Catch Oriental trout in creeks

Specks find warm water and bait in deeper creek holes

By December, Capt. Bobby Brewer with Baldheaded Bobby Guide Service in Oriental, NC expects to find speckled trout in deeper holes in the backs of creeks. That’s because those creeks hold warmth better and longer than the more open water areas.

“Sometimes we’ll have some unseasonably warm weather that will delay the trout moving into some of their typical locations. But at some point this month, the water temperature will enter into the 50s. And at that point, we should begin to find the trout farther back in the creeks, closer to the deepr holes,” he said.

As we head into winter, the deeper holes in those creeks will be the warmest water. First, baitfish will flood those holes, and then it won’t take long for the speckled trout to follow.

Brewer said especially when the area experiences several cold days in a row, anglers should not overlook the possiblity of some trout also being in the mouths of creeks, as well as the river itself.

“If I find good bait in the river, which I sometimes do in December, some trout will be there too, even on days where I’d expect them to be in the backs of the creeks,” he said. “It’s never a bad idea to check creek mouths with a handful of casts before working your way deeper into the creeks.

Trolling motors are great tools for trout fishing, but this month, Brewer (919-349-6112) suggests using them as little as possible.

“You’re fishing in a smaller area, and it’s easier to spook the fish, so try to minimize your trolling motor usage,” he said. “Instead, set yourself up to drift down wind.”

He also said anglers should keep their lures or bait on the bottom, then jig it as they drift.

“Find the bottom of the water column,” he said. “The water is warmer there. I like to let my bait sink to the bottom and jig it as I drift.

“And it’s best, if possible, to fish on the bow from the 12 o’clock to the 3 o’clock position, or from 12 o’clock to 9 o’clock,” he said.

This helps anglers stay undetected by the fish, which is critical this month.

“The water is clear, and it’s easier for the fish to see you as the boat approaches and passes.

About Brian Cope 2762 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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