Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – April 25, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that speckled trout have been biting well in the lower Neuse River creeks. Anglers are catching most of the trout on popping cork setups while fishing ledges and grass banks near creek mouths.

Striped bass are hanging around structure in the New Bern area, but recent weather has kept anglers from targeting them with topwater plugs.

Flounder are slowly moving into the area, and casting soft plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads to deeper grass banks has been productive for most anglers.

Colby Cummings with a 21″ speckled trout caught in the Pungo River using Betts halo shad.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that speckled trout have had a great spring, as anglers are seeing the fish move out of the creeks and cruising along the shorelines of the main river. Fishing soft plastics under popping corks has been producing double-digits numbers of trout in recent weeks. Topwater plugs have worked both early mornings and late afternoons on days with calmer winds, and fly fishing anglers have been having a blast with the trout, too, using a Pop ‘N Fly setup with shrimp pattern flies.

A few puppy drum are showing up on the banks, and they’re hitting the same soft plastics fished for trout.

Flounder are being caught, and a few more warm weather streaks should have anglers catching better numbers of larger fish.

Striped bass are still upriver past New Bern as they finish their spawn. Targeting them with topwater plugs tends to be productive in the coming weeks as they move in around structured shoreline on their way back down.


James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the bite on smaller “spike” speckled trout has been non-stop. The creek mouths on the lower part of the Neuse seem to be loaded with fish as they push their way into the main river. For numbers, anglers have found fishing soft plastics under a popping cork to be the most productive.

A few larger trout are mixed in. They’ve pushed into the river where working baits around shoreline structure and ledges can raise the chances of taking home fish.

Striped bass are staged around structure in New Bern, and on days of light winds, anglers can throw topwater plugs and get a few bites. Recent weather has had the bite slow, but this action is just beginning and only gets better over the next few weeks.

Puppy drum are moving into the lower Neuse with the bait, and they’re being caught in some of the creeks while fishing popping cork setups.

Mark Ziegelhofer, with a 4 lb. rockfish he caught early morning on a Lil John MirrOlure soft plastic. He was fishing in Slocum Creek with Capt. Joe Tunstall, of Carolina Traditions Guide Co.

Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that anglers are enjoying the hot action on speckled trout in the lower Neuse. The fish are just moving out of the creeks, and targeting the points and banks around creek mouths has been the most productive. Soft plastics under a popping cork has been great for numbers, and live baits fished on Carolina rigs can catch some larger fish.

Flounder are being reported in the area, and keeping baits along the bottom greatly raises hook-up percentages. This first showing of fish has been smaller, but the larger, legal fish aren’t far behind as warmer water pushes into the sound.

Puppy drum are being caught in the creeks on Z-Man and D.O.A. soft plastics.


Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout are feeding well in the creeks, with anglers fishing soft plastics reporting the best numbers. Popping cork rigs are also a productive setup as anglers search the shoreline and deeper banks for the trout. A few have been caught on topwater plugs, but the water is only just getting warm enough to see this action. The next few weeks should produce more trout falling for the topwater bite.

Slot-sized red drum are in the creeks in the lower Neuse, and they’re hitting soft plastics fished on heavier 1/4 oz. jig heads.

Flounder are starting to show in the area, and as more bait pushes in, anglers anticipate seeing the numbers go up. Look for these fish to be hanging around points and grass banks along the shoreline of the main river.

Striped bass are in the creeks around structured areas. Anglers are finding soft plastic paddle-tail baits to be the most productive, but look forward to days with light winds to fish topwater plugs.


Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout have been biting well in the creeks on the lower Pamlico. Anglers have had success with soft plastics fished on 1/4 oz. jig heads under popping corks. Color hasn’t seemed to make a difference, but paddle-tail style baits that flutter in the current have been popular. Some trout are still hitting MirrOlure plugs, but the warming water temperatures is getting the action to speed up and move towards a topwater bite.

A few flounder are being caught on soft plastics worked along the bottom off grass points in the river. Anglers are reporting most fish being shorts, but they anticipate that to change in the next few weeks as more bait schools bring more and bigger flounder into the area.

Rockfish are around structure further upriver, though not many anglers have been targeting them with the hot trout bite happening.

Anglers expect to see puppy drum push onto the lower Pamlico River flats any day now.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that the Roanoke River is producing large numbers of striped bass as they move into the area around Weldon. With the shad run coming to an end, the stripers have been more aggressive towards baits in the area. Both Yee Ha soft plastics and bucktail jigs work great, and allowing the current to naturally flutter the baits has been very productive. Some anglers also enjoy fishing cut baits under Carolina rigs, as this method produces good numbers and seems to catch some of the larger fish.

Speckled trout are being caught around the creeks of the lower Pamlico River. Popping cork rigs with soft plastics is a go-to setup throughout the spring, as the fish tend to move a lot based on the weather.