One of the more popular fishing destinations for North Carolina anglers in the spring is the Roanoke River at Weldon. Early spring spawning runs of hickory shad, followed by the striped bass spawning run, attract anglers from all over the state.

Bobby Colston, Ricky Mobley, Jeremy McCargo and other avid anglers willing to share their time and experiences have agreed again this year to provide weekly fishing reports from the Roanoke River at Weldon and Williamston. The reports will be posted every Thursday morning.

We’ll start with today’s report on hickory shad and striped bass and continue into May when the last striper stragglers depart Weldon and make their way downstream back to the Albemarle Sound and Atlantic Ocean.

By all accounts, low water temperatures plus high river flows equal some pretty slow fishing on the river. While a few stripers are being caught near Plymouth, the hickory shad fishing is almost non-existent, not a big surprise considering the water temperature is still a very cool 43 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to Jeremy McCargo, fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the fishing should start picking up as the water temperatures steadily increase this week, although the rain that is expected to fall between Thursday and Saturday might keep the river flows up.

Bobby Colston, owner of Colston's Tackle Box on Highway 48 south of Gaston, said he heard a few reports of stripers being caught around Hamilton, but nothing about hickory shad. And down river, Ricky Mobley of the Roanoke Sportsman in Williamston said he heard of a few stripers being caught at the mouth of the Roanoke.

While the shad and the stripers aren’t in the river in great numbers yet, the white perch fishing has been pretty good, according to Colston, with several reports of anglers catching them right off the bank at Weldon and down river some near the Big Rock. Anglers having the most success were fishing with red wrigglers.

Speaking of Weldon, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently renovated the Weldon Boating Access Area just in time for this year’s striped bass season. Click here to read more about the renovation.

SAFETY NOTE: 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!

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