Paul Anderson of Island Fishing Center in Oak Island said there’s a speckled trout bite taking place on Oak Island’s two piers like he’s never seen before. Specks are swarming around the pier pilings, and anything that resembles a shrimp gets eaten pretty quickly. There are some nice trout too. Anderson said he hasn't seen a citation fish yet – 5 pounds – but several have run 4 to 4 ½ pounds. This bite fired up a week or so ago and doesn't appear to be slowing
"Fishermen are catching limits and getting back home in time for a late breakfast," Anderson said. "This is an early morning bite and begins as soon as the piers open and runs to about 8:30 or 9 most days. Cloudy days, it may last a little longer, but once the sun gets up in the sky, the trout disappear."
Anderson fishes at Ocean Crest Pier, and from what he hears, the action is pretty similar at Oak Island Pier. The morning trout bite is hot and heavy, and numerous fishermen are filling their 4-fish limits. He the bite looks like it will fire up late in the afternoon, but it just doesn't quite get going. There is just enough activity to hope an afternoon bite will start, but so far fishermen are only picking at the trout and catching a couple in the afternoon.
"Live shrimp and Vudu shrimp have been the hot baits," Anderson said. "Nothing approaches live shrimp, but the Vudu shrimp have been working well. Live shrimp are hooked lightly under the horn, and the Vudu shrimp come with a specific hook and weight."
Anderson (910-201-4002) said the 3- and 4-inch Vudu shrimp are both producing. The bigger version has generally been catching larger trout; sometimes bluefish bite the tails off the 3-inch ones, but both have been catching well. The popular colors have been white, white with a pink tail and magic (light green/fleck).
According to Anderson, fishermen are using popping corks with a 4-foot leader and sliding corks that allow them to adjust the depth they’re fishing when the trout move farther out the pier. Even just beyond the surf, trout hear the popping of the cork and come to check it out. Some fishermen add a split shot just above a live shrimp to hold it down in the water and the Vudu shrimp include weights designed for each size.
The trout bite may often be on the shallow end of the pier, just beyond the breakers, but some days, it may be all the way out at the end of the pier. Slip corks are the easiest and fastest way to adjust the depth the bait reaches. Anderson said when you reach the correct depth, a hungry trout lets you know pretty quickly.