This past week was the last week of my 2017 spring striper season in Weldon. Here’s a summary of how the season went. During shad season in late March and early April, the river was flowing as low as most people had ever seen it (2250 cfs discharge from the Roanoke Rapids Lake dam). Some early April rains raised the river to a more fishable level (5000-9000 cfs). As the stripers started arriving in early to mid April, we had excellent fishing right out of the gate. The live bait, jig, topwater, and fly bite was really really good because the fish were busting baitfish in the runs of the rapids very consistently. This is something we typically see more in May.
Then the big rain came, and river rose to 35,000 cfs. The fish held pretty closely around the ramp for a few days, and then they started pushing up the river and scattering in different places. I could take my boat all the way up the dam, a first for me. We had lots of fun fishing in the fast water between the gap and river road, catching lots of larger pre-spawn females on jigs in really heavy current.
Towards the end of my season, it seemed like the majority of the fish schooled up right around and below the ramp, suspending in the water column as they staged to spawn. There were lots of big females in those schools. Some days they bit really well and other days we had to be more patient and creative to get bites out of them. When we did, we caught big fish cast after cast and occasionally were rewarded with an exceptionally large 10-25 pounder.
I think the fishing the third and fourth week of May will be off the charts as the rest of the fish will spawn and the river level will drop to a more fishable level. The fly, jig, and topwater fishing should be outstanding.
I want to thank everyone who came out to experience the Weldon fishing this season. I thoroughly enjoyed having each and every one of you on the boat. It was nice to reconnect with many familiar faces and also to see some new ones.
As we move back to the Pamlico, I’m looking forward to a great summer and fall season for the mixed bag fishing and the big drum. I have some scattered openings over the coming weeks. They are: May 25, June 7, 24, 26-30, July 17-22, 26-29. Shoot me an email if you’d like to make a reservation.
Here are some pictures from the past week. You can see what you missed. We are now taking reservations for the spring of 2018.