December’s speck bite is as good as it gets
For Capt. Jot Owens of Jot It Down Charters (910-233-4139) in Wrightsville Beach, NC, December is just another fishing month, and it’s a month he loves for catching speckled trout.
“This month, we typically have some cold days. But then we have runs of mild weather. This keeps the bite going. In December, I catch some of the biggest speckled trout all year,” he said.
The specks will bite a variety of bait and lures this month. Live bait is a good choice for anglers seeking numbers of fish.
“Try smaller mullets, mud minnows and live shrimp. In water 2 to 6 feet deep, I float these baits with a cork and small treble hook. In deeper water, I rig them on light Carolina rigs with a small No. 1 Eagle Claw L42 J-hook,” he said.
When fishing this way, Owens said anglers need to remember how soft a trout’s mouth is.
“When you feel that trout, you need to lightly set the hook. With their soft mouths, fast hooksets with light power work best,” he said.
For anglers targeting larger trout, Owens said artificial lures work best. He’s a big fan of MirrOlures, especially their 17MR and 22MR in water up to 6 feet deep, 18MR, 51M and 52MR in waters with current between 4 and 15 feet deep.
He said numerous colors will work, including pink back/white belly, purple back/pink belly and blue back/pink belly.
Soft plastic grubs are also good, he said. He’s especially fond of Berkley Gulp’s 3-inch shrimp and 5-inch Jerkshad. His preferred colors for the shrimp include sugar spice glow, pearl white and sangria. For the Jerkshad, he likes pink shine, pearl white and chartreuse pepper neon.
Another good soft plastic lure is the 3-inch Berkley Powerbait Pro Twitchtail minnow. Owens like this in chartreuse ice, pink ice and pearl white colors.
When using any of these soft plastics, he rigs them on jigheads in 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 ounce sizes. And any time he’s trout fishing, he’s using a fluorocarbon leader.
“I like jigheads in red, gray or white, and I always use a fluorocarbon leader when trout fishing. I prefer Berkley Pro Spec 20-pound fluoro. But if the bluefish show up, I’ll switch to 30-pound Pro Spec,” he said.