N CAROLINA: Look for Reds in Creek with Dark Colored Bottoms

What great weather for this winter so far; lets hope it stays this way right on to Spring time! With this great weather has come some of best winter fishing I’ve seen around here in a very long time. Even on the ‘not so nice days’ the fishing has been good and other days down right great; finally a milder winter for a change! Cool mornings and warm afternoons are hard to beat in Southeast North Carolina in mid February!

The Redfishing lately has been pretty good most days when the wind is not howling and we’ve seen some nice schools of Reds. Warmer, sunny and lower wind days can be the key to catching these inshore winter Redfish. It’s not hard to catch them once you find’em, look for these Reds in creek with dark colored bottoms and oyster rocks never hurt. Scented soft plastics like Berkley Gulp should do the trick to get these Reds to hit. Patterns in Gulp like Shrimp in sizes 2″ and 3″ are my go too, colors that seem to work the best are pearl, molting and new penny; the new Fire tail colors work great too! Try lighter jig heads like 1/16 and 1/8 when winter fishing; lighter jig heads help you to work the lure much slower and still look nature as possible.

Surf Reds have been hit or miss; I believe that a lot of the Reds are still up in the creeks due to all the mild weather this season. I have caught a few good days of surf Reds when the weather is just right. Casting Berkley Gulp Ripple mullets on 1/4oz and 3/8oz jig heads in colors Rootbeer gold and New penny’ don’t forget that fluorocarbon leader this time of year the water is super clear!

I’ve made quite a few trips to the Cape Fear River year; there are three different kinds of fish to chase in the Cape Fear, Catfish, Striped Bass and even a hand full of nice Redfish most all winter long. Here is a few ways to put a CFR Striper on your line. Try Berkley Gulp Jerkshad in five and six inch size; in pearl & new penny colors. Work these baits slowly and always rig them weed-less; there are many hangs in the Cape Fear River. Try a Moaner swim bait hook with the Berkley Jerkshad; this is a great hook at a great price.  I use the weighted Stroker hook in 1/4oz 5/0. Look for Stripers on drop-offs, dock pilings and reed-grass lines.

If you would like to give the Catfish a try, use baits like cut mullet, chicken livers and cut eel. I use heavy Carolina rigs when I fish for catfish. Try an Eagle claw L42 2/0 to 4/0 hook with fifty or eighty pound mono leader to make your carolina rig. Look for the catfish on drop-offs from five to twenty feet of water. We have seen some blue cats over thirty pounds caught in the river so try not to use to light of tackle; these are not always your ‘farm pond channel cats’!

Tackle run down: Penn Battle Spinning reels sizes 3000 & 4000 for the Redfish and Striped Bass. Penn Legions in 6’6″ & 7′ medium and med/hvy action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in ten and fifth-teen pound; Berkley Big Game Fluorocarbon leader for my leaders.

Captain Jot Owens
Jot It Down Fishing Charters
p: 910-233-4139

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