Boaters line up just above the Big Rock on Monday.


This week’s report is very much like last week’s — the river flows are up and the fishing is hit or miss, depending on where you go, how you fish and what you fish with.

According to Kevin Dockendorf, fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, electrofishing sampling yielded numerous hickory shad in each of their sampling locations on Monday. In less than an hour of electrofishing effort, he and fellow biologist, Jeremy McCargo, collected 250 hickory shad and 1 American shad across five sampling sites from the boat ramp to the big rock. No striped bass were collected during this week’s sampling.

While he found no shortage of hickory shad, he was somewhat surprised by the number of anglers who indicated fishing was slow — an issue most likely caused by the higher river flows. He suggested boating anglers to anchor within casting distance from the shoreline and cast towards the shore.

“Small creeks, or guts, along the shoreline downstream of Little River held good schools of hickory shad during our sampling on Monday,” Dockendorf said.

Bobby Colston of Colston’s Tackle Box on Hwy. 48 south of Gaston said anglers may have luck if they anchor up anywhere in the river where there is a “seam” — the area where strong current meets calm waters. “Lots of times fish lay right on the edge of that seam,” Colston said. “You just have to look for the fish when the water’s up, you may have to go to two or three places but you should find fish sooner or later.

Anglers fishing silver spoons, chartreuse spoons, and red and white and chartreuse jigs are doing well, according to Colston.

Neither Dockendorf nor Colston had heard any reports of striped bass caught in the upper river. With water temperatures only in the lower- to-mid-50’s, the conditions aren’t conducive to hot striper action – at least not yet. Down river, it’s pretty much the same story as last week with creel clerks and enforcement officers interviewing anglers with few or no striped bass.

According to Ricky Mobley of the Roanoke Sportsman in Williamston the fishing down his way has been a little slower probably because of the high river flows. “The river may have crested last night so we’re hoping the fishing will pick up a little bit this weekend,” Mobley said. “Just as soon as the water starts to fall, the fishing should be pretty good.”


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