This weather is one silly comedian. Last year was one of the coldest winters I have ever experienced in North Carolina, and so far this year has been almost the polar opposite. We had a few good cold fronts where 30 degree nights pushed the water temps down a few degrees, but it has still been nothing like last year. And as I type this on Christmas day, it is 78 degrees with 100 percent humidity. But knowing our fickle weather, a blizzard is surely on the way for next week's updated forecast.
The annual speckled trout run has responded in tune with the weather as usual. With the warmer temperatures, fish have been more scattered and are not schooling as tightly. The schools are widespread, too. You can find some quality fish in the back of a brackish creek, and at the same time a friend will find them in a tidal inlet 20 miles away. I have had the most success targeting structure such as docks, breakwaters, rip-rap, and primary and secondary points in coastal creeks. Suspending twitchbaits and shrimp patterns have been my best choices. I let water color decide my lure color, and I believe that proper presentation is one of the most important factors in catching scattered fish on artificial lures.
Coastal North Carolina is one of the windiest places in the country, and there is no doubt in my mind that paddling the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 has been paramount in finding these scattered fish. Traversing open water is a pleasure, and I have no trouble traveling from spot to spot when the wind comes up. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and New Year filled with screaming drags and massive head shakes.