Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Neuse in November

A friend who knows the Neuse like no other invited me to go fishing this weekend. The weather looked to be great and after warming ourselves with some coffee we hit the water. The conditions were my kind of fishing. The sun had warmed up the air the water was low and clear. Perfect for wading.My friend had talked about using a new retrieve for bass. When he showed it to me I realized the way I fish for largemouth might be totally wrong. I had been using his so called new retrieve all year for bass. It was hit or miss. It was the same type of retrieve I use for striped bass.
Quick 4 inch strips with various pauses in between. I guess largemouth usually like a slower retrieve. The structure was perfect for holding fish. I went with a wooly bugger type pattern. I got some hits and eventually hooked a few fish. The hits were very subtle. As the temperature warmed up the fish became more aggressive.

Many times I would cast and before I even started stripping line a fish would be swimming away with my fly. By the time I brought them to hand the fish had engulfed the fly.The fish were definitely trying to fatten up before winter. The gills inhaled the fly so deep a few times I had a hard time removing it. The fish seemed to be in eddies and the trick was to start stripping immediately after the fly hit the water. If there was a log, bounce the fly off of it or get as close as possible. The fish seemed to be just under or near cover. There was some surface activity and I thought about using a popper but I was doing well with streamers. All of the fish were bluegill except for a small bass. The gills were pretty fat and some had a nice color to them. The trees were also displaying their last bit of fall color. The morning was pretty perfect. Things went how they are supposed to go, or how I think they should go. The flies that are supposed work did, every fishy looking spot seemed to hold a few fish and I never had a random snag from a tree on the bank. It's been awhile since I have caught this many fish in a short amount of time. That is what's great about blue gill. They are aggressive and plentiful. Today, life if good.


  1. Kev
    Great post, what do think was the water temp when you left the river? This time of year the fish seem to bump into the fly as oppose to banging it in the spring and summer. There is a lot more patience involved now with the streamers because the fish are picky in their feeding habits, and sometimes will only hit a sure meal, that being something slow and easy to inhale. Did you use anything besides the bugger? Great shots of the waters you were fishing.

  2. @ Bill, The water was probably in the mid to high 50's. The blue gill were definitely moving but not far from cover. I think in low water they feel there is more chance of a predator getting them. There are a ton of heron around here.