This striper season has started off a little slow with only a few anglers showing off their catches but for the locals we all know there is more fish out there than Facebook would make us believe.

Our area is a year around habitat for rockfish with good spawning grounds in almost every river around especially the Roanoke.

Rockfish will hang around for a few years before heading to salty water and they have a lot of areas they like to stage around on the way out. There is the power lines and sound bridge on the Chowan as well as Mann’s Harbor both new and old. The Wright Memorial on the way to the beach as well as the Baum Bridge (pirates cove).

One of the least overlooked is all the shoreline structure that lines the rivers like wrecks, stump fields and duck blinds. I went out with a fishing buddy and found an old duck blind that hasn’t been used in years in about three feet of water.

We caught over twenty fish off that blind in an hour that day and could have caught more but we had our limit and had to go home.

A guide buddy of mine of the Pasquotank never fishes deeper than six feet of water for his rockfish and makes a good run on them all winter with quality fish over twenty inches almost every day.

When the water cools it is very productive to drag stretch baits around the pilings but it is not the only way to catch stripers in our area especially since the water is warm still.

Try a different approach like shallow up in the flats with swim baits or Rattle Traps or if you want to fish the bridges fish them all the way to the bank. Change lures and colors often till you get a strike to help you move in the right direction.

So don’t wait till freezing weather to go striper fishing get out and find out what the locals have known for years.

What’s biting, where...

It was a blow out for the offshore guys this past week but we did have a few diehards get out there and they found the tuna have not gone far. There was some good blackfin and even some yellowfin found which is a good thing.

The kings are also in abundance if you cant get out into the deeper water. Out of Hatteras we even had a few mahi brought back to the docks but that is about right for the southern boys.

On the beaches and piers it is still all about the drum bite with big fish being caught off the ends of the piers while the puppy drum are right in the surf. Fresh mullet is the bait of choice but the puppies can be had on shrimp when the tide is in.

Look for deep holes and drop offs right next to the shore then toss your bait right over the breakers.

In the sound there are a few fish being had around the inlets with drum and speckled trout paying off for those who are in the know. Deep water for the drum and the specks are usually ganged up on a certain structure like a piling, dock, duck blind or deep bends in the creeks.

Here locally we have had a pretty good largemouth bite with some quality fish being caught on top water baits especially when you get up in the creeks.

The crappie are beginning to move up into fishable water so the spider rigs should be starting to pay off soon.

If anyone gets out this week shoot me an email at or on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

Mike Sweeney is the fishing columnist for The Daily Advance.