Winter Striped Bass

Winter Striped Bass One of the greatest thrills of inshore fishing is the feeling of a striped bass throttling a lure or striking bait, and the winter months into the early bloom of spring are the best times to find large numbers and large specimens in both the Tar and the Roanoke rivers.

The migratory saltwater fish begin their annual trek into the rivers when the water is still cold and the river around it is browned by winter but also teeming with wildlife and, depending on the month, the first buds and blooms on the trees. When schools of stripers converge on schools of smaller shad, the surface begins to erupt and fish can be caught using a variety of techniques and lures including jerk baits, surface lures and drifting bait. A winter or early-spring striper trip is perfect for experienced anglers and novices.

This trip aims at stripers on the Tar from Falkland in northwestern Pitt County all the way to Washington, where the Tar becomes the Pamlico River and heads toward the ocean. In the Roanoke, fish are typically targeted in the Roanoke River Wildlife Refuge in Bertie County. When the striper fishing heats up this time of year, it is very possible see 20 fish per angler in a single day.

Just as common is direct sighting of the two rivers' resident bald eagles, ospreys, hawks, cranes, owls, herons and ducks that all share the waterway. Also calling the rivers home are beavers, otters and deer.

To find the feeding frenzy with an accomplished angler who fishes across the planet but calls eastern North Carolina home, contact Carolina Backcountry Guide Service at (907) 575-6428, email or visit

We Provide Fishing Charter Guide Services along these rivers of North Carolina and Alaska: