I had to reschedule a charter earlier this week when it blew so hard, so it turned into scouting day. I ventured up to the lower Roanoke to check on things. Historically, the fish have a tendency to make an early migration into the river when the water is high. Due to all the rain in the upper basin, the dam has been discharging at 35,000 cfs for almost a month now. Normal high water discharge is 20,000, so we’ve had a ton of water. The lowgrounds and some adjacent areas that aren’t usually underwater are all flooded. Although they weren’t everywhere, I did find some fish, and they were nice ones. That’s a great sign this early in the winter season. Dec. could be really good, especially around Christmas holiday. Of course, once the fish arrive, they’ll be there all winter through the pre-spawn in March.
I would encourage you to plan your winter striper trip as early as possible. I will get booked up. In years past, Jan. has been some of the best of it, but Feb. was better last year, so it doesn’t make much difference. March is often very good, too. We fish on windy days because we are protected up in the river. The only thing that makes it too challenging to fish is low enough air temps to freeze the guides on the rods. Otherwise, most days in the winter are very fishable and pleasant if you have on proper clothing. If you are lucky enough to have one of those magical 100 fish days, you are too busy to notice the cold anyway. This fishery is arguably the best winter fishery in North Carolina, and it’s right here at my doorstep. Beat winter cabin fever, and let’s go fishing!
Here are my upcoming openings: Dec. 14, 17, 19, 20, 26-29 Jan. 1-4, 7, 10, 14-18, 21-24, 28-31 Feb. is pretty much wide open still.
Here are a couple of pictures from our trip this week. They were nice fish.