With the recent rainfall in the Roanoke River basin, the river flows are up and the fishing on the Roanoke River will likely be hit or miss over the next week. While all reports from the river suggest that the fishing is relatively slow, some anglers are still catching a few fish, if they know where to go.

During their weekly sampling trip on Tuesday, Kevin Dockendorf and Jeremy McCargo, fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, collected 134 hickory shad and no striped bass. Dockendorf suspects that the increase in flow and water levels with lower water temperatures may prolong the hickory shad spawning run in the upper river.  

 “Although water levels changed (increased), anglers were catching hickory shad from either the bank or boat near Weldon on Tuesday,” Dockendorf said. “We observed anglers catching hickory shad from the shore while launching and retrieving our boat and we watched anglers catch hickory shad from boats while we were traveling between our sampling sites. 

“Of course, catch rates may be low this weekend due to the fluctuations in water levels and river flow.” 

They found hickory shad along the banks and in the eddies near the shore between the boat ramp and the “big rock.”  They also found a good school of hickory shad downstream of Troublefield Gut, which is where Bobby Colston of Colston’s Tackle Box on Hwy. 48 south of Gaston, heard a report that one angler caught 60 shad earlier this week. 

Colston suggests going up or down the river and fish the mouth of the guts, such as Troublefield, where clear water is coming out. Another good spot that seems to be attracting the fish is up river near the Roanoke Rapids sewage treatment plant.

Colston said that anglers were still catching fish on silver spoons, and pink and white curlytailed grubs seem to be doing well.

Downriver, the fishing wasn’t as good as Ricky Mobley of the Roanoke Sportsman in Williamston reported last week.  He hopes the fishing will pick up again as soon as the river level crests. He said a few anglers were catching a few rockfish in the lower river. 

Dockendorf said that with lower water temperatures and higher flows, striped bass fishing in the Roanoke River will probably be slow this weekend.  “Our creel clerks and enforcement officers observed a few striped bass caught this week in the lower river.  We anticipate striped bass catch rates to improve as water temperatures stabilize and begin to increase.”


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