Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – Sep 13, 2018

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that the citation drum bite downriver highlights most reports, with anglers both soaking bait and throwing soft plastics under popping corks catching fish. Seems no one way has been better this year, but anglers report that using louder corks have worked well on the rougher, high wind days.

Flounder are being caught on 4” Gulp shrimp and Z-Man soft plastics. The fish have seemed to favor pearl white colors. With most fish still being shallow, no more than 1/4 oz. jig heads are needed, with Z-Man Head Lock jigs being a great lure.

Speckled trout seem to be a little behind their schedules this year, probably because of the water being so hot. However, anglers are finding a few fish working back in the creeks.


Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that large “old” drum (to 49”) have been biting well on the lower end of the Neuse River and out into the sound. Popping cork fishing has lasted well into the day with the great weather anglers have been experiencing. Storm Coastal soft plastics in the 5” size have been the top producer.

A new trend on recent trips has been the amount of fish caught on the fly. Anglers have been using 10 wt rods and a Poppin’ Fly rig paired with a Lil’ Haden pattern fly.

Anglers soaking fresh mullet are catching some of the big reds around the same shoals.

Chris Aydlett holds a 51″ bull red that he hooked with a jig under a Fathom Inshore popping cork in the Neuse River.

James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that it has been an old drum bonanza on the lower Neuse River in the past few weeks. Anglers have enjoyed catching fish with the popular popping cork method of fishing. Bomber and Blabbermouth corks have seemed to have great success this year when paired with Z-Man soft plastics. Scent is always key in fishing, and lathering the baits up with Pro-Cure has really helped hookup ratios.

For anglers up around New Bern, the striper bite is very steady. Topwater plugs have worked early, but higher water temperatures have the fish a little sluggish mid-day. The cure to that has been soft plastics fished a little deeper down the structure.


Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that “old” drum fishing has been great downriver past Oriental. Anglers have using fresh mullet and picking off fish around the drop-offs and shoals. Popping cork setups have worked well, especially when the anglers find bait schools in these same areas.

Smaller founder are being caught around docks and stumps along the shore. Gulp and Z-Man scented soft plastics in white have been catching a majority of fish. Z-Man is sometimes favored in the summer months to avoid losing tails to the “bait stealers.”

Some trout have begun to be reported, and the coming weeks should have more anglers targeting them around creek mouths.


Guion, of Green Creek Outfitters, reports that big red drum have been biting very well. Popping cork action has been good from daybreak until mid-morning. With all the new bait in the region, the drum have been scattered, with no particular side of the river better than the other. Big Z-Man Paddle TailZ and DOA Pogies have both been working great, with the trick being to slather your baits with as much Pro-Cure scent as possible.

Twilight anglers are picking up a big red or two on fresh cut baits. With this moon cycle, the middle of the night has seemed best.

Donald Dudley, from Wilson, NC, with an old drum that he caught on a popping cork in Oriental. He was fishing with Capt. Kevin Dewar, of Three D Charters.

Richie, of Eastside Bait and Tackle, reports that flounder and black drum have been feeding well around the Pungo for anglers targeting the shoreline structure. Carolina-rigged live or fresh shrimp has worked for both species.

Citation red drum are being reported down by the sounds. The fish had been working the shallow areas of the shoals, but recent trips are seeing the fish move into water in the 8-9’ range. Large popping cork setups are still the favorite rigs around schools of menhaden. Night fishing with Lupton rigs and fresh mullet has caught some fish as well.

Some smaller speckled trout are being caught on popping cork setups with Gulp or Z-Man MinnowZ soft plastics.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that down towards the sounds, anglers are focused on the citation red drum bite. Good amounts of bait have pushed in far enough, and searching around the shoals with popping cork rigs is working well for finding fish.

The night bite on these big red drum is going strong as well, with fresh cut baits being key to catching a fish or two. Anglers should check baits often, as much of the bait goes to the rays and “bait stealers” in the area.

Stripers can be caught farther upriver working schools of bait around shoreline structure.