Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – May 9, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that large numbers of smaller speckled trout are being caught in the creeks around Oriental. Anglers have had success casting soft plastics under a popping cork at grass banks near creek mouths. A few fish are being landed on topwater (walk-the-dog) style plugs, but high winds have kept that fishing method to a minimum.

A few puppy drum are mixed in with the trout around creek mouths.

Smaller flounder are being caught, and anglers anticipate seeing their numbers go up as more bait pushes into the river from the ocean.

Striped bass have been upriver, but fishing structure around New Bern with topwater plugs and soft plastics has found a few fish.


Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that speckled trout are being hooked in amazing numbers in the creeks of the lower Neuse. Fishing smaller, Storm soft plastics under a popping cork rig has been the most productive method. The creeks have been filled with smaller bait this spring, and anglers have been successful when fishing smaller 3-4” soft plastics to match-the-hatch.

A few larger speckled trout (to 20”) are starting to hit Rapala Skitterpop topwater plugs in the mornings, as well as on days with lighter winds.

Good-sized striped bass (to 20”) are being caught around docks and shoreline structure while fishing soft plastics.

Puppy drum are chewing on baits fished on the bottom, and anglers anticipate seeing their numbers go up as more fish push in from the ocean mixing with the fish leaving the creeks.

A few small bluefish are hitting baits in the creeks around Oriental.

Jacky Dufour and Ryan Cloninger with a 90 lb. wahoo that fell for a chunk of Boston mackerel while anchored up grouper fishing just inshore of the Big Rock. They were aboard the Merry Marlin, out of Morehead City, NC.

James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that speckled trout have been biting well in creeks around Oriental and off the Bay River. A good majority of the fish are just short (13”), but larger fish are mixed in. The sheer quantity of fish this year has made it relatively easy for anglers to catch their limits.

The striped bass bite has been slow, but fishing baits near structure raises the chance of success in landing a few good-sized fish.


Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that anglers fishing the Roanoke River are enjoying the triple-digit catches of striped bass. The keeper season closing has lightened up the boat traffic, though the fish have stuck around. Casting Z-Man and D.O.A. soft plastics into current breaks are producing a majority of the stripers.

Speckled trout fishing is good in the creeks of the lower Neuse River. Popping corks with soft plastics has been the favorite rig of anglers in the area.

Puppy drum and smaller flounder are being caught around creek mouths and grassy points with soft plastics fished along the bottom.


Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that the speckled trout bite is great, with a few larger fish (to 29”) mixed in with the huge numbers of spikes in the area. Soft plastic swimbaits fished under a popping cork has been the best rig for numbers, but live mud minnows and MirrOlure MR-17s (electric chicken color) have produced some of the bigger trout.

Flounder are being caught with 1/4 oz. jig heads around grass banks and points. Keeping baits connected with the bottom has been helpful with hook-up numbers.

Striped bass are being found in creeks off the main river around shoreline structure and docks. Soft plastics have worked best, but early morning anglers are landing a few while casting topwater plugs.

Curtis Pelt, of Rocky Mount, NC, with two stripers he caught on the Roanoke River. The stripers fell for cut white shad.

Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are catching good numbers of speckled trout in the creeks off the lower Pamlico River. Popping corks rigs have been the unanimous favorite for a majority of fish, but anglers are beginning to find more success with live mud minnows. Topwater plugs are catching a few fish, too, but the weather hasn’t been fully cooperative for that style of fishing. Anglers should look for overcast days with lower wind speeds to have more action while fishing on top.

Flounder are being caught along grass banks on the lower Pamlico with soft plastics. This first wave of fish has been smaller, but anglers anticipate seeing the larger females push in from the ocean over the next few weeks.

Striped bass are hitting topwater plugs around shoreline structure upriver, but with all the focus being downriver and on the Roanoke, the reports have been scarce.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that the Roanoke River is still producing great numbers of striped bass. Anglers have agreed this has been a better year than those in recent memory, with reports of triple-digit days still being common even with keeper season over. A variety of baits have worked in getting bites, from Yee Ha paddletail swimbaits and Rat-L-Traps, to live threadfin shad and topwater plugs. These fish haven’t made much movement from the Weldon area, and the bite should continue to be strong for a few more weeks.