The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 26, 2012

Cold weather trout fishing is for the Hale and Hardy souls

Rick Goines

TARBORO — Lucky me, I have three speckled trout outings on my calendar this week. I could go every day, but I am afraid Wifey would change the locks on the doors, and the menagerie of dogs and cats at our house would forget who I am.

My newest fishing buddy, Greg Bottoms, kicked his recent flu bug in the hindquarters, and was ready to chase some speckled trout. Two things in life you only need to ask me once. Ready to eat, and do you want to go fishing? My response is always a predictable affirmative.

It was bone-chilling cold, windy, and raining off and on all day Monday. Most intelligent, reasonable people would be seeking shelter and comfort. Not me! I was as happy out there in those dicey elements as a fat man at an AYCE buffet.

No matter whatever is the temp on land, it is always going to be a few degrees cooler on the water. The older I get, the colder I get, so I had on about three layers of clothes. I looked like the Michelin Man.

We put in at Lee’s Landing near Reelsboro in Pamlico County at oh-dark-thirty.

MirrOlure’s MR-17 was our choice of offering, and Electric Chicken and 808’s were the flavors of the day. At day’s end, the weather had beaten us up a little, but we had our hard earned two-man limit of eight pretty Specs. It was not the easiest fishing I have ever done, but it was fun, and I am ready for an encore performance. Greg says the Friday after Turkey Day looks promising. Count me in, pal!

My mid-week spec outing was with angling expert Wayne Harrell, who is always a pleasure to fish with, and a real fish magnet. Again, it was a little frosty out there before sunrise. We tried our luck in the Pungo River. MirrOlures were not working, so Wayne switched us to 4” Green Bass Assassins that resulted in a mixed bag of speckled trout (5 keepers), Rockfish, Puppy Drum, and a courageous jumbo white perch that smacked my MR-17 with authority and attitude. Another beautiful day on the water!

Wayne-O will retire at years end, and that’s bad news for the fish population, but good news for his fishing friends. Wayne has a confirmed reservation for a space next to me at the River Road “shad hole” in Tarboro. The extra good news is Harrell’s grandson, Cam, eventually gets a full-time first-rate hands-on fishing instructor; boat, equipment, and expertise included. What a lucky kid!

I saw my good friends, Bobby and Phyllis Mason, out on the water catching Specs. The Masons had a 20-plus fish day. Of course, most of those were catch & release. Bobby is an exceptional angler and a Tight Lines cohort during shad and rockfish season.

Rick’s Soapbox: TASS Toys For Tots Speckled Trout Tournament is going full blast. A field of 30 trout chasers is out and about. As of Thanksgiving Day, John Dupree is on top of the leader board with a 3.12-pound spec. Final weigh-in is Saturday with a 3 p.m. cutoff. Tight Lines predicts somebody will bring to the scale a 4-plus pounder or larger before the fat lady sings. The waters are full of trout, and my guess is somebody is going to fool a big’n.

Care to share? Tight Lines welcomes your fish snaps, tall tales, and outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!