Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – Aug 16, 2018

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that redfish have been biting well in the Neuse River. Good numbers of slot-sized fish are being caught on cut baits and Gulp soft plastics around structure on the shoreline. Anglers have had better success in the areas around Oriental.

Citation red drum have been the bite that most anglers are searching for. The shoals around Oriental have been producing some good numbers of early season fish. Cut bait on Lupton rigs work great, and some anglers look to fish large popping cork setups on calmer days.

Speckled trout have been reported, but the bite hasn’t been great. The hot water temperature seems to make the fish a bit sluggish. Fishing a little deeper has been better for generating bites, and MirrOlure plugs work great for getting into the middle water column.

Flounder are being caught on soft plastics and Carolina-rigged live baits around structure.

Striped bass fishing has been good early in the morning, with the overcast days providing anglers with the best topwater action.


Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that the “trophy” citation red drum fishing is great and the main focus of recent trips. The tried and true popping cork setup with a 5” Storm Coastal GT bait has worked great while targeting schools of bait pushed up onto the ledges of the shoals around Oriental. Even fly anglers have got in on some of this action, with a Pop-N-Fly rig as the fly presentation of choice.

Slot red drum and flounder are around some of the shoreline structure and grass points. Weedless-rigged 4-5” soft plastics work great when bounced along the bottom.

Up around New Bern, anglers are focused on the early topwater bite for striped bass. Structure holding bait has been key in finding these smaller schools of fish.

KJ Crawford, of Nags Head, NC, with a striper that he caught on a Halo Shad.

James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the striped bass bite has been hot around New Bern, with early morning topwater action being most anglers’ main focus. Fishing around stump beds and shoreline structure has been productive with “walk the dog” plugs.

There are good numbers of red drum being caught down around Oriental. The shorelines have held good numbers of slot-sized fish, but anglers this time of year are looking forward to the “old” drum bite.

A couple of scattered trout are being caught around the creek mouths.

Flounder fishing has been steady, and the size of these fish has been nice for the time of year. Soft plastics fished on the bottom along grass banks and near structure have been productive on recent trips.


Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that citation red drum fishing has been good in the lower area of the river. Anglers using popping cork rigs early and Carolina-rigged baits later in the day are having the best chance at bites.

A couple of tarpon have been reported in the same areas as the citation drum. Tarpon (and the red drum) are following the large schools of menhaden. Cut baits fished on the bottom have worked best for the anglers lucky enough to hook a silver king.

Flounder have been biting well around creek mouths and grassy points. Casting 5” jerk shad soft plastics toward structure and dropping it off a shallow ledge has worked great for anglers targeting the flatfish.


Richie, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that rockfish have been biting well upriver. Fishing has been great for anglers throwing topwater plugs early before the sun gets too high.

Speckled trout fishing has been not much short of invisible recently, with hot water temperatures slowing the fish down. The trout didn’t leave, but not a lot of anglers target them this time of year.

Some keeper-sized flounder are being caught on live Carolina-rigged mud minnows on the grassy points and drop-offs on the shoreline around Swan Quarter. The 2-6’ water depths have been the best areas for anglers targeting the flatfish.

Citation red drum action continues to get better as we move into August, and a couple of tarpon are being reported around Pungo and into the sound. Large cut baits on Carolina rigs work great in targeting these trophy fish around the shoals.

Jimmy Robson with a 42″ bull red that fell for a 5″ paddle tail under a popping cork in the Neuse River.

Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that the topwater striped bass bite hasn’t slowed and the stable weather has made it easier to find the bait working the shoreline.

Keeper flounder are being caught along creek mouths on soft plastics fished along the bottom.

Towards the mouth of the river, a few tarpon and better numbers of citation red drum are being reported hanging around the shoals.