By: Steve Fifer
The miserable weather continues. Last week was chilly, rainy, and windy and the upcoming week’s forecast looks the same. It has been next to impossible to fish safely or comfortably for what seems like months. Local water temps are in the very low 50’s, migratory fish haven’t arrived yet, and there are just a few places where something is biting. Unfortunately, none of them are close to Morehead City! There are some speckled trout being caught in the creeks on the Oriental side of the Neuse. They are few and far between but are good-sized fish. They seem to prefer a Mirrolure 17MR retrieved at a very, very slow pace. Up around New Bern, some stripers can still be caught but the majority of them have moved upstream to make little stripers. Look for them around the dropoffs created by the twists and turns of the river channels in both the Neuse and Trent Rivers. The standard lure is a 4” or 5” fluke or swimbait on a ¼ ounce jighead. Pearl white or a natural shad finish are good color choices. The closest place to find decent inshore fishing is the New River downstream from Jacksonville. The numerous feeder creeks have some nice specks, slot redfish and flounder in their deeper channels. Again, an MR17 retrieved slowly works, but a 4” Gulp shrimp on a light jighead gives you the best chance to catch all three species. The closest-to-home decent fishing is in the marshes behind the barrier island between Brown’s and Bear Inlets. Redfish school up in the shallow bays on high tide. This is high skill level fishing that involves shallow draft bay or flats style boats, quiet, careful boat handling, a keen eye to spot the schools, a stealthy approach to the fish, and accurate casting. If you are looking for a nearshore or beach report, you won’t find one this week as either nobody went or if they did, nobody caught anything!