Jot Owens

Well folks the summer weather of up and down temps is here; with some hotter weather in the forecast. Hey summer is here to stay for awhile; its time to go fishing! With the warmer weather the bait has really started to show up and the fishing has really gotten in its summer pattern. And just as I'm really starting to catch some nice Cobia the silver king (Tarpon) show up earlier then normal this season! Hey welcome to North Carolina fishing!

The Flounder fishing has been good to very good this season with a fair amount of nice fish coming in over four plus pounds. The name of the game for me this season has been using artificial baits to catch the bigger Flounder. Two baits that have really worked well for me are the Berkley Gulp five and six inch Jerkshads in colors pearl white, chart pepper neon and new penny. Another bait I started using last year with good success was the Berkley Havoc Grass Pig soft plastic lure. This is a bass (fresh water) lure but man when you see this thing you'll know why it's sure to catch Flounder as well as Redfish! The colors I'm using in the Berkley Havoc Grass Pig are pearl white silver fleck, swamp gas and california.

When rigging the Jerkshad and Grass Pig baits, I prefer a long shank jig head to hold the baits on securely. Sebile and Blue Water Candy both make a very good jig head with the design of a longer shank hook. Colors of jig heads for Flounder fishing does not seem to be a big deciding factor, but I stick with mostly gray and red. I prefer forty pound fluorocarbon leader from Stren's tinted leaders in Gumsmoke for clear waters and Tannic for brown/river/stained waters. Just remember when you hook that door mat Flounder to take your time and don't pull its head out of the water, for the flounder may just shake that hook out and nobody wants to lose a nice flounder!

The bigger Reds are starting to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets. You never know when you might hook one of these hard fighting fish. When I fish for bigger Reds, I use fresh cut or live menhaden and mullet. I use fish finder rigs with 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks and eighty pound Berkley Big game mono leaders. Don't forget to keep your drag tight when using circle hooks so they will do there job. One tip I can give you when fishing for Bull Reds, is don't use to light of tackle for these bigger Reds. If you fight them to long, there is a chance you can tire them out to much and kill them. Try a med/heavy rod and a reel with at least thirty pound mono or braid, this will help you get the fish in quicker; with a better chance of a good release. Check to see if the Red has a yellow tag in its back; there are a fair amount of tagged Big Reds out there.

The Spanish Mackerel are biting good most days, but the best bite has been earlier in the morning when the sun is lower in the sky; also the fish have been a little deeper in thirty to fifty feet of water for the last few weeks. When you mark big balls of bait with your fish finder this is usually where you'll find the most Spanish biting. Clark-spoons in sizes 00 and 0 are doing the trick in colors silver, gold and pink flash behind number one planners. The Spanish hitting on top are hitting Blue Water Candy's Spanish Daisy chains in colors pink, blue and silver; the great thing about this rig is you can pull it off lighter tackle outfits. Another lure that is working well for the Spanish when I'm casting to them is the River2Sea Sea Rock lure, these little casting jigs are just the right weight and size to get those fast moving Spanish to bite! The colors that I like to use are purple, white and blue; I prefer the two smallest sizes of Sea Rock in the number seven and four-teen. All so the hook that comes on these lures is great, finally a good hook on a lure right out of the package!

Tarpon fishing this season has been good already and it's early! Florida had a very good Tarpon season and these fish have come up from Florida, let's hope they are still very hungry and ready to bite! Tarpon fishing is not easy; it takes patients and time, but the payoff can be very rewarding! I fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, bluefish, mullet and menhaden. I'm rigging these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound fluorocabon leaders (Berkley Vanish). Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 10/0 depending what hook series/maker you like. I have also had a fair share of Tarpon on my kite rig with live baits like mullets, bluefish and menhaden.

Fishing Gear I use:

Reels: Redfish, Flounder and Spanish casting: Penn Battle spinning in sizes 2000, 3000 & 4000 sizes. Tarpon & bigger Reds reels: Penn Battle 6000 & 7000, Penn Fathom 25N and Torque 12 & 15 conventional reels. Line: Spiderwire Ultra-cast braid in 8, 10 and 15 pound. Tarpon Line: 30 or 40 pound Berkley Big Game Mono. Rods: Penn Legion spinning 6'6" to 7'6" Med/light to Med /hvy. Tarpon Rods: Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Jigging series or Penn Bluewater Carnage jigging series in 50-100 class spinning and casting. Leader material: Tarpon; Berkley Big Game mono & Fluorocarbon in eighty to one hundred pound. Stren Fluorocarbon leader material in Tannic and Gunsmoke tints; tannic for river and stained waters, gunsmoke for clear water applications.

*Are you on Facebook? Check out my page Capt. Jot Owens/Jot It Down Fishing Charters LLC for lots of good info on local fishing, fishing tips, detailed live reports, photos and tackle giveaways; yes free stuff! Just Fan (like) the page on I'll have monthly random drawings and fishing trivia questions to win free tackle. There is a link to my Facebook page on my website.

Thanks for reading these reports, if you have any questions or comments just let me know. Good fishing to you and stay cool out there!

Capt. Jot Owens

Penn Tackle Elite Staff

Ranger Boats Pro Staff


Fish Species: Redfish, Cobia, Tarpon, FLounder, Mackerel
Bait Used: Berkley Gulp
Tackle Used: Penn Reels and Rods, Berkley Big Game Mono, Spiderwire braid
Method Used:
Water Depth:
Water Temperature:
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
60 pound Wrightsville Cobia
60 pound Wrightsville Cobia

Good Flounder day!
Good Flounder day!

Do you want to leave a comment? Login or register now to leave a comment.

No comments so far

Jot Owens

About The Author: Captain Jot Owens

Company: Jot It Down Fishing Charters LLC

Area Reporting: Southeast NC Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington

Bio: Captain Jot Owens, IV, born and raised in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, has been fishing the waters of the Cape Fear, Masonboro Sound and the North Atlantic Ocean for thirteen years. He began his career at the age of 15 commercial fishing for Grouper and King Mackerel. After the experience in commercial fishing, he began working as a Mate on a charter boat that specialized in offshore fishing for King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, tuna, Wahoo and billfish. During this time he made offshore rigs and prepared baits for the charters. In 2000, Jot began work as a Mate on The Fortune Hunter. During the six years Jot worked as a Mate, he was working towards his Captain s license. In February 2002, he achieved his goal of obtaining his Captain s license. Since this time, Jot has been the Master and Captain of the Fortune Hunter Too, fishing for trout, Red Drum, Flounder, Cobia, Tarpon and many other species. Today Captain Jot runs his own boat; the (Jot It down). Captain Jot enjoys everyday he is on the water and brings his passion for fishing to his customers by teaching new techniques and providing knowledge about the many different species of fish found on the East Coast. He looks forward to sharing with you the many fishing techniques that he is so passionate about.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Jot Owens