With the western portion of the Pamlico Sound at his fingertips, Mitchell Blake of Fish IBX Charters has as much flexibility in choosing a place to fish as any one in North Carolina. But in June, he narrows his target area to the mouths of the Pamlico, Bay, and Neuse rivers, where early arriving slot redfish will be staging up and chewing hard.

“That sounds like a wide area,” Blake said. “But, if you look at the map, all those areas are doable in that loop. That area has nice-size red drum, and it also has the flounder coming across the sound. It also has the trout.  

“We utilize the Bay River, which is kind of a mid-point. If the wind’s blowing and got us pinched, we can hit any of the mouths of the rivers. It’s just a matter of do we turn right or turn left.”

 “In June, the redfish are not that far into the system,” said Jeff Koen, another Fish IBX guide. “They’re just coming in. Any of the tributaries off the Neuse, near Oriental, closer to the mouth of the sound are all really good areas.”

In the Pamlico Sound and its tributaries, where tide and water flow are wind driven, it is important to watch the wind direction for several days before a fishing trip. That will tell anglers which banks should be stacked up with water to allow for the best fishing of grass edges, as well as points that should have water moving around them. A switch in wind direction will mark the areas preparing to drain of high water that has harbored bait in canals and small creeks, setting up a feeding frenzy nearby.