Wrightsville Winter Wonderland

speckled trout
Wrightsville Beach-area anglers can find plenty of quality speckled trout this month.

Wrightsville Beach is speckled trout hotspot during winter

Capt. Jot Owens of Jot It Down Charters in the Wrightsville Beach area said anglers can experience some epic days of speckled trout fishing this month. But, he said, such days are a little harder to come by.

“January is definitely a pick-your-fishing-day kind of month to get the best possible chance at quality bites. I look for warmer, lighter wind and mostly sunny days. It’s even better if we get a few of these kinds of days in a row,” said Owens (910-233-4139).

Anglers may not catch big numbers of quality specks this month, but they can expect to catch some big ones.

“You might catch big numbers of smaller fish, but you’ll find your share of big trout. You need to work your lures slower, and understand that you’ll put in the time. But the payoff can be great,” he said. “Have patience when winter fishing.”

Some of the most effective lures this month for Owens include the MirrOlure 51M and 52M or MR.

“You want to fish lighter colors due to the clear water we often get during the winter here. Work these lures slowly in deeper water breaks and drop-offs. This can produce some nice trout,” he said.

But if the water is dingy, he suggests going to Berkley Gulp 3-inch shrimp or the 5-inch Jerkshad. The Berkley Pro Twitchtail on a 1/16-ounce jighead is another good option.

Use fluorocarbon leaders

“Wind, rain, ice or snow can dirty the water, so those are good lures for that. Here again, work them just a bit slower due to the colder water temps. Look for the bigger trout to be sitting close to the current, but just off and out of it,” he said.

Owens said while the speckled trout will make up the bulk of your catch, don’t be surprised if you pull in a nice weakfish (a/k/a gray trout) this month.

“It’s also important with this clear water to use a high-quality fluorocarbon leader. It seems like a small detail, but trust me, it will make a difference,” he said.

For tackle, Owens opts for PENN Battle III DX and Slammer IV series spinning reels ranging from 2000 to 4000 sizes. He likes the Fenwick HMG Inshore rod in 7-foot, medium-light and medium.

Ten-pound Spiderwire Ultracast paired with Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon leaders complete his speckled trout gear.

About Brian Cope 2653 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 brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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