Pamlico Winter 2013-2014
Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that anglers are connecting with good numbers of striped bass in the Neuse River near New Bern, and the action on the Trent River should be picking up over the coming weeks. Some fish are falling for topwater plugs in the afternoon hours, but most have been taking D.O.A. soft plastics on leadheads around structure in 6-18’ of water. Smaller baits and slower presentations will help anglers stay on the bite on colder days. Some flounder, puppy drum, and panfish are feeding in the same areas and biting the soft plastics as well, and the action should hold up through January even if the temperatures get cold.
Dave, of Knee Deep Custom Charters, reports that anglers are seeing speckled trout move into the warmer waters in the back of creeks off the lower Neuse River, and the trend will continue as the mercury falls further. The specks aren’t feeding very aggressively so strikes are light and anglers need sensitive tackle in order to maximize their hookups. Soft plastic baits like D.O.A. CALs on 1/8 jigheads are some of the best lures to target the cold weather specks, and working them extremely slowly is imperative to success. Some hard lures like Rapala Twitchin’ Raps and Storm Twitchin’ Sticks are also effective, but anglers must again be able to work them slowly.
Upriver, there’s some solid striped bass action around the bridges and other structure of the Neuse and Trent Rivers near New Bern (with fish ranging 12-30”+). Soft plastics like D.O.A. Airhead and CAL baits fished on jigheads and weighted hooks are the most productive baits, and bouncing them around ledges and other structure is the way to hook up. Anglers can also cast wobblehead swimbaits in shallow water or around the bridges and work topwater plugs around fish feeding on the surface with success.
The striped bass action should hold up for months to come. Anglers should remember to be particularly cautious while winter fishing, as cold water and air temperatures can turn a relatively minor situation into a life-threatening one in a hurry.
Mitch, of FishIBX.com, reports that anglers are seeing some solid striped bass action on the Pamlico River around Washington and Chocowinity right now. The fish are falling for soft plastic swimbaits and other lures, and anglers are hooking them both while working deeper water in the 20’ range and around stump fields and other structure in 5-10’.
There’s also excellent wintertime striped bass action on the western Albemarle Sound, where anglers can hook big numbers of stripers (most 3-10 lbs.) on light casting gear and fly tackle, a bite that often lasts until springtime.
Richard, of Tar-Pam Guide Service, reports that anglers are hooking good numbers of striped bass while casting artificials in the Pamlico River.
There’s also been a solid speckled trout bite a bit further downriver, and like the stripers, the specks are pouncing on soft plastic lures anglers are working.
Isaiah, of East Side Tackle, reports that anglers are seeing some solid speckled trout action in the Pungo River (with a number of citation-sized specks). Most are falling for MR17 MirrOlures with a few on the new Paul Brown Soft Dine and soft plastic baits on jigheads.
Striped bass action around Washington is decent and improving, and cooler temperatures should make the bite even better. Anglers can troll lures like Rattlin’ Rogues or work bucktails and other lures around structure to connect with the stripers.