Fishing for speckled trout in inshore waters and the surf around Atlantic Beach, Morehead City and Beaufort is about as it gets, according to Capt. Matt Lamb of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors.
Lamb said plenty of trout have showed up in area waters, and they seem to wake up hungry every morning. Live baits are most anglers’ favorites, but they are also hitting soft plastics and MirrOlures.
“I don’t know if it is these cold fronts that are coming through that are getting the trout fired up, but they are definitely fired up,” Lamb said. “The water temperature has definitely cooled a handful of degrees, and that usually gets them going. Thankfully, the days warm up and are comfortable for fishermen.”
Lamb said specks are biting from the surf to the backwaters in the marshes and creeks. The surf-fishing action is scattered along all of Bogue Banks but has been best in the area from Oceanana Pier to Fort Macon. Lamb said surf fishermen are having good luck catching specks on sinking and diving MirrOlures: 18MR, 52M and TT series. Fishermen have also been catching trout using these same lures from the Public Beach Access at Radio Island.
Lamb (252-240-3474) said the catch is mostly nice-sized specks, too. There are some shorts, but most are fish that don’t need to be measured to know they make the 14-inch minimum size.
“We are catching trout in the North River Marsh, Middle Marsh, the Haystacks, Core Creek, Newport River, North River and more,” Lamb said. “The key is having a moving tide, and it doesn’t seem to matter if it is rising or falling. These areas have a lot of shallow places, but there are sloughs and channels that are a little deeper, and they are where the trout have been holding. You may catch a few in 3 or 4 feet, but there are more of them at 6 feet and a little deeper.”
Lamb said many fishermen are fishing live baits suspended under a slip cork so the bait is about a food off the bottom. Live shrimp are the No. 1 bait, but many trout are being caught on mud minnows.
Earlier this week, Lamb said on one of his trips, the most fish hit live baits and shrimp slightly better than mud minnows, and that 3-inch Gulp! Shrimp outfished similar 4-inch baits.
“I have found the pockets of trout are separated by size,” Lamb said. “There are schools of all sizes in just about every area, and if you set up on a school of smaller ones; just move. Don’t stay there and waste your time and bait; they are probably all going to be small. There are a lot of trout and you may only have to move a hundred yards or so to find a school of larger fish.”