By Capt. Alan Cain
Every spring striped bass make their annual migration from the Atlantic Ocean and Albemarle Sound up the Roanoke River to the rock rapids below Roanoke Rapids Lake. Hundreds of thousands of stripers make this migration, and the boat ramp at Weldon puts you right in the heart of their spawning grounds. Some days are slower, but for the most part. This is a numbers game with an average day producing 30 or more fish. In fact, 50-100 fish days are not uncommon in late April and early May. Keeper season ends on April 30, so all fishing after that will be strictly catch-and-release.
The average fish will be males in the 3-5 pound range, but fish much bigger are in the river. Some females will weigh 20 to 40 or more pounds but it is hard to get lures/flies past the thousands of smaller males in order to catch the giant females. This fishery is usually more about catching numbers than catching big fish.
I was in Weldon all of last week and on the water everyday for morning and afternoon trips. We caught fish every trip, but the fishing was much better by the end of the week due to warmer water temperatures. The cold fronts we had in early April delayed the massive schools of stripers from making it all the way up river, but with the 70-80 degree days we had last week, more groups of fish were arriving by the day. Last week most of the fish we caught were on light tackle with bait and artificial lures, but by the end of the week, we were catching them on big baitfish flies and sinking lines while fly-fishing. There were even fish being caught on top-water lures early and late in the day. This week the water temps are much higher and fishing will be significantly better. I will be back in Weldon starting Wednesday this week and only have a few days left open for striper trips. I have listed open dates below as well as attached a few pictures. Let me know if you’re interested or have any questions about the Roanoke striper fishery.
May: 3, 4, and 5 – I am currently open mornings and afternoons.
Call Capt. Allen Cain at 336-613-2975 or go to www.sightfishnc.com