Capt. Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service in Washington said the Neuse River isn’t the only place in North Carolina that gets a lot of large red drum in the late summer. The fishing in the Pamlico River and Pamlico Sound has been great, and on Wednesday, he had two anglers on a charter who caught 13 of the big fish.

“We’re fishing during the daytime,” Andrews said. “The method of using large popping corks to attract the big reds has made it easier and safer for us. I leave early in the morning, and we fish until the wind starts coming up in the afternoon and then head in. This week has been better, but for a couple of weeks, there were nasty thunderstorms almost every afternoon, and it sure was nice to be back at the dock when they started.” 

What Andrews (252-945-9715) is really looking forward to speckled trout in the coming weeks.

“As good as the other fishing is now, I getting excited about the speckled trout fishing that should be starting in a few weeks,” Andrews said. “There are some specks around now. A fisherman landed one over 6 pounds from one of the docks in Belhaven this week.

“When we get through this current blast of hot weather and start having some cool mornings, the trout fishing will get good,” Andrews said. “We usually have a little change about the third week in September, and the nights begin cooling a little earlier and the mornings are a little cooler. When that happens, the mullet minnows start working out of the creeks and fish start feeding. That will set the trout off.”

Andrews said the Pamlico Sound, Pamlico River and the creeks and bays off them did not have lunar influenced tides, so best fishing times couldn’t be planned around the tide table. He said it was of the utmost importance to find water that was moving. Moving water makes the bait move and that fires up the fish. 

“I’m like everyone else in wanting to catch trout on topwater lures, but they won’t always hit them,” Andrews said. “Another key to catching those trout when the weather first changes is to not have baits that are too big. I have a lot of luck with the 3-inch Z-Man MinnowZ and ShrimpZ. 

Andrews said he fishes the MinnowZ on jigheads and works them along the bottom.  He puts the ShrimpZ under popping corks, but said it’s okay if they occasionally rest on the bottom, too.