On March 19th, Sam and I made our annual pilgrimage to Weldon to hook up with some Hickory Shad. I’d like to do more than one trip, but I’m happy just to be able to go! We knew that it might be a bit early in the season, with the high water recently and cool temperatures. However, with a day scheduled off work, and the forecast for a beautiful day, we headed to the river. When we got there about 9:45AM, the river was running ~9000cfs, and very stained. We launched the boat and were quickly on the river. We ran downstream past the water treatment plant and were thinking about going to Troublefield Gut (~2.8 miles downstream on river left, per the NC Wildlife map), but a boat was already there. We ran downstream further, stopping and trying a few places. Not even a bump. River temperatire was 47F per my boat’s sensor. Went all the way down to Halifax (about 10 miles) to see if the water was any warmer or if any fish were there. Nada. Tried the long rods and spinners, no luck. Turned around, and went back upstream. About 12:45PM, we got back to Troublefield Gut and no one was there, so we anchored. I had a couple of bumps and soon caught a white perch. Then, Sam caught a small striper. We were both fishing full sink lines at the time, and were down on the bottom. We then started picking up shad. Not a banner day, but 15-20 fish between the two of us from 1PM to 3:30PM. We switched to sink tips from the full sink lines as the fishfinder seemed to indicate that there were fish 5-6 feet down. Seemed to work, as we both caught more on the sink tips. Interestingly, the water temp warmed to 50F by the time we left, and that might have helped.
As we left, we saw about a half dozen boats near the water treatment plant. Talked to one group, and they said that they’d caught some, but like us it was sporadic.
We caught all our fish on pink flies (though I’ll make ’em a bit differently sometimes), and didn’t catch anything on the spinners until we changed to pink jigs. So, for us, pink was the color of choice.
Headed for the ramp about 3:45PM, and then back home…