Capt. Mitchell Blake of FishIBX.com said fishing in the Roanoke River has been really good, and he expects it to improve over the next few weeks for stripers, shad, herring and even the occasional largemouth bass and speckled perch.
“There are stripers, shad and herring all the way from the mouth of the (Roanoke) river down at the sound to above Williamston,” Blake said. “The stripers are … steadily making their way up the river. Shad are running in spurts. They aren’t thick every day but are really good every other day or every third day. When the water was high, there were also herring pushing through the bushes along the edge of the river, but the water level has fallen and they are back in the banks of the rivers now. The perch and bass are just occasional side catches while fishing for the others.”
Blake (252-495-1803) said there are enough stripers in the river that fly fishermen have been enjoying pretty good success using Clousers. Depending on where you’re fishing, it’s taking a 250-grain or heavier line to get the fly down to the fish. Fishermen using spinning or baitcasting gear have been catching stripers on suspending jerkbaits and swimbaits.
“Different fishermen look for different things to locate fish,” Blake said. “In the Roanoke, you have to pay attention to how much rain has been falling upriver and how much water they are releasing through the dam. The amount of water coming down the river will determine where the clean water will be, and I look for clean water. It may be up in the creeks, and it might be out in the main river. Wherever it is, the stripers will find that clean water, and that’s where they’ll be.”
Blake said if the clean water is in the main body of the river, he stays along the edge of the channel and fishes along the main banks. If the water in the river is dirty, he moves up the creeks until he finds clean water.
“We’ve got a good bunch of fish already, and the water temperature is still in the 40s,” Blake said. “As the water temperature rises, more fish will move up the river, and the fishing will continue to improve. We’re having 30- to 50-fish days now, and those numbers are going to keep growing as more stripers heed the call to spawn. I believe this year, the spring fishing, especially for stripers, is going to be really good.”