Fishing Report for North Carolina May 10, 2012

Visit the Striped Bass Fishing page for more information on striped bass fishing in the Roanoke River.

The peak of the striped bass spawning season on the Roanoke River has likely passed, but plenty of fish remain on the spawning grounds and anglers are continuing to catch them.

Jeremy McCargo, Ben Ricks and Kevin Dockendorf, fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, sampled the river on Tuesday and collected approximately 600 fish. As has been the case most of the season, McCargo reported that the fish were scattered from the boat ramp past Troublefield Gut. Although the majority of the sample was smaller fish, the stripers ranged in size from 12 inches through 36 inches and included female stripers that McCargo said were “fresh fish” meaning they had yet to spawn.

Catch-and- release fishing has been good since the harvest season closed at the end of April. According to Commission creel clerk, Pete Kornegay, fishing this past weekend was particularly good, with Saturday and Sunday seeing excellent catches. Kornegay also reports that anglers continued to have success at Weldon Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Anglers fishing top water lures are having success in the early morning and late evening hours, whereas anglers fishing with live bait, flukes, bucktails and flies are having success throughout the day.

McCargo encourages anglers to help keep stripers alive to catch next year by following a few rules. From April 1 through June 30, anglers can use only a barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook (or the barb bent down) when fishing in inland waters of the Roanoke River upstream of the U.S. Hwy. 258 bridge. Also, anglers who are using top-water lures, or any artificial plug, should replace the two barbless hooks with a single barbless hook in the middle of the bait to reduce striper mortality.

Other ways to keep stripers alive are:

  • Keep the fish in the water when unhooking it
  • Use de-hookers whenever possible to help remove hooks quickly
  • Cut the line if the hook cannot be removed easily
  • Use a landing net made of rubber or knotless nylon, if necessary
  • Use small, non-offset circle hooks, preferably ones with the least amount of distance between the hook point and shank.

Other studies have shown that striped bass caught on small, barbless circle hooks are usually hooked in the jaw, which means they have a much greater chance of survival after being released than fish hooked in the throat or gut. Anglers can get free samples of Eagle Claw barbless circle hooks from Commission creel clerks working at the Weldon boat ramp.

Download and print a pocket-sized card on “Releasing Stripers Safely.”

Safety Note

High flows following periods of low flow dislodge limbs, logs and in some cases, trees from up river locations.  Boaters should take extreme caution when traveling on the water and be on the look-out for these floating hazards!  Similarly, extreme low flows can expose rock outcroppings and make many areas too shallow to access.

For additional safety measures, the Commission urges boaters to file a float plan before getting on the river. Filling out a float plan and giving it to a reliable person before you leave the ramp can be a life-saving decision.
Check out the North Carolina Boating Checklist to be sure you’re complying with on-the-water rules and safety recommendations.

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