Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – July 4, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that anglers are finding good numbers of speckled trout while fishing Gulp soft plastics around creek mouths and the main river shorelines near Oriental.

Puppy drum are scattered with the water warming up, but Carolina-rigged cut baits are picking up some fish.

The flounder action has been slow, but a few keeper fish are being caught by anglers fishing with live baits.

Nolan Nicely, of Clifton Forge, VA, showing off a trout he caught while fishing with Capt. Gary Dubiel of Spec Fever Guide Service near Oriental, NC.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing has been spectacular. Topwater plugs have been working well early and late in the day, with anglers being successful in switching over to soft plastics through the afternoon. Popping cork setups are great in finding fish around some of the shallower banks, while lead jig heads are better for anglers casting to ledges.

A few “old” red drum are showing up around the shoals, and the next few weeks should see more fish push into the river with bait schools.

Puppy drum are schooled up along structured shorelines and ledges.

Flounder are being caught on soft plastics worked along the bottom around creek mouths and deep holes.

A few black drum are around, and fishing cut baits or artificials with shrimp scent has greatly increased bite numbers.


James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that striped bass fishing has been slow around New Bern and areas up the Trent River. Soft plastics are getting a few strikes when anglers are finding the smaller schools around areas with structure.

Speckled trout are being caught in good numbers in the lower areas of the Neuse River. A lot of short fish are mixed in with the larger (up to 20”) trout. Soft plastics on 1/4 oz. jig heads are the top producing setup when fishing along the deeper grass banks.

A few bluefish are in the same areas as the trout, and they will hit any lure put near them.

Smaller flounder are being caught on soft plastics and live baits fished in deeper holes and on ledges.

Blake Renegar with an over-slot red drum caught on the lower Neuse on live finger mullet. He was fishing with Capt. Jennings Rose of North State Guide Service.

Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing remains great on the Neuse and Pamlico rivers. Anglers casting D.O.A. shrimp under popping corks are having success locating schools, with some of the larger trout biting Carolina-rigged finger mullet. Early morning anglers are reporting a hot bite with topwater plugs.

Slot and over-slot red drum are showing in better numbers in the area, and they’re hitting soft plastics and live baits.

Keeper flounder are being caught on the lower Neuse, with white-colored soft plastic jerk shads producing well. The durability of the soft plastics used has been important with all the small bluefish around.

Black drum and sheepshead are being caught upriver with fresh shrimp and fiddler crabs.


Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing is great, with multiple citation-sized fish being caught in creeks and shorelines along the lower part of the Neuse. Gulp and Z-Man soft plastics have been the most productive baits as anglers cast on deeper grass banks and wind-blown points. Topwater plugs are getting hits in the morning, but the topwater bite has been short-lived.

Bluefish are being caught with soft plastics and topwater plugs in areas closer to the sound.

Bottom fishing with shrimp has been producing spot, croaker, and keeper black drum.

Nice-sized flounder (up to 20”) are showing in better numbers, and dragging Carolina-rigged mud minnows in deeper holes has been getting good numbers of bites.

Sheepshead are being caught with live fiddler crabs and fresh shrimp fished near dock pilings.

Puppy drum (up to 26”) are falling for live and cut mullet fished on Carolina rigs.


Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are experiencing a really good speckled trout bite in areas around Swan Quarter. Gulp soft plastics fished under a popping cork or on a 1/4 oz. jig head along grass banks are productive in finding the smaller schools of fish.

A few “old” red drum are being caught towards the mouth of the river on large cut baits. This fishery is still a few weeks away from being consistent, but the early showing of fish has anglers hoping for a good season.

Flounder are being caught in better numbers as more bait works up into the river. Keeper-sized flounder have been tough to come by, but persistent anglers are getting a few while fishing Carolina-rigged live baits.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that flounder have shown up in the sound and rivers. Carolina-rigged live finger mullet and Yee Ha soft plastics have been very successful in landing some keeper fish.

Plenty of trout are staged up along deeper pockets on the shorelines and grass points. A lot of short fish are around, but there are keeper trout (up to 20”) in the mix hitting Yee Ha baits and topwater plugs.

A few red drum are showing up along the banks. Anglers anticipate the push of citation-class fish that should begin to trickle in with the menhaden in the coming weeks.