Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – Aug 2, 2018

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David, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that redfish have been biting well all through the river. Good numbers of slot-sized fish are being caught on cut baits and Gulp soft plastics around structure on the shoreline. All the recent rain has anglers working areas closer to the mouth of the Neuse around Oriental.

A lot of “old” citation drum are being caught at the shoals around Oriental. Medium-heavy action rods paired with larger popping cork setups have been working great. A 2’ leader with a 5-6” soft plastic is standard fare for this great fishing.

Speckled trout are being caught along the grass lines on MirrOlure MR17s.

Keeper flounder have been landed on soft plastics and Carolina-rigged live baits around structure and drop-offs along the shoreline. The small drops from 2-6’ have been producing especially well.

Striped bass fishing has been great the last few weeks and hasn’t changed much with all the rain. The overcast weather has allowed anglers to fish topwater plugs deep into the mornings. Spook and Bomber “walk the dog” plugs are always great lures to work along and over those structured areas.

Will Cutler, of Wake Forest, with a striper that fell for a Zara Spook on the Neuse River. He was fishing with Capt. D. Ashley King, of Keep Castin’ Charters.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that trophy red drum fishing is great right now. Anglers are getting a lot of chances at some really big fish (to 48”) on popping cork rigs. A good soft plastic like the larger (4-5”) Storm baits and a stout rod are key to getting these fish hooked and released quickly. Weather hasn’t cooperated much with finding the bait schools on the surface, but anglers looking around the shoals are finding what they need.

Working the shoreline structure is producing slot-sized red drum and speckled trout for anglers using smaller popping cork setups.

Flounder are around drop-offs at creek mouths in the lower Neuse. Casting 1/4 oz. jig heads with 5” soft plastics and slowly bouncing the bottom are keys in boating some keeper fish.

The topwater action on striped bass is still good for anglers around New Bern. Fishing earlier in the mornings has been best for anglers working the shoreline structure. Once the fish stop hitting the topwater plugs, switching over to weedless-rigged soft plastics will keep the action going. Fishing weedless is key with all the snag-worthy structure hidden in that tanic water.


James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the weather hasn’t hampered the striped bass bite around New Bern. The advantage to the down weather is the fish don’t mind it and overcast skies allow for more time fishing the topwater bite. Heddon Spooks are a local favorite for “walk the dog” baits, and fishing around stump beds in the area has proven successful.

There are good numbers of red drum being caught downriver of New Bern. The influx of freshwater from all the storms has temporarily pushed them back with the bait, but some consistent weather will see the movement push in again. Soft plastics with a 1/4 oz. jig head are a great “search” bait when looking for these smaller schools.

Keeper flounder are feeding in similar areas as the slot reds. A slowly fished soft plastic or Carolina-rigged live baits work great in getting bites. The points on the shoreline have seemed to hold the best numbers of fish.


Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that red drum fishing has been good in the lower area of the river. Anglers using Carolina-rigged live baits are seeing the best action.

Good-sized flounder have been biting well around creek mouths and grassy points. Heavier (1/4 oz.) jig heads and 5” jerk shad soft plastics are a great setup to find quick action on these fish.

Citation-sized red drum are in the river moving along the drop-offs following baits. Anglers love using larger popping cork rigs with 5-6” soft plastics when targeting these fish.

Parker Koontz with an old red drum caught on a drum rig baited with fresh mullet. He was fishing with his father, Stanley, near New Bern.

Richie, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that striper fishing has been great for anglers out early before the daily storms. White and chartreuse-colored Heddon Spook plugs have been a good producer on recent trips.

Some good-sized flounder are being caught on mostly Carolina-rigged mud minnows on the grassy points. The lightest weight an angler can get away with has been key in not spooking these fish pushed up onto the shallows.

Speckled trout are around shoreline structures that are in the slightly deeper holes. Popping corks with 4” soft plastics and MirrOlure MR series baits have both produced fish.

Larger “old” drum and some tarpon are being reported around the mouth of the river into the sound. Bigger cut baits on Owen Lupton rigs fished along drop-offs have produced some bites.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that striped bass have been biting great through all this recent weather. The schools have stayed active throughout the day with all the cooler than normal weather keeping water temperatures down. Using topwater baits early then switching to weedless-rigged soft plastics in the afternoon is keeping anglers on the action all day.

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

Out in the sound, reports of schools of tarpon and citation red drum have anglers searching the shoals for bait. Some consistent weather should bring in better numbers of bites.