Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – November 15, 2018

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that striped bass fishing has been good up through New Bern. Most of the action has been focused around the deeper holes in the main river, preferably near structure. Anglers have had the best luck using soft plastics fished with 1/4 to 1/2 oz. jig heads.
Speckled trout have been feeding well around Oriental. Anglers are finding large numbers of smaller trout mixed in with 16-20” fish. Working the shoreline with MirrOlure suspending lures and soft plastics are both generating bites. As of now, the action has been focused around the southern end of the river, but as the area gets more north and northeast winds, reports of fish will start coming from further up the river. For the New Bern area, as the salinity rises, so will the trout fishery.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing is fantastic on the Neuse. Trips are catching (easily) double digit numbers of keeper-sized fish (to 20+”) from a variety of areas on the river.
Getting out of the wind has been anglers’ first move. Once comfortable, working the shoreline and drop-offs from the main river all the way up the creeks will find action on the trout. Areas of clear water have tended to produce better odds of a hook-up. Depth hasn’t mattered much with so many fish around, but deeper holes have usually worked better later in the day. Soft plastics (shrimp and minnow) fished under a popping cork have been working great in generating strikes.

Robert Strickland, of Fuquay Varina, NC, with a speckled trout that fell for a 4″ Z-Man Deizel MinnowZ on a Z-Man Trout Eye Jighead. He was fishing around Oriental with Capt. Kevin Dewar, of Three D Charters.

Jordan, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that the Neuse and Bay rivers are holding good numbers of speckled trout. Anglers still report finding a high number of spike fish, but the amount of larger, quality trout has picked up. The recent rain seems to have pushed the trout back towards the main river from up in the creeks, but a few days of winds should have them settled right back into a normal pattern.
For the best numbers of fish, anglers are throwing popping cork setups with Z-Man, D.O.A. shrimp, and MirrOlure Lil’ John soft plastics. Early morning anglers have found a decent bite using topwater plugs, such as Heddon Spook Jrs. As the day wears on, the fish follow the sun: going into shallows early, and pushing into deeper holes in the afternoon.
A few flounder have been caught by anglers working their jigs along the bottom near the shoreline.
The puppy drum bite has been slow, and these reds are more of a by-product of anglers fishing for trout. At this time in the year, most of the larger redfish have left the area for the ocean.

Kyle, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers getting out early and working the shoreline structure with topwater plugs are finding some stripers. The smaller schools have been scattered, and dirty water has made locating bait tougher than normal.
Speckled trout have been biting well in the creeks a little farther downriver. Most fish have been caught while working sub-surface lures, such as soft plastics and suspending lures. MirrOlure MR-17, MR-18, and MR-27 in electric chicken colors are popular with local anglers.
A few legal flounder are being caught by anglers fishing for trout.

Jim Hawley, of Belhaven, NC, caught this over-slot red drum at the mouth of the Pungo River while fishing a Z-Man SwimmerZ under a popping cork.

Mitch, of FishIBX, reports that speckled trout are being caught in good numbers from the main river up through the deeper holes in the creeks. Anglers are finding their limits on most trips, with a lot of smaller spike bites to go along with it.
Striped bass have been chewing well. Many are small, but some larger fish are mixed in the counts.
Puppy drum are around but scattered, as they work their way up the creeks.
A few flounder have been caught, mostly as by-catch by anglers looking for trout.

Jeff, of Albemarle Fishing Charters, reports that striped bass have been biting well in the sound. The schools of fish haven’t quite formed into the larger schools seen later in the year, but this doesn’t hamper the bite.
The fish have been in deeper holes and are being caught while jigging Stingsilvers and Hopkins spoons. Anglers can find action while working around pilings and channel markers in 7+’ of water. In some of the shallower spots, fishing a Rat-L-Trap is a great lure to catch suspended fish.