Fishing Report – May 3
5/3/2012 10:25 AM
Visit the Striped Bass Fishing page for more information on striped bass fishing in the Roanoke River.
Striped bass harvest season in the Roanoke River Management Area closed on Monday, and anglers fishing at Weldon caught good numbers of fish during the last weekend of the season. Creel clerks Frank McBride and Pete Kornegay interviewed numerous anglers who caught their limit of two fish per day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Although the fishing – and catching – were really good at Weldon this past weekend, the lower river saw virtually no action – a clear indication that the fish are now on their spawning grounds.
Jeremy McCargo, a fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with fellow biologist Ben Ricks, sampled the river at Weldon on Tuesday, collecting about 300 fish. Their catches showed that the fish were scattered from Little River past Troublefield Gut, as were the anglers.
McCargo doesn’t expect the fish to be around much longer. Current water temperatures are in the optimal spawning range, and with record high temperatures forecasted over the next few days, the peak of the spawning season is about over. This means anglers who are interested in doing some catch-and-release striper fishing this year should plan a trip to Weldon soon.
This also means that as water temperatures increase, so does striper mortality from catch-and-release angling. Studies have shown that catch-and-release mortality increases dramatically when water temperatures reach 70oF. From April 1 through June 30, anglers can use only a barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook (or the hook bent down) when fishing in inland waters of the Roanoke River upstream of the U.S. Hwy. 258 bridge. Using barbless hooks is one way to reduce striper mortality. Other ways to help 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.”
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.
2 comment(s) so far...
By concerned outdoorsman on
5/6/2012 12:27 PM
Re: Fishing Report – May 3
Upper Roanoke shad and striper fisheries have been rapidly declining for the last 15years due to poor management(pats 5years have been worst ever). THIS YEAR WAS NO EXCEPTION!!!! The Run was on schedule and shad fishing was good UNTIL Last week of March over 20ft of water was dumped from RR reservoir.(same story past 5 years) This UNNATURAL release of water caused the water temperature to drop drastically(over 10dgs). This change in water temperature is what killed any shad eggs that were laid. Furthermore this drastic un-natural drop in water temperatures lengthened the spawning run, causing the fish to hold up down river, waiting for water temperatures to return to normal. This means that instead of the fish being tightly schooled in high densities, the fish are spread thin through the length of the Roanoke.
IT'S SIMPLE STUFF FOLKS, THE UNNATURAL RELEASE OF HUGE AMOUNTS OF WATER DURING THE SPRING SPAWNING SEASON HAS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO CAUSE THE SEVERE DECLINE AND EVENTUAL DESTRUCTION OF THE SHAD AND STRIPER FISHERIES ON THE ROANOKE RIVER.
NCWRC- GET CONTROL OF THE RIVER, DO YOUR JOB, PROTECT OUR FISHERIES. IF THIS IS CONTINUED THE ROANOKE RIVER FISHERY WILL NOT LAST ANOTHER 10 YEARS.
By p on
5/18/2012 11:01 PM
Re: Fishing Report – May 3
Now this Guy needs to be pulling the strings at the NCWRC. Couldn't have said it better myself. It's time for the Bureaucrats to wake up and see what's obvious to residents and serious fisherman.
54year RR resident.