, knowing that live shrimp might be a way to offset the action, which he expected to be slower because of the conditions.

He was correct.

“One of the nice things about fishing around Harkers Island is there is usually somewhere nearby holding fish,” Lynk said. “Those same options also usually create a lee somewhere so we can hide from the wind. This wind was strong and there were serious whitecaps in Back Sound, the Straits and North River. However, we were able to move between areas with cover and could fish the Middle Marsh, the North River Marsh, and the east side of North River, the North River Bridge and Wards Creek. There have been trout in all of them, so we kept moving until we found some that were hungry and feeding.”

Lynk (252-342-6911) likes to fish lighter spinning tackle and braided line of a small diameter, a combo sensitive enough to feel a weak bite in the windy weather. He had a couple of cork rigs, a MirrOLure MR 17, a Salty Bay Shrimp and a Carolina rig with a fly he custom makes.

The first and largest speck was caught on Lynk’s custom fly rig, hopped along the bottom to draw the trout’s attention. Lynk said he often catches nicer trout on it, but usually only once they are excited and biting well. The hot lure for the day was Salty Bay Shrimp. Several trout also tried to eat a MirrOLure. 

Lynk moved several times and put together a nice catch of specks, but noted the gusting wind and approaching front had seriously slowed the bite. A dozen puppy drum and one black drum made up the rest of the day’s catch – not counting a skate that found a shrimp too hard to resist.