Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – October 24, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that trophy red drum fishing has slowed down over the past few weeks. A majority of the scattered fish landed have been from anglers targeting other species.

Speckled trout fishing has been getting even better as the water temperatures have begun to cool. Soft plastics fished under a popping cork is the favorite local method, and that technique can keep anglers getting strikes throughout the day. Topwater plugs are a great search baits for those getting out early and working down the banks in search of the pockets of fish holding in these deeper holes.

Puppy drum are being caught along the banks in the lower Neuse, with Carolina-rigged cut baits and soft plastics both producing bites.


Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing is spectacular. Anglers are finding double-digit numbers of fish along the main river banks and creek mouths. Storm soft plastics fished under popping corks have been great for keeping on the bite throughout the afternoons. For early morning anglers and those finding overcast conditions, topwater bites have been great in generating exciting action.

A few striped bass are mixed in these same areas. Topwater plugs are getting good action on the stripers around structured areas.

Bluefish are schooled up in deeper areas of the river. Casting jigs and soft plastics are producing strikes from these aggressive-feeding fish.


James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that speckled trout fishing has been great. Topwater plugs and soft plastics are producing hits from anglers working the river banks up into the creek mouths. These fish have begun their pattern of schooling up as the water temperatures drop, and the next few weeks should see hot action throughout the Neuse River.

Bluefish are gathering up in deeper channels in the lower Neuse. Casting spoons and soft plastics to these groups of fish will get strikes, and many are being caught by anglers targeting trout.

Striped bass are also mixed in the counts. The stripers are scattered along the structured shorelines.

Casey Hawley with a 22″ flounder (released) that fell for a Z-Man swimming trout trick in the Pungo River.

Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that speckled trout fishing is moving towards its fall “wide open” bite. Anglers are targeting fish early and late in the day with Super Spook and similar topwater plugs. Switching over to MirrOlures and D.O.A. soft plastics under popping corks has been working well throughout the afternoons.

A few striped bass are staged up around shoreline structure in New Bern, and they’re hitting topwater plugs.

Michael Goins with an 40+” bull red that fell for cut mullet on a drum rig. He was fishing the Neuse River with Capt. Greg Voliva of Four Seasons Guide Service.

Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that the speckled trout fishing has “popped off” on the Neuse and Bay rivers. Anglers are finding limits of trout (up to 28”) while targeting shoreline ledges, structure, and creek mouths. A wide variety of baits are having success, from live baits fished under corks and on Carolina rigs, to Z-Man and Vudu soft plastics on jig heads. Topwater plugs are getting action in the early mornings and on overcast days, and MirrOlure suspending lures are working great when finding fish that just won’t take the topwater baits. Color-wise, the fish haven’t seemed to be picky, though Mardi Gras and ECU (a shop custom) have been getting rave reviews.

Striped bass are back in the creeks, and they’re hitting topwater plugs and soft plastics.

A few puppy drum are holding along the banks, with Carolina-rigged live baits being most productive.


Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing has been really good, with plentiful bait pushing the fish into areas around Swan Quarter. Targeting creek mouths and the deeper holes along the Pamlico shoreline have been most productive in finding these smaller schools of fish. A wide variety of favorite lures for the fall (from soft plastics to MirrOlures) are all having success in these areas. Topwater fishing has also been great.

Striped bass will be holding in some of these similar areas, and any of the classic baits will get some hits.

Anglers seeking trophy red drum have probably seen the end of this bite for the season. A few scattered fish have been landed, but most hook-ups now are by-catch by those targeting trout.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that a few citation-class red drum have been landed in the last week with soft plastics under popping corks, though this bite has been coming to an end with cooler water temperatures pushing the fish towards the inlets.

Speckled trout fishing, on the other hand, has been great. The topwater bite has been picking up with these fish moving around and grouping together. Early mornings and overcast days have been the most productive. Soft plastics are a go-to this time of year, and adding a touch of scent only helps timid fish to strike.

Striped bass are holding around shoreline structure, and they’re hitting the same soft plastic baits.