Not much to report from the Roanoke River this week. The hickory shad are still biting pretty well – just fish where the water is low. 

Anglers are starting to see some striped bass action, though not a whole lot, just yet. Creel clerks have seen a few fish, and Bobby Colston, of Colston’s Tackle Box on Hwy. 48 south of Gaston said, a fisherman right up from the “big rock” at Weldon caught six stripers — 2 of which were keepers — earlier this week on cut bait.

As the hickory shad action starts to wind down and anglers turn their full attentions to striped bass, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding folks to use a single barbless hook or lure with a single barbless hook when fishing in the upper river from now until June 30. The upper Roanoke River is defined as the main river channel and all tributaries, upstream from the U.S. Hwy. 258 bridge near Scotland Neck to the Roanoke Rapids Lake dam.

While anglers can make their existing hooks barbless by crimping down the barb with pliers, the Wildlife Resources Commission, in partnership with Eagle Claw, is handing out barbless circle hooks to anglers fishing on the upper Roanoke River this spring. Informational cards with a single barbless hook attached are available from Wildlife Enforcement officers, fisheries biologists and creel clerks working in the vicinity of the river from now until the end of June. Click here to read more about the partnership and the use of circle hooks to reduce striped bass mortality.

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