I’m not going to tell you that you need to fly into Eastern NC just to fish New River. If your going to fly or drive any distance just to go fishing, you are going to go to Florida, or Louisiana. If you do happen to be coming to North Carolina to fish, your probably going to the Outer Banks or Morehead City. However, if you find yourself in New Bern, Wilmington, or any area in between, you are surrounded by great fishing opportunities. Fishing these areas for the first time can be a frustrating task though. Hiring a Guide is a great way to learn how to fish these new areas.
Now I have fished most of the waters from New Bern to Wilmington quite a bit. I have thought about getting a fishing charter from time to time just to learn new tactics and techniques, but never did. I just had a hard time deciding to spend money for someone to take me fishing in an area that I could easily take myself. My wife finally made that decision for me. The day before my birthday she hands me an envelope. On the outside was a name, address, and the time to be there. On the inside was the cash for the charter. I am not going to name the Captain I fished with because I don’t have his permission, but I will say that in New River he is considered a “Specialist” in what he does.
I was excited to be fishing with this Captain. I fish small creeks off of New River quite a bit and I am usually fishing for bass. I know however, when I see this Captain fishing near my usual bass areas that it is time to switch to some of my salt water baits. It happens every year around November, and it tells me that the speckled trout are here. I’m starting to get off topic. It happens from time to time, but lets get back to the charter.
We were launching at 7am and me being the type of guy I am arrived at 6:30. My son and I went into the marina’s store and got a few snacks and drinks for the day. Then we sat on the tailgate and watched the fog roll across the water. There were guys on boats throwing cast nets collecting bait and we saw shrimp boats heading down the river. It’s the kind of scene you expect to see on pictures in your local seafood restaurant. Then we saw our Captain coming around the river bend to pick us up. It was go time.
Our target for the day was Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder. The first spot we went to was not too productive. We made a few casts and had a couple plastics get bit in half by bluefish. The second spot was much better. A few casts in and the Captain hooked up on a nice trout. He handed the Rod to my son who fought the fish in. Then my son hooked up with another small trout, then a redfish, then another. Frankly he was making me look bad for a while. I did finally start catching my own fish however, and we were having a blast.
We made a small drive to another spot to drift for some flounder until the tide was right for our last spot. Me being a big bass fisherman, I kept losing any flounder that did bite because I kept jerking the bait away too quickly. My Bad! Our last spot we anchored up and threw out some live mullet. From this point on it was nonstop redfish action. One would get reeled in and another would be on before unhooking the first. When my son got too tired to continue reeling them in he promoted himself to be our bait getter, and would scoop our Mullet out of the bait tank for us.
My son passed out on the way home that day, exhausted from our day of fun in the sun. We had a blast and I don’t regret spending the money one bit. So I’ll say it again. I know you aren’t going to fly or drive long hours to come and fish this river. If you do happen to find yourself in the nearby area however, give the fishing a try. Get yourself an Inshore charter for the day. You will not be disappointed.