Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – August 1, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that hot weather and windy conditions have kept many anglers off the water through the mid-day hours, but morning and evening anglers are reporting great speckled trout fishing around Oriental.

Slot-sized red drum are hitting Carolina-rigged live baits and soft plastics from the sound all the way up to New Bern.

Tarpon and a few “old” red drum are coming from the sound, with anglers setting up large cut baits and chum slicks along deeper ledges awaiting the migrating schools.

Capt. Josh Savage, of Morehead City SeaTow, with a bull red drum caught near Cedar Island on cut mullet.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing has been outstanding, with limits of fish being caught on Storm soft plastics fished under popping corks. The fish have been staged along ledges and deeper shorelines, with anglers finding the most success while slowly working along these long stretches of banks.

Slot red drum are mixed in the same areas, especially towards the mouth of the river, and they’re hitting soft plastic baits.

Flounder are being caught on baits slowly worked along the bottom in deeper holes on the banks.

A few black drum are being hooked on Carolina-rigged baits around docks and similar shoreline structure.

The trophy red drum fishing is starting to show action, as a handful of citation-class fish are hitting popping cork rigs fished around ledges.

Tarpon are in the area, and anglers are targeting them with cut baits.


James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the lower Neuse River has been producing really good numbers of speckled trout for those casting popping cork rigs along ledges and deeper grass lines. Though short fish have been the majority, anglers spending time moving around and changing locations are eventually finding keeper fish mixed in.

Slot-sized red drum are hitting the same soft plastics worked along the shorelines.

A few striped bass (up to 24”) are around, though this year’s bite has been inconsistent.

Flounder are being caught with Carolina-rigged live baits and soft plastics fished on 1/4 oz. jig heads.

A few citation red drum are trickling in from the sound, and anglers anticipate this fishery picking up in coming weeks.

William David Meyer (age 17), of Boonville, NC, with a 30″ red drum caught on a live minnow on Carolina rig. He was kayak fishing in the waters of Sea Level, NC.

Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that speckled trout have been the main target of the early morning anglers. Topwater plugs and D.O.A. soft plastics under popping corks have both been producing well when working the shorelines in search of a limit of fish. On days with high winds, anglers are fishing Carolina-rigged live baits with great success, and in turn, they’re catching some of the larger fish of the summer.

A few slot-sized red drum are mixed in, but there hasn’t been large numbers.

Flounder are hitting D.O.A. soft plastics on jig heads bounced along the bottom.

Citation red drum are still out in the sound. The next few weeks should push some of the bait schools they are feeding on into the river, and the drum will follow.


Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that the heat wave has kept some anglers from fishing full days, but they are still reporting speckled trout action being great in the mornings. Heddon Spook Jr. and similar topwater plugs are getting strikes in that short time frame around sunrise, and anglers are finding more success with popping corks as the day wears on and into the evening. Using scents and scented plastics (such as Gulp baits) has been very productive in getting these hot, lethargic fish to feed.

Puppy and slot red drum are in the same areas with the trout. They’re traveling in smaller, 2-4 fish schools.

Flounder are being caught along deeper grass banks and points with Carolina-rigged live mullet. Anglers are reporting that using the lightest weights possible to keep baits down has really raised the bite percentage.

A few citation-sized red drum are showing up, and though this bite is just beginning, anglers anticipate this first wave of fish being caught while fishing cut baits along deeper ledges.


Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing has been great from the Swan Quarter area out to the sound. Soft plastic baits fished under popping corks has been the top producing setup this season, as anglers work along deeper grass banks in search of the smaller groups of fish. Early morning and evening hours have been best, as the fish seem to push into holes and not be as active in the mid-day heat.

Flounder are being caught in these same areas, and they’re hitting soft plastics fished on jig heads and Carolina-rigged live baits.

Citation-class red drum are showing up in the sound. Anglers are setting up along ledges and fishing large cut baits on Lupton rigs in anticipation of a school cruising by.

Tarpon are being reported in the same area, and spotting a school of rolling fish and setting up ahead of them has been the most productive technique.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that speckled trout have had a great summer, with fish being caught in good numbers in the mornings with topwater plugs and popping cork rigs.

A few striped bass are being landed by anglers working topwater plugs around shoreline structure further upriver.

Citation red drum and tarpon are in the sound, and fishing cut baits along deeper ledges has worked well when trying to find an early-season fish.