Pamlico – December 14, 2017
Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that trout fishing has really fired up, with the majority of fish moving into the creeks off of the Pamlico River. Most of the trout have been in the 16-19” range, but multiple fish in the 5-7 lb. range have also been landed. Casting MirrOlures has been the ticket to landing the better quality fish.
The upriver striper bite continues to be strong. Trolling with diving plugs or casting Rattletraps has produced the most action.
Moving deeper into the winter, look for the trout fishing to continue to produce quality fish. Slowing down your retrieve in the colder months is key. The striper bite should also continue to improve with the dropping water temperatures.
Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing remains strong in the Neuse River and area creeks. Many anglers are having double digit days of keeper-sized fish when using MirrOlures and soft plastics. Darker and more natural colors have worked better with the clear water that has moved in. Many fish have been over the 5 lb. mark.
A few flounder are being landed when trout fishing. The flounder have been a mix of under-sized and keeper-sized fish.
Striper fishing has been excellent up towards the New Bern area. Anglers have landed the stripers on topwater plugs, swim baits, live eels, and live minnows. Limits of fish have been easy to come by, and anglers have found plenty of slot-sized fish in the mix.
Heading into the winter, the redfish bite should slow down, as most of the fish will be headed for the ocean. The trout fishing, however, should remain strong through these colder months. Anglers targeting deeper holes in the backs of creeks will find the most action. Remember: as the water continues to cool down, retrieve lures slower to draw a strike.
Flounder should also hang around through the winter, and anglers will pick them up when fishing plastics slowly off the bottom.
The striper bite typically improves as the water temperature drops, so the striper action will remain strong right into the spring.
Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that with winter weather approaching, the crappie bite has turned on. Anglers fishing up the Neuse River have found good numbers of fish when tossing jigs on ultra-light rods.
The striper bite has remained strong. Anglers have had luck landing limits of fish on soft plastics and topwater plugs. Largemouth bass are also feeding in some of the same areas with the stripers. Pitching jigs around structure has been a great way to hook them.
Speckled trout are hanging around. The bite remains steady, but working your baits slower has been the key to drawing strikes.
Moving into the winter, the striper bite should continue to improve, with fish schooling up in better numbers.
Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that the creeks off of the lower Neuse River have produced a mix of speckled trout, redfish, and flounder. Soft plastics, suspending hard baits, and popping cork rigs have all produced fish.
Upriver towards New Bern, the striper and trout bite has been hot. Soft plastics on jig heads, topwater plugs, Rattletraps, and suspending baits have all worked well.
Look for the striper bite to improve upriver throughout the winter. Downriver, the creeks off of the Neuse River should provide action with speckled trout until the water temperature hits around 48 degrees.
Dave, of Knee Deep Custom Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing has improved with the cooling water temperatures. Good numbers of smaller fish have been landed, but some quality fish are in the mix as well. Targeting deeper holes in the creeks as the day warms up has been the best way to find the trout. D.O.A. shad tails on light jig heads have worked best.
Striper fishing has also been consistent in the Neuse River. The early morning topwater bite remains strong, and the Storm Arashi Cover Pop has been the go-to plug.
James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the cooling temperatures have the bait headed deeper. Anglers targeting ledges and transitions holding bait have found the most action. Striper, speckled trout, redfish, and largemouth bass have all been feeding well near these bait pods.
Suspending baits (like MirrOlure MR17s and Yo-Zuri 3D Minnows) have done the trick. Soft plastics like the Z-Man Trout Tricks and Trick Shots have also worked well. Slowing down the tempo when fishing has been the best way to draw strikes.
Looking to the winter, anglers targeting deeper water adjacent to shallow flats should find fish willing to feed. Stepping down your lure size and slowing down your presentation are the best methods for yielding good results.
Grey, of Hyde Guides, reports that speckled trout fishing is still providing anglers with plenty of action. Good numbers of quality fish are being landed near the creeks and mud flats. Most of the puppy drum have moved into the Pamlico Sound and are holding near sand bars and muddy creeks.
As for the winter months, the speckled trout bite should remain steady until the water temperature dips under 50 degrees. Puppy drum will feed best as the sun warms the muddy bottoms they want to feed on. Tossing a Johnson Silver Minnow spoon should do the trick on the reds.
Those wanting to target striper should check out the mouth of the Roanoke River, Alligator River, and Albemarle Sound.
Anglers looking for bottomfish should check out the wrecks in the Pamlico Sound. They typically hold black drum, black sea bass, and tautog during the winter months.