Pamlico/Neuse – July 19, 2018
Bobby, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that redfish are being caught all the way up into New Bern. Both cut baits and soft plastics are producing fish.
Citation red drum are being caught around the shoals towards the mouth of the Neuse on large cut baits.
Anglers fishing early in the morning are finding a hot topwater striped bass bite. Walk-the-dog style baits around structure have worked best.
A few speckled trout are being caught near the deeper structure on soft plastics under popping corks.
Flounder are feeding around grass beds and creek mouths and can be targeted using Carolina-rigged live mud minnows.
Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that citation red drum are already biting and are starting the season off well. Larger fish (to 45”) have been running the shoals throughout the day, and anglers fishing with popping corks and 4-5” Storm soft plastics are finding good action. Bottom fishing with Lupton rigs will also catch fish, but a popping cork provides much faster action and allows boats to “search” for the schools.
Large speckled trout (to 4 lbs.) are being caught under popping corks as well, but the trout have been more focused around shoreline structure.
Puppy drum and flounder are also actively biting around the shoreline structure.
The striped bass have been biting very well around New Bern, with the topwater anglers loving the fast action. Quite a few larger stripers (to 31”) have been caught on walk-the-dog baits fished around bait and structure.
James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that striped bass fishing in the Neuse River has been great, with fish hitting topwater plugs late into the mornings on most days. Finding schools of bait around structure has helped anglers in finding fish, and the calmer days have allowed anglers to spot the bait better. Heddon Super Spooks and Bomber topwater plugs are great lures for anglers looking to find some of this striper topwater action.
Some red drum are being caught farther up towards New Bern by anglers fishing soft plastics and Carolina-rigged live baits.
Flounder have been feeding well around creek mouths and points.
Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that flounder fishing has been great in the river. The creek mouths and ledges are really producing a good number of fish. Live bait works great, but anglers that want more action can work 5” jerk baits paired with 1/2 oz. jig heads. Staying connected to the bottom really helps the bite ratio.
Red drum fishing has been great, with most fish being caught on live baits.
Citation red drum numbers are getting better as the season moves in. The schools are pushing upriver along the shoals, feeding on the bar early in the day and then along the drop-offs as the sun gets higher. Anglers can search out these fish under bait balls while being rigged with large 5-6” soft plastics under a heavy duty popping cork.
Bait fishing with large cut baits and Lupton rigs has also caught some big reds.
Richie, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that good numbers of flounder are being caught around the docks and structure along the main river. Carolina-rigged live baits have been working well for a lot of anglers, especially with the high water temps. The sluggish fish have seemed to not prefer a soft plastic, and the soft plastics work even less when retrieved at a fast pace.
A few speckled trout are being caught by those using soft plastic shrimp baits and Gulps under popping cork rigs.
Rockfish are feeding early and late in the day on schools of bait along the shoreline. Spook topwater plugs have been a local favorite for generating some good action.
Citation red drum are being reported around bait schools towards the sound by anglers bait fishing around the ledges.
Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that the Roanoke River striped bass are on their way back into the Albemarle Sound, and this is some of the best action all year. The fishery is catch and release only, but the bite is hot as these fish are hungry and not picky as they come down from the breeding grounds. Casting topwaters up on the banks works great in the morning, but a weed less rigged soft plastic is a great all-day lure to generate action.
The Pamlico River stripers have been more focused on that topwater bite.
More flounder are being caught as they push up from the sound. The structure along the banks has been holding some good-sized fish.