Fishing Seasons

Pamlico/Pungo River Light Tackle Mixed Bag  (Year-round)
Our home waters of the Pamlico and Pungo Rivers and their tributaries host a variety of species that offer excellent light tackle fishing.  Those species include speckled trout, puppy or slot drum (redfish), flounder, and striped bass.   Although primarily targeting the big 4, we also fish for gray trout, spadefish, sheapshead, tautogs, bluefish, spanish mackerel, and a host of other species in the Pamlico Sound.  Peak fishing for each species changes throughout the year, but on many occasions, anglers can encounter doormat flounder, slot redfish, or trophy speckled trout on any cast. On any given day, we might target healthy limits of speckled trout in Swan Quarter or beat the shallow flats in the Upper Pamlico River in Washington for a topwater striper bite. You get to choose your adventure, but I might point you in the right direction. We follow the fish and I will put you on what I believe will make you most happy!

Upper Roanoke River Spring Stripers and Shad (Weldon)                   
DSC_3464 If you have ever dreamed of catching 100 fish in a day, then you should fish below the fall line of the Roanoke River in Weldon during the spring spawning run for shad and stripers. The season begins in late February and March with the first showing of American and Hickory Shad.  The shad has often been called the “poor man’s tarpon” for its ability to jump out of the water and make screaming runs. It is truly a great fighting fish on light to ultralight conventional or fly tackle.  The shad run continues through early April and ends with the beginning of the striped bass spawning run in early April which usually peaks in late April and continues throughout May. Anglers are allowed to keep 2 fish/day/person from 18-22 inches until April 30.  May 1 begins the catch and release season with great topwater action in early mornings and late evenings and excellent fly fishing.

Pamlico Sound Giant Red Drum  (September)
Rich Jenkins from Annapolis MD with a 50 plus incherIf giant Red Drum turn you on, then our Pamlico Sound “old drum” catch and release fishery is what you need to experience.  We fish the highest concentrations of these giants in the Pamlico Sound and lower Pamlico River. These fish are the largest red drum within their geographic range.  The first fish show up in July, with the peak fishing from late August to late September.  These are the adult spawning class of drum that live in the ocean for most of the year and return to the Pamlico Sound each summer to spawn.  They range in size from 30 to 60 pounds and multiple hookups and double digit releases are common.  We fish at night and during the day.  This fishery is an absolute must if you enjoy catching big fish and lots of them.  You can be engaged with the fishing or simply sit back and relax, sip some cool ones, and wait for the “heavy strike” and that familiar drag screaming as the rod doubles over.

Lower Roanoke River Winter Stripers  (November – March)
photo 4The western Albemarle Sound and lower Roanoke River just east of Plymouth, NC  host some of the most spectacular striped bass fishing in the state.  Surround yourself with bald cypress trees draped in Spanish Moss and National Wildlife Refuge from every angle. We use a variety of tactics including jigging, casting, and trolling artificial baits.  Get rid of that cabin fever and come experience an exciting wintertime fishery.  You will not likely be disappointed.  Fly anglers are encouraged to check out this fishery, as these fish are schooled up in concentrated areas.  Just like the spring fishery in Weldon, heavy sinking line and weighted flies are a must.  These fish are year-round residents of the Albemarle Sound and are many of the same fish that spawn in Weldon during the spring. Get a jump on Weldon and spring by gaining some winter practice for your summertime angling and enjoy this great fishery in one of the most natural and scenic places in the state.

Pamlico River Topwater Stripers  (March – November)

A 27″, 10 pound Striper on Topwater!

One of the most explosive and underrated fisheries in North Carolina is the topwater striper fishing on the upper Pamlico River near Washington.  The best fishing generally occurs during the fall in Nov. and Dec. and in the spring from March through early June but the bite can be on at anytime during the year when the conditions are right.   The Pamlico River generally has an excellent mixed-aged class of resident stripers, so you never know whether your next bite will be a 16 incher or a 30 incher.  That’s what makes it so fun.  It will keep you on your toes during the day because you don’t want to have your head tuned when you see that unmistakable blowup on your topwater bait.  If seeing a 25 inch fish chase down a topwater bait in 2 feet of water turns you on, then this is the fishery for you!