Pamlico – April 26, 2018
Richie, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout have been caught in creeks off the main river. Soft plastics on 1/8 oz. jig heads and suspending baits are both getting action. Many of the bites are still coming from deep holes in the creeks and up on mud flats when the sun is out.
Stripers are biting around docks and structure in the area, even with a majority of the fish being upriver for the spawn.
Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that striper fishing is “wide open” right now on the Roanoke River. Several classes of fish are headed to the spawning grounds and are feeding heavily along the way. With the water being cooler, Carolina rigging baits and fishing the drop-offs and turns in the river is working best. However, this may change any day with the water on a warming trend.
The lower area of the Roanoke is teaming with stripers more likely to hit artificial baits than those fish that are upriver. Fishing pressure in the area has a lot to do with this pattern. For a great topwater bite, look no further than the Pamlico River and all of its structured shoreline.
Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that striper fishing is in full swing right now, with fish from New Bern all the way upriver to their spawning grounds. The fish are doing a lot of moving around with the water temperature fluctuations but are feeding in areas with good structure such as docks and stump beds.
There are a few resident fish hanging out around creek mouths in the New Bern area. Most fish are being caught while bottom fishing with cut bait or with soft plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads. On the warmer days, look for stripers to be working banks of the main river. This is prime time to cast topwater baits, such as the Heddon Spook, and get a great reaction bite.
Speckled trout are being caught in good numbers in creeks and deeper areas of the main river. Most anglers are finding these fish to still be acting a bit sluggish with the colder water, but MirrOlure MR17s are a great lure to start with. Soft plastics, such as the Storm 360 GT and Z-Man MinnowZ, rigged weedless or on lighter 1/8-1/4 oz. jig heads are also producing bites for the area’s anglers. Adding a cigar-style popping cork to a soft plastic with a 14-16” fluorocarbon leader has worked for some nice catch and release fishing, too.
Quite a few flounder are being reported in numbers not usually seen this early in the season. Most are smaller 10-14” fish, but some legals are mixed in. Fishing shoals in the river and local boat docks are producing bites. The key to flounder fishing is to make sure and keep good contact with the bottom in the area you are fishing. Soft plastic jerk shads and paddle tails in the 4-5” size are always a great starting bait.
Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that there is a great speckled trout bite. Fish are being caught from Oriental all the way up through New Bern. Most have ranged from 12-17”, but there is a really nice class of larger-sized fish mixed in the bunch.
With all the attention on the Roanoke this time of year, anglers on the Neuse River are finding good numbers of stripers as well. River banks and structured areas are both producing great topwater action for anglers fishing “walk the dog” style baits, but a Storm soft plastic rigged weedless will catch almost anything.
A few puppy drum and flounder are mixed in with the daily catches, mostly coming off shallower grass banks and docks.
James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that stripers are biting well in the Neuse and expects the topwater bite to “pop off” any day with the weather beginning to stabilize. On the warmer, sunny days, targeting stump fields in 2-4’ of water with a Heddon Super Spook Jr. or MirrOLure Top Dog Jr. will prove effective. When the weather isn’t cooperating, fishing mud flats adjacent to main river channels and drop-offs is finding a few schools.
Some of these areas are slight grades (6-8’) while others drop more rapidly (from 10-15’). Rigging a Z-Man MinnowZ with a Z-Man Trout EyeZ jig head works well in enticing a bite. Using a quality rod, such as Temple Fork Outfitter, with fast action is very important in this situation to feel your bait connect with the bottom.
Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that the striper bite has been consistent in the river. Fish are being found from Oriental up through Spring Garden. Fishing Z-Man soft plastics near structure has been working great, but on warmer days, anglers have done very well on topwater baits such as the MirrOlure She Dog.
Speckled trout are being found in the creeks around New Bern and still tend to be located around dark, muddy bottoms that warm the fish on sunny days. MirrOlure MR17 is a great suspending lure that produces well in these conditions. The quick, flashy movement is key in getting a reaction bite.
Puppy and slot red drum are also being caught on banks of the area’s creeks and around docks by anglers fishing soft plastics.