NC angler catches new state record speckled trout

speckled trout

Previous speckled trout record stood for 60 years

Todd Spangler of Merritt, N.C. caught the new North Carolina state record speckled trout on Feb. 9, 2022. The 12-pound, 8-ounce speck broke the previous mark, a 12-pound, 4-ounce trout, that sat atop the record book for the previous 60 years.

Spangler was fishing in the mouth of the Neuse River. He said the day started off pretty slow, but the first bite was the big one.

“The fishing started off slow but very quickly turned super exciting. Our first bite of the morning was a good one and it turns out that it was good enough to become the new N.C. state record speckled trout,” he said.

A Z-Man jerk shad soft plastic lure is what enticed the big speckled trout into biting. Spangler was using it with 20-pound braided line spooled onto a Daiwa Procyon spinning reel. The reel was mounted to a custom-built rod that Spangler made himself.

“To catch it on a rod I built myself was a pretty awesome feeling,” he said. “A huge thank you to my net man Josh Hamby.”

The speck was 33.5 inches long and had an 18-inch girth.

Spangler and Hamby headed to Neuse River Bait & Tackle in Grantsboro to have the fish weighed. It was quickly certified by NCDEQ as the new state record.

If you’d like to see the full list of North Carolina’s state record saltwater fish, click here.

About Brian Cope 2800 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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