Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – April 11, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that anglers are catching good numbers of speckled trout from the creeks in the lower Neuse around Oriental. The warmer water temperatures have the fish active, and soft plastics rigged with popping corks and topwater plugs are getting most of the bites. The trout have been staging anywhere from the middle of the creek out to the main river.

Striped bass have been hitting topwater plugs around shoreline structure in New Bern. The bite has not been consistent as a result of the cold fronts that keep coming through, but stable weather will change that.

Justin Sienkiel, of Jacksonville, NC, with a striper that fell for a Z-Man soft plastic. He was fishing the New Bern area with Capt. James Holloway, of Neuse River Adventures.

James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that speckled trout have been biting well, with the weather beginning to stabilize along the coast. Anglers are finding double-digit numbers of these 16-20” fish in the creeks off the Neuse from New Bern to Oriental. Z-Man MinnowZ soft plastics fished under popping corks have been working well for anglers casting to wind-blown points and ledges in the creek.

A few puppy drum are mixed in with the trout, and they’re also hitting soft plastics.

Striped bass are being caught in good numbers off the structure surrounding New Bern. Most fish are being caught on soft plastics and bucktails while fishing lower in the water column, but that should change in the next couple weeks. New Bern is the location of hot topwater striper action that usually begins in mid-April, and a steady weather pattern should keep the arrival of that bite on schedule.


Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that the speckled trout bite has been on fire. Anglers are catching close to triple digit numbers of fish, with a good number of legal trout (up to 20”) in the mix. Storm soft plastics and popping corks have been working great, with some anglers getting in on the fly fishing action using a Pop-N-Fly rig.

Stripers are in the same creeks, and they’re also hitting soft plastics. The stripers, though, are more focused around structure such as stumps and docks. Another long warm weather stretch should have these fish hitting topwater baits, a popular spring tactic for stripers around New Bern.

A few flounder are being caught when anglers are keeping their baits on the bottom using heavier jig heads.


Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that speckled trout are being caught with success in the creeks around the lower Neuse. Anglers are reporting good numbers of keepers, as both the spikes and larger fish work their way out to the main river. Live baits have landed some of the bigger fish, but Z-Man and D.O.A. soft plastics under a popping cork produce quantity.

There are scattered puppy drum in these same creeks, and anglers have run across a few smaller schools while working flats along the shoreline.

Striped bass are biting further upriver around New Bern, and anglers report some beginning to strike topwater plugs. Casting towards structure in the 4-6’ depths will help hookup ratios as the season goes on.


Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout have been biting great in creeks around the lower Neuse. Anglers are reporting double-digit numbers of fish, with some citations (up to 28”) being landed. Soft plastics fished on 3/16 oz. jig heads or under popping corks are working great, with white and Z-Man’s natural “pinfish” colors both being popular.

A few slot red drum are hitting soft plastics in the creeks around Oriental.

Stripers are biting around New Bern for anglers searching around structure with topwater plugs. This warmer weather will have the fish more active, and seeing all three species (trout, stripers, and red drum) hitting topwater baits will become more common in the coming weeks.

Kathy Rose confidently displays a trout she caught on a D.O.A. shrimp. She was fishing the local creeks around Oriental with her son, Capt. Jennings Rose, of North State Guide Service.

Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that the rockfish bite has been steady. Warmer weather is getting the stripers more active, and anglers are catching them while casting topwater plugs along structured shorelines.

Good-sized speckled trout (up to 20”) are feeding in the creeks as they begin to work their way out into the main river. Gulp and Z-Man MinnowZ soft plastic swimbaits on 1/4 oz. jig heads and MirrOlure MR-17s have the trout biting.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that striped bass are biting well on the Roanoke River. Anglers are finding about a 50-50 keeper to non-keeper ratio when locating these smaller schools in the current breaks. Yee Ha Mr. Wags and Little Thumper swimbaits have been working well, and the fish haven’t been particular to any one color.

With the shad spawn coming to an end, the striper bite should get better, as anglers will see less baits in the water to compete with their offerings.

The lower Pamlico River has been seeing a good run of speckled trout in the 18” range. With the temperatures changing, these trout are moving out of the creeks and staging at the creek mouths to the main river. Fishing soft plastics under a popping cork has been the go-to method to anglers’ success.