Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – July 2, 2020

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that speckled trout have been the main target of area anglers. Fish numbers were solid until the recent deluge of rain, which seems to have suppressed a combination of bites and the number of anglers on the water.

As the rain subsides some and the area moves back into a summertime pattern, the fishing should switch right back on. Gulp and Z-Man MinnowZ soft plastics fished under popping corks have been most productive for those working the main riverbanks. When getting attacked by pinfish, Z-Man baits have provided more bait durability.

Malcolm Quay, of New Bern, with a striper he caught using a topwater plug in New Bern. He was fishing with Capt. James Holloway, of Neuse River Adventures.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that the fish seem to be loving the overcast weather, with the topwater bite being great. Striped bass are pushed into structured areas along the river shoreline, and they’re hitting topwater plugs from early in the day well into the afternoon.

Speckled trout are mixed in these same areas, with soft plastics also producing when the fish push lower to the ledges.

Bluefish are pushed inshore, providing anglers with fast-paced action from these very active feeders.

Red drum fishing has been great in recent weeks. Plenty of slot-sized fish are hitting both topwater plugs and Storm soft plastics.

A few flounder are being caught (and released) by those fishing soft plastic baits.

Troy Wiener, from Baldwin Harbor, with a 34″ bluefish caught on a topwater plug in the back bays of Hog Island.

James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that the only thing recent rains and weather didn’t cool down is the topwater fishing. Striped bass have been very active. They’re holding on shoreline structure and taking advantage of bait schools.

There have also been quite a few days with large numbers of redfish hitting the same walk-the-dog style topwater plugs.

Speckled trout are pushed into deeper holes, as they usually do in the summertime. Fishing jigs and swimbaits are best for getting down the water column and into the strike zone.

Flounder will also hit these deeper baits.

Todd, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing has been spectacular this spring and early summer. Large fish (up to 4 lbs.) are being caught with a myriad of soft plastics. Saltwater Assassin, Gulp, and Z-Man baits are all producing on jig heads or under corks. With recent weather changes, much of the action is lower on the river out into the sound.

Striped bass are hitting similar baits fished around structure, with the added bonus being a strong topwater bite. Heddon and Rapala topwater plugs are both producing great action.

Red drum are being caught with live mud minnows fished on flats and ledges off the shoreline.

It’s early in the season for the big, citation-class fish, but anglers on the river need to always be prepared to stumble into an over-slot fish. Some do show up around this time, with recent reports of fish to 32+” hitting cut pinfish.

Sheepshead are starting to work their way into the river, and hopefully the rain doesn’t push them out much.

Black drum will be holding around the same dock and piling based structures, with fresh crabs and shrimp getting action from both species.

Spanish mackerel were another new addition to the river system, with reports of fish as far up as Minnesott.

Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that recent rains have pushed much of the action to the far eastern stretches of the river.

From Bath out to the sound, speckled trout and red drum are holding on ledges along the shoreline. Soft plastics on light jig heads are most productive for these deeper fish. Popping corks can also help attract fish, and they also hold baits in the mid-water column if bottom bouncing isn’t producing.

The striped bass fishing continues to fire off from structured shoreline areas. These resident fish of both the Pamlico and Roanoke rivers are hitting topwater plugs and soft plastics.

Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that the topwater action has been hot recently. Striped bass are holding on structured areas along the Roanoke and Pamlico rivers, and they are actively feeding. Heddon Spooks and Spook Jrs. have these fish in a frenzy and keeping anglers busy.

Speckled trout fishing has also been strong throughout the area, as the mild winter seems to have really allowed the larger fish to hold over and successfully spawn.

Red drum fishing is still focused further downriver, but a pattern of dry summer weather will see a movement of fish pushing up with the bait.