Jot Owens

November is the gateway to winter but don't let that get you down! November is my month to really get some big'ole Speckled trout to bite! Weather in November can be tough some days, cold and rainy or sometimes just to warm. Only time will tell as far as the weather goes, but no matter what happens with the weather it's a great month to fish around Southeast NC!

In early to mid November I look for Speckled trout in the creeks and channels just off the ICW; any where water is moving with tide flow and bait. Speckled trout like current; weather its hard current in a main channel or light current up a creek. You need current flow to catch trout; rising and falling tide can be good for trout don't let the tide keep you form going trout fishing! Marsh grass lines, oyster rocks that run in to a channel and drop-offs in channels are all good places to find Speckled trout in November. Almost any grass lines with oysters will hold some trout! Look for places where there is a slight current break and those trout will be close by! Later in November all of the above places will still hold trout and the inlets will start to hold more trout as the month goes on.

One key point to trout I've found is that most days Specks will bite, but what are they hitting that day? I've found that in early November hard baits work well. This is when you need to know where to start; what lures to try? One of my favorites is the good'ole MirrOlure; it's been around a long time and it is still catching lots of big fish. The patterns I prefer are the 17MR, 18MR, 27MR, 52M and 52MR. Colors; MirrOlure makes a lot of different colors but here are some of my go too colors around Southeast NC area waters. MirrOlure color codes: 11, 21, 26, 51, 704, CFPR, CH, EC, HP and Capt. Jot Custom color in 17MR & 52MR (only found at Tex's Tackle shop) Any local tackle shop can help you with these color codes. Fishing Depths to use these lures; 17MR, 27MR & Catch 200Jr. use these lures in two to six feet of water. 18MR, 52M & 52MR use these lures in four to fifth-teen plus feet of water with current. If your lure is hitting the bottom a lot go to a shallower running lure.

If you have ever done any trout fishing at all you know that a grub (soft plastic) lures work very well for Speckled trout too! Berkley Gulp three inch shrimp pattern is one of my go-to lures. I prefer colors sugar spice glow, pearl white and pearl white/fire tail. Saltwater Assassin's 4" sea shad in colors chicken on a chain, sweet pea, mullet, rainbow trout and cantaloupe are all good choices in November as well.

I rig all of my trout grubs on 1/16oz, 1/8oz and 1/4oz jigs heads in colors red, gray or black; always use a fluorocarbon leader when trout fishing, I use Berkley Pro Spec twenty pound in clear, thirty pound if the blues show up in numbers.

Don't count out live bait if you enjoy fishing with it. Try live smaller mullets, mud minnows and live shrimp. In shallow waters of two to five feet I like to float these live baits with a cork and a small treble hook. In deeper waters of six to ten plus I rig them on light Carolina rigs with a small number one J-hook (EC L42). Just wait until you feel that trout take off with the bait and lightly set the hook, remember trout have very soft mouths slow hook sets work best!

Here is one of my best tips I can give you for Speckled trout fishing around the Wrightsville area in November. The water gets clear, sometimes very clear around Southeast NC in November. I always use Fluorocarbon leaders for Speckled trout fishing; for artificial as well as live bait fishing! You will catch more trout using fluorocarbon leader; trust me! I use Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader material in twenty and thirty pound test. Give it a try; you'll be happy you did! *PS: Also keep your eyes peeled for trout with yellow or red belly tags, I've tag a fair amount from south Topsail to Carolina beach inlet this year and last. Yellow tags are worth $5 and Red tags are worth $100!

The bigger Reds start to show up in the ocean on hard bottoms and around the inlets during September and run until later November; this year has been a epic early fall Bull Red bite. 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 a TroKar AP 8/0 or 9/0 circle hook and eighty pound Berkley Big game mono leaders. Don't forget to keep your drag tight when using circle hook so they will do their 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.

If you like to catch Bluefish there are just about as many as you like around during November. Fishing around and just outside of the inlets you can catch just about all the Blues you want in the one to four pound range. Casting metal jigging spoons or diamond jigs is a no brainer for getting some Bluefish. Just look for the birds working and cast in that area. Watch those teethe Blues they do bite hard!

Tackle run down: PENN Battle II & Clash Spinning reels sizes 2000, 2500 & 3000 for the Speckled trout. Rods PENN Battalion in 6'6" & 7' med/light and medium action; line Spiderwire Ultra-cast in eight, ten and fifth-teen pound. Bull Reds PENN Fathom 20LW and PENN Rampage Jigging Rods.

Keep your eyes on my FaceBook page for I'll be releasing the two dates of my inshore fishing school this month. I'll have one school day on a March Saturday and one on an April Saturday. This school is limited to 32 anglers each date and it will sell out within two days of release date.

Thanks for reading, good luck fishing and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Capt. Jot Owens

PENN Reels Elite Staff


Fish Species: Speckled trout
Bait Used: Berkley Gulp, MirrOlure, Saltwater Assassin
Tackle Used: PENN Rods and Reels
Method Used: Casting
Water Depth:
Water Temperature: 67` to 72`
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:

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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