Pamlico – August 3, 2017
Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout and flounder have been the main targets in the sound lately. Those tossing a Gulp 4” white croaker or 3” pearl white and chartreuse tail shrimp have been having the best luck. Many areas have been productive all over the sound, but the Swan Quarter area has probably generated the largest numbers of fish.
Tarpon have shown up in the sound in good numbers, and a few fish have come up the Pamlico River. Big drum are continuing to make their arrival and should be holding in better numbers each week.
Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that tarpon have shown up in the Neuse River in large numbers. Several fish have been landed so far, and the biggest one went 185 lbs.
The citation redfish have made their way back into the Neuse, with increasing reports of releases every day. Anglers targeting the lower part of the river near breaks, shoals, and large concentrations of bait are having the most luck. Fresh cut mullet has been getting the job done, but some fish have been landed on popping cork rigs.
Slot redfish and striper have been holding near the bait balls in the river. Topwater walk-the-dog style baits and swimbaits have worked best to land good numbers of both species. The early morning and late afternoon hours have been the most productive.
Anglers targeting speckled trout have seen scattered fish in many locations, but the larger fish have been landed along the river. Most fish have been tempted by live mud minnows and croakers fished under a cork or on the bottom. Several citation trout have been weighed in.
Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that large amounts of bait have made their way into the Neuse River, and the trophy redfish have followed them. Yee Ha swimbaits under Blabber Mouth Popping Corks have been the best way to catch citation redfish.
Flounder have been feeding well in the river. Live bait on Carolina rigs has been the best way to hook the flatfish, but jerk shads bounced on the bottom have worked well, too.
Speckled trout and puppy drum have been holding near marsh banks and structure. Soft plastics under popping corks have been the ticket to hooking limits of fish.
Dave, of Knee Deep Custom Charters, reports that the topwater bite for trout, drum, and stripers has been awesome in the early mornings before the sun gets high. The DOA PT-7 and Storm Chug Bug have been especially successful topwater lures.
Stripers have been very active, with plenty of fish being hooked along shorelines and around docks. To help locate feeding fish, keep a lookout for shrimp showering. Jigging soft plastics, such as the DOA CAL baits and TerrorEyz work great, as well as the Deadly Combo shrimp.
The big drum have made a showing, but the bite isn’t yet on fire. Any day it could spark, though, as large numbers of bait are steadily moving into the river. Keep a rig ready (such as the DOA Popping Cork rig), as the opportunity can pop up at any time. Find bait, ease in quietly, and then make noise with the cork.
James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that menhaden, shrimp, and mullet have shown up in the Neuse River and surrounding tributaries in large numbers. Upriver near New Bern, the redfish and striper bite has been solid. Working topwater lures and shrimp imitations (like Vudu, Z-Man, and Savage Gear) have worked best.
Swimbaits rigged under a popping cork have also been a good way to catch limits of fish.
Grey, of Hyde Guides, reports that flounder fishing has turned on in the Swan Quarter area, as many fish in the 16-24” range are being landed. Fishing live minnows on Carolina rigs near sand bottom has been the go to method for flatfish.
Puppy drum are holding around rock structure in the sound and have been willing to hit topwater plugs as well as Gulp and Z-Man plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads.
In the evenings, speckled trout have been staging near deep water points where the water is a few degrees cooler. On some days, anglers have caught 50-60 fish in the 12-16” range, but many larger fish are present (with even a few citations mixed in). Topwater has been working best in the morning and evening hours, and then during the day, soft plastics are the ticket.
A few schools of spanish and bluefish are also feeding in the sound.