N.C. Coastal rivers fishing report from NCWRC

coastal rivers fishing report
The NCWRC is sampling North Carolina's eastern rivers during the shad and striped bass run throughout the spring.

Coastal rivers fishing report from March 23, 2020

In eastern North Carolina, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission conducts springtime electrofishing sampling for striped bass, American shad and hickory shad. This sampling is conducted in the four major coastal rivers — the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse and Cape Fear.

Aside from electrofishing, the Commission also compiles a weekly coastal rivers fishing report from anglers on each of the rivers with information about what they’re catching.

The following is the latest report from NCWRC:

Roanoke River

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

The NCWRC creel clerks, Terry Boyce and William Robert Jones, have documented excellent hickory shad catches at Weldon. They are also getting fair reports from hickory shad anglers at the Edwards Ferry Ramp.

Lower River (Scotland Neck to Plymouth)

Striped bass catches have been hit or miss in the lower Roanoke. The creel clerks saw decent striper catches at Janesville and Williamston. The Plymouth area has been slow.

Tar/Pamlico River

Upper Region (Rocky Mount to Greenville)

Anglers reported good catches of hickory shad and some American shad, primarily from Port Terminal in Greenville to Old Sparta. Some shad are being caught as far north as Battle Park, but the bite is slow in these areas. Anglers also landed numbers of white perch, black crappie and a few striped bass.

Central Region (Greenville to Washington, Blounts Creek)

Anglers are still reporting a strong speckled trout bite in Blounts Creek and Durham Creek along with catches of undersized red drum. Goose Creek was a popular spot for largemouth bass and a few anglers reported catches of striped bass in Chocowinity Bay and between the bridges in Washington.

Lower Region (Washington, Blounts Creek to Bellhaven)

Mirr-O-lures and soft plastic paddletails are the bait of choice for anglers fishing throughout the Pungo and adjacent creeks. Anglers reported catches of keeper speckled trout, undersized red drum, southern flounder, and striped bass in Pungo, Broad, Panted, Lower Dowry, and Satterthwaite creeks.

Neuse River

Anecdotal reports indicate anglers are catching hickory shad and American shad in good numbers.

Upper Region (Goldsboro to Raleigh)

Multiple anglers took part in this weekend’s shad fishing tournament out of Goldsboro. They reported catches of both American and hickory shad throughout the upper Neuse and adjacent creeks. Hots spots included Mill Creek and Cox’s Ferry downstream to the mouth of Falling Creek. Numerous anglers also reported catching catfish.

Central Region (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro area)

The number of shad caught this week dropped slightly from the previous week. Anglers who took longer trips proved to have the best catches. Contentnea Creek was the most productive area. Anglers also reported catches of striped bass, black crappie, and largemouth bass.

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Good weather throughout the week led to decent catches of hickory shad around Cowpen Landing. Anglers reported catching a few American shad and striped bass as well. Those fishing out of Lawson Creek were not disappointed, and reported catches of speckled sea trout.

Cape Fear River

Anglers found American shad abundant at Lock & Dams 1 and 2. Streamflow is 3600 cubic feet per second at Lock & Dam 1, which is below normal. About 30 anglers recently took advantage of the warm weather, flow conditions, and abundant American shad at Lock & Dam 1. A dozen anglers combined fished both Lock & Dams 2 and 3.

Several shad weighed in at more than three pounds, qualifying as citation fish with the N.C. Angler Recognition Program. Anglers also reported catches of black crappie in the same areas as shad and several channel and blue catfish were also caught at Lock & Dam 1.

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