Night moves are right moves

A live shrimp fished under a popping cork is guide Ricky Kellum’s No. 1 after-dark trout tactic.

Guide Ricky Kellum always has a stock of trout candy, aka live shrimp, when available, but the pinfish that have taken root on AR 398 make it nearly impossible to float one long enough for a trout to see  — at least during daylight hours. But according to Kellum, the reef is also a hot spot on a cool, fall night, and a supply of shrimp is the go-to trout killer.

“I don’t even play with them at night,” said Kellum regarding artificials. “I’ll float a shrimp and let the wind and the tide move me. Just drift through an area,  catch a fish, drop the anchor and try it out.  Just move around until you hit them.”

Live shrimp are best fished under a 4-inch Billy Boy slip cork, suspended a foot or two off the bottom on a No. 6 treble with one hook inserted under the horn.  About 20 inches of fluorocarbon leader is sufficient, tied to a barrel swivel, with a bead and a ½- to 1-ounce egg sinker atop of the swivel to keep the bait down.

Live shrimp are readily caught in the river until cold weather pushes them outside.

About Dusty Wilson 274 Articles
Dusty Wilson of Raleigh, N.C., is a lifelong outdoorsman. He is the manager of Tarheel Nursery in Angier and can be followed on his blog at

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