Fishing for Striped Bass on the Roanoke River

Restoration of the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River striped bass population has resulted in a world-class fishery enjoyed by thousands of anglers each year. Each spring, beginning in March, striped bass in Albemarle Sound begin their spawning migration up the Roanoke River. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission opens a limited striped bass harvest season on the Roanoke River for anglers who enjoy turning their catches into delicious table fare. Timing of the striped bass harvest season, along with protective size limits, ensure that most of the harvest consists of three- to five-year-old male striped bass.

Good numbers of striped bass first move into the lower Roanoke River during mid-March. Catches at that time are best around the Plymouth area near the Highway 45 bridge. The lower Cashie and Middle rivers, also crossed by the Highway 45 bridge, can be productive as well. As springtime progresses into April, stripers make their way up the river and by the first week in April, the action really picks up at Jamesville, Williamston and Hamilton. Also by the first of April, the first stripers are beginning to appear in the upper reaches of Roanoke River near Scotland Neck, Halifax and Weldon. By mid-April, striped bass fishing in the upper areas is in full swing and it seems as though the entire length of the river is shoulder-to-shoulder stripers. Anglers should note that river flows and weather conditions dictate the arrival and upstream movement of striped bass from year to year so the exact timing of striped bass movements can vary a few weeks either way. Current information on Roanoke River water temperatures and river flows can be found here.


Related Information

Striped Bass Fishing Information
General information about striped bass fishing.

Fishing for Striped Bass on the Roanoke River
Boating access areas, local accommodations, bait and tackle guidelinnes and more information updated for the 2012 season.

Striped Bass Fishing Access Areas on Roanoke River, NC
Click here for an interactive map of Commission-owned Roanoke River boating access areas. The map contains information about the access areas as well as detailed directions and pictures.

Frequently Asked Questions about Striped Bass
Fisheries biologists answer some frequently asked questions about striped bass stocks and striped bass fishing in general

Electrofishing for Striped Bass on the Roanoke River   

This 3-minute video offers a look at how Commission fisheries biologists collect, weigh, measure and sometimes tag striped bass to collect data on this reowned fishery.

Striped Bass Regulations  (PDF)

Shad and Herring Identification Guide (PDF)

Releasing Striped Bass Safely Information Card (PDF)

How to Measure a Fish (PDF)