Anglers catching plenty of speckled trout, redfish
According to Capt. Pete Cruger of Sneaky Pete OBX Fishing Charters in the Outer Banks area, the speckled trout and redfish are feeding heavily. They don’t seem bothered by the summer heat at all.
Overall, the speckled trout bite has been the a little hotter than redfish in the past few days. But the redfish are still biting good, and that includes some large fish.
“We’re catching most of our speckled trout in shallow water. Both artificials and live baits will work. But I use artificial exclusively. With the right technique and presentation, you don’t need to waste precious time catching live bait. And if the fishing is halfway good, you can catch them much quicker before they quit biting,” he said.
Cruger said the redfish are scattered right now, and he’s putting his anglers on fish that range from upper-slot keepers to over-the-slot redfish in the 28 to 36-inch range. He’s just now beginning to see numbers of 40 to 50-inch bull redfish in the ocean. They are sticking close to the surface in water that’s from 25 to 60 feet deep. He expects these fish to move in even heavier in the coming weeks.
More old drum are on the way
“These fish should start showing more and more as we get later into July and August. They’ll be staging around Oregon Inlet and enter the sound for their spawning season in August and September at the mouths of the major rivers,” he said.
And while it’s always nice to see (and fun to hook up with) the big redfish, Cruger is just as excited about all the juvenile redfish he’s been seeing.
“The really good news is the showing of lots of baby red drum in the area in the 7 to 10-inch range. The state’s lead biologist who studies red drum informed me that last year’s index of fingerlings was the fifth-highest in the 28 years they’ve been doing the study.
“He said it’s similar to what we saw in 2011 when we had a massive spawn that provided incredible fishing for slot-sized redfish for 5 years. But more recent spawns have been very unsuccessful until last year. And we are seeing the results in these small fish showing up everywhere. The future for slot-sized redfish looks very bright,” he said.