Well……..we’re in the middle of the winter doldrums now and we have been scrapping out what we can with the fishing. Our winter striper fishery, which is typically dynamite in January and February, has been somewhat inconsistent so far this year. We’ve had some good days from just plain putting in some hard work, but the consistency (and the numbers of fish) just hasn’t been there. I’m sure all those stripers are out in the Albemarle Sound somewhere……just not where anybody is fishing for them recreationally. I would love to go hunt them down and I’m sure it would be like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow; however, it’s just not the most safe and prudent thing to do in the winter. The Albemarle Sound is a HUGE body of water and can be quite hostile in January and February. There’s little room for error and no one close to help if something were to happen.
Hopefully the food source that they are on will decide to move west, and the fish will follow them there. The dams up in Gaston have been operating for some time at “Flood Stage” which means they’ve been sending a bunch of water downriver and the River has been pumping. That can be good for fishing in the rivers and creeks (if the fish are there) but not necessarily in the Western part of the sound because the high flows from the river muddies up the water so badly.
As an alternative, I’ve been snooping around the Tar River for some stripers and have found some decent sized ones when the conditions for catching are most favorable. Downriver, there’s been a decent sign of redfish in the creeks and along some of the shallow shorelines. Finding them outside the creeks can be tough, as they can move great distances in a hurry.
Winter fishing can sometimes be a very unpredictable endeavor. It’s nice when my Roanoke stripers cooperate because that’s one of the best fisheries in NC………period. Winter brings unexpected changes with the fishing patterns and we have to adjust accordingly. I am hitting the water just about every day that’s fishable to find something “special” to fish. I know it’s out there and hopefully we’ll be surprised in the short term before our March topwater striper bite develops. If this year is anything like last year, we will be in for some really exciting fishing just weeks away.
If you are interested in going to Weldon in April or May, then I suggest you call very soon, as we are getting booked up. Weekends are just about fully booked already. Weldon is great for kids!