Fish Post

Pamlico – June 7, 2018

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that good numbers of red drum are working the flats and drop-offs around the river. Carolina-rigged cut bait and mud minnows have worked great, but active anglers have been using popping corks with soft plastics with success.

The topwater striped bass bite has still been good, with most anglers finding luck in the early hours before the winds pick up. Working structure around creek mouths with walk-the-dog baits like the Heddon Super Spook topwater plugs are great methods for local anglers.

Speckled trout are feeding on soft plastics fished under popping corks. All the extra run-off from the rain has stained the water, though, making the search for fish a bit harder.

Good numbers of flounder are being reported around grass beds and drop-offs in the river and creek mouths. A good percentage of these fish are keeper-sized (to 20”) and have been biting mud minnows well.


Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that red drum fishing has been excellent in the area. The lower end of the river (near Oriental) is producing good numbers of fish for anglers braving the weather. Popping corks matched with soft plastics or artificial shrimp have been top producing rigs and are a great search bait. A few “old” drum (to 46”) have hit some of these rigs on light tackle setups, making for an awesome battle.

Speckled trout are biting well in the creeks on the lower Neuse up through New Bern. Hard lures such as MirrOlure MR series have been working great for fish in the middle of the water column.

Striped bass are hitting topwater baits near structure around New Bern. Fishing early or late has been key to locking in on this bite.

Better numbers of flounder are being caught on recent trips.

Allen Heath with a pair of flounder caught on the Neuse River, one of which weighed in at almost 8 lbs.

James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the striped bass fishing around New Bern has been great. All of the rain being seen is not phasing the fish as they continue to work the schools of menhaden and mullet on the shoreline. The fish have been in a summertime pattern of hanging around the stump fields and main river points. Bombers and Heddon topwater plugs have been providing explosive hits.

Redfish in the area have been hitting these topwater baits as well, but popping corks with artificial shrimp have been working best on the smaller schools as they continue to flush out of the creeks.

Scattered speckled trout are being caught all the way up into New Bern, and a good bounce back year is anticipated after the harsh winter scare.


Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that striped bass fishing has been great all over the river. The topwater bite that anglers wait all year for has been in full swing. Fishing shoreline structure early and late in the day has been best for these reaction bites. A fast action has worked great with the Heddon Spooks and MirrOlure topwater plugs, but a good number of bites are coming on the pause. Anglers shouldn’t be surprised to feel their line go tight when they look away or are distracted.

Trout are being caught in these same areas, with the stripers also hitting the topwater plugs early in the morning. They have been the perfect example of a fish hitting on the pause while working baits back to the boat. Popping corks are also working well when paired with soft plastics and lighter jig heads.

Red drum have been reported in better numbers. Anglers upriver of Oriental are seeing a push of slot-sized fish up their way while working soft plastics around grass flats and drop-offs. A popular lure this time of year is the classic 3” white-colored Gulp shrimp on a 1/4 oz. jig head.

Citation red drum (to 50”) are being caught on the lower river, and anglers using Carolina-rigged cut mullet fished on the drop-offs around shoals have seen a few bites. There have been fish caught off popping cork set-ups, and as they continue to push in from the ocean, anglers expect to see this action continue.

A few flounder are being caught around the ledges in the main river. Gulp shrimp in white or white/chartreuse has worked great as long as the bait stays on the bottom.


Richie, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that flounder are being caught around the docks and structure along the shorelines. Matching a good drop-off next to structure has been concentrating the baits fighting all the new water run-off. Anglers are having success with 1/4 oz. jig heads matched with 4” Gulp shrimp soft plastics.

Scattered reports of speckled trout have been coming in recently, with a good number of the fish hitting Gulp mullet under popping corks. With the water stirred up, the fish have seemed to stay a couple feet below the surface. Casting MirrOlure MR17s always seems to work around grass banks and structure in the area.

Rockfish have continued to hit topwater lures along the shoreline. Finding baits flipping have really helped anglers key in on the bite.

A few puppy drum are being caught on Carolina-rigged mud minnows. Though anglers know the fish are there, the short weather windows have not helped the catch numbers.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that topwater fishing for striped bass is wide open on the river. On most days, anglers are catching upwards of 50 fish on walk-the-dog style hard baits. Heddon Spook and Spook Jrs. have been getting a bunch of blow-ups, and the fish seem to respond well to the rattle sound matched with the action. Points around creek mouths and structure on the banks have been holding these fish feeding on the schools of bait looking for cover.