The up-and-rising fishing guides have a far different approach to inshore fishing than many anglers. They’re more conservation-minded and focused on fishing as a sport other than a food source. This was well stated in a recent interview with North Carolina fishing guide, Oz Osborne of Marker 23 Adventures. Our interview was about fishing for big Speckled Trout which Oz is an expert on. You’ll find in the article below that his approach is not about filling the cooler, but about the sometimes complicated art of true sport fishing. In today’s world of growing concerns over the health of fishery along the Atlantic coast, his tactics and goals are based on those concerns at the forefront of his approach. We salute him for that.
Now, enjoy the article.
Captain Tim Wilson, Editor
If you’re an angler looking to catch the much larger Speckled Trout, I’m talking about the ones in the area of 24 to 27 inches and above, you’re probably different than the average Trout fisherman. Your focus is more on the sport of fishing rather than the food aspect. You also get your satisfaction from the size of the fish rather than the number of fish. This means you are not afraid of a more difficult challenge which is what targeting the bigger fish will be.
First, let’s understand the primary factors that drive catching a big Speckled Trout. Probably the biggest factor is the time of year. I find that the best time of year for this type and size of fish is in the range between November and February. The day you choose is also a key player in your success. For this I depend on my barometer. Look for a falling barometric pressure on one of those cold windy and even rainy days. Another good sign is a simple one. Take a look at the boat ramp. If it’s empty or nearly empty it’s a great day to fish for the big Specs. If it’s cold, rainy, and blowing, better are the chances of catching those three or more fish I’ve come for. I head out early and come back late and never forget that the first boat in the creek is the boat that usually wins. I go to spots I know have deep water because that’s where the Speckled Trout are that time of year.
Moving on to the type of bait. It has to be big. Since there’s little live bait that time of year, I use a lure like the MirroLure MR 27 or a big glade bait. Using smaller baits will not get you the big fish you’re looking for, and remember, the fish are almost always deep. Retrieve the lure slowly due to the colder water makeing the Trout less aggressive. In the more shallow water, 2-5 feet, topwater lures are far more successful, but again not forgetting the big baits.
Other factors include the position of the boat as well as the hydrodynamics of the water you’re fishing in. The fish will be facing into the current, hoping for baits to wash down. This should be considered when moving or positioning your boat. Find the spot and remember, slow and deep. Just keep casting because it’s winter, the bite can be slow, but when it happens, it’ll be big.
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