Capt. Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service in Washington said specks, reds and stripers have been in the river as far as the upstream as the US 17 bridge across the Tar River, and that the fishing has been surprisingly good.
"There have been specks in the creeks off the Pamlico all winter," Andrews said. "Many people thought the rain of the last few weeks would move them around, but it hasn't at least not yet. I'm still catching specks in most of the same places, in the same creeks, and it's easy to tell the water is a lot fresher."
Andrews (252-945-9715) said the most reliable method for catching specks has been retrieving paddletail grubs across the bottom very slowly, and that lately, a few specks have been hitting Gulp! shrimp fished under popping corks.
"We keep wanting to rush the fish into spring, but the water is only in the low 50s and they are still in winter mode," Andrews said. "They are beginning to chase some popping cork baits, but it is really still a little cold for that. My groups have been doing well fishing the Z-Man paddletails very slowly."
Andrews said for best results, leave the river and head up the creeks for specks and reds, which are looking for warmer water and food. Keep one eye on the temperature gauge part of the fishfinder and the other scouting for active bait. Look for a shallow flat with a dark bottom that will soak up the sun's rays and warm the water a degree or two.