Rockin’ and reelin’ for specks

When inshore water temperatures dip below 52 degrees, guide Noah Lynk heads for the Cape Lookout rock jetty to find gator trout.

When the Nort Carolina coast typically experiences the first actual onset of cold weather in late November, two guides — Noah Lynk and Jot Owens — have an advantage.

“(Cold water) pushes baits and trout toward the ocean,” said Lynk, whose Harkers Island base of operations is 4 miles from Cape Lookout and Barden Inlet. “And the Cape Lookout rock jetty usually has water 4 or 5 degrees warmer because it’s nearer the ocean and deep water. The rocks intercept and hold baitfish and attract big trout and red drum.”

Owens has a similar situation at Wrightsville Beach’s Masonboro Inlet jetties.

“When it gets cold, I absolutely agree about inlets and rock jetties,” he said. “Ocean water is little bit warmer, and the jetty will hold baits and gamefish. My biggest trout have come in late November and early December at inlets.”

Lynk likes to fish live mud minnows on float rigs at the Cape Lookout rock jetty.

“You can have a blast for trout and drum,” he said. “MirrOlures also work out there. My two biggest specks, a 9½-pounder and a 10-pounder, came off the jetty after Thanksgiving. Both hit MirrOlures. It’s not a numbers game, but you might catch a big dog.”

Craig Holt
About Craig Holt 1274 Articles
Craig Holt of Snow Camp has been an outdoor writer for almost 40 years, working for several newspapers, then serving as managing editor for North Carolina Sportsman and South Carolina Sportsman before becoming a full-time free-lancer in 2009.