Pamlico – June 22, 2017
Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers casting Z-Man and Gulps around Rose Bay in Swan Quarter are hooking in to good numbers of flounder and speckled trout. Targeting the marsh banks in the Pamlico River has produced a solid puppy drum bite while fishing cut mullet and Z-Man plastics.
The Hobucken Bridge has been keeping anglers busy with steady black drum action. They’re mostly using fresh shrimp.
When casting along sandy banks near the mouth of the river, flounder have been present and willing to take white Gulp plastics. Many fish have been short, but some landed this week have been in the 18-20” range.
Todd, of Neuse River Bait & Tackle, reports that puppy drum fishing has been consistent and strong. Slot-sized reds have been actively feeding in the Neuse River, especially around structure such as docks, old pilings, stumps, and lay overs (such as trees that have fallen into the water). You can cover a lot of ground by throwing soft plastics, such as Z-Man MinnowZ and Gulps (white with chartreuse tail). Bait fishermen, though, may be putting up better numbers of fish with chunks of crab on the bottom.
The flounder continue to run small, but anglers are able to cull out a couple of keepers. The best tactic has been live finger mullet on the bottom and working the shorelines in about 5-6’ of water. Soft plastics bounced on the bottom have also been producing a few fish.
The speckled trout are starting to return to area creeks. The fish have still been running mostly smaller, but this new wave of returning fish has increased the average size of the fish a little. Shrimp imitations under popping corks have been the most productive, especially keel-weighted artificials (like the 3” Vudu shrimp).
Stripers are still around, and the most exciting way to target this species has been on topwaters (such as Skitterwalks) in the morning hours.
Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that the striper bite in the Neuse River towards New Bern has been consistent, with many fish in the 16-25” range. Stripers are falling for topwater baits or Storm plastics worked under a popping cork. Redfish have also been biting well upriver, and they are mixed in the same areas with the stripers and have been under to lower-slot.
Speckled trout have been willing to take soft plastics rigged on lead heads and under popping corks, and the occasional fish will strike topwaters. The best habitat has been in the lower part of the Neuse River. Most fish have been under-sized, but a few citations have been landed as well.
Flounder and a few stripers have also been in the mix in the lower part of the river. Most of the flatfish are undersized, but a few keepers have been landed.
Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that anglers fishing the Pamlico and Neuse rivers are having double digit days on stripers. Topwater baits have been the best way to boat these fish. Red drum fishing has also been consistent in these areas, and most reds are hitting topwaters, plastics, and live and cut baits.
Flounder numbers are on the rise in the area, and live bait as well as plastics have worked equally well. Most fish are on the short side, and approximately 1 out of 12 fish has been over the legal limit.
Anglers looking for speckled trout in the Pamlico and Neuse rivers have had to do some searching, but when finding the schools, they are having high number days well in to the double digits. The trout have been picky, so changing baits often to figure out what they are keyed in on has been a must. Anglers willing to change from plastics, to hard baits, to swim baits are finding the most success.
James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that double digit days (up to 40+ fish) on redfish and striper have kept anglers busy. Topwater action has been the most effective method for landing larger reds and stripers in the 25-30” range, and Zara spook topwaters have been the plugs of choice. Shallow areas across from deeper pockets of water have held the best numbers of fish. When the fish aren’t eating on top, Egret wedgetail plastics rigged under a popping cork are doing the trick.
Speckled trout are also feeding well along the banks of the Neuse River. Z-Man MinnowZ rigged on a 3/16 oz. Trout Eye jig head has been the top bait for the specs. Working these baits off the bottom or under a popping cork has been getting the job done. Anglers have found great numbers of fish, but most are on the short side. Those willing to pick through the smaller ones have been rewarded with a few trout hitting the 3 lb. mark.
Dave, of Knee Deep Custom Charters, reports that speckled trout fishing has been fair along deeper marsh banks, and fish have ranged anywhere form 12-20”. Most fish have been landed on D.O.A. plastics worked off the bottom.
Red drum have also been mixed in the same areas, but most fish are under-slot to lower-slot. Drum and trout are holding better on windblown banks where bait is being pinned up.
Flounder have been feeding in the area as well. The flounder are mostly short, but a few keepers have been landed. Focusing on sandy bottom banks and bays has been the key to catching flatfish.