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Neuse at Smithfield....?

5765 Views 32 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  melvin7a
I have fished the Neuse and Cape Fear in several places but have never fished it around Smithfield. Thinkin' about heading that way this weekend. If I put in behind the baitshop/lumberyard would it be better to head up or down stream. I have a 17 foot cattin boat that can float pretty good in as little as 2 to 3 feet even though it's a regular sized boat. Mainly wondering about the depth for a mile or so either way. I'll probably bring 5-6 dozen live 6-9inch golden shiners and a few dozen big dead shad. I release everything I catch (rather eat a burger or saltwater fish). Not askin for a favorite spot just hopefully some general info for that area. If I can help with Jordan, Falls, Cape Fear near Buckhorn, Harris, just ask. Thanks.

(Preciate the response on the old board Keith.)
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Greg, youcan go up or downstream there at the baitshop. Theres some decent holes about a mile or two(guessing distance) down stream. The sand bars between the ramp and the 3 bridges are pretty shallow so take it easy boing down stream. I don't fish it much anymore myself.
Don't forget to check out the Nc gathering thread for next month.
So, do you think it's worth the effort or should I just put in farther downstream? Thanks for the info. The gathering looks interesting......have to see what the schedule looks like.....
Greg, you can either put in behind the lumber yard or at the Town Commons behind the Little Brown Jug. The ramp at the lumber yard is a better place but you have to pay $3.00. There is a pole by the sign as you drive towards the ramp. Put the mony in an envelope and write a description of your truck. The guy that collects the money sometimes comes at night and that way he will know for sure you paid. If you put in there, go back upstream. There are some shallow spots when the river is down so be careful. About halfway between the there and the other ramp is Swift Creek on your left. It is maybe a 10 minute ride at speed so it may take 15-30 minutes with the river low. I like to go upriver in case of a breakdown or in case you get stuck. There have been some nice fish caught near the mouth and along the bank on the left just down stream from the mouth. I hung one last year and got him to the boat (about 50lbs or so) but I was by myself and lost him trying to get him in the boat. There have been 3-4 over 40lbs caught there in the last year. There is a log across the mouth but you can usually get over it to the left if the river is up. There have been some nice ones caught inside the creek as well. Before you get to the creek from the lumber yard, the river curves to the right. Just before that curve is a small log jamb on the left. Fish from the jamb downstream along the bank. I caught a 35 there earlier this year and have caught a couple of smaller ones there too. Use live bream 4-5 inches long, large goldfish, jumbo minnows work too. I actually caught the 35 on a large bream head. That's the first flathead I've ever caught on cut bait. If you go downriver a ways, Black Creek will be on your right. I haven't fished there much, but there have been some nice fish caught near there too. Good luck.
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Wow...great post... Thanks alot for the info. I will be in a blue an white boat with a white outboard when there. My brother is with me most of the time. Think we are going to come down tomorrow night. I will post the results of the trip. Thanks again and maybe we can meet up on the river some time.

I won't be fishing this weekend, it's my anniversary. I use a green 14 ft Lowe with and old blue 15 Evinrude. I have two fog lights mounted on the front, you can't miss it. I might fish next weekend. We went down to Elizabethtown this past weekend and fished with Joe (he posts on here) on the Cape Fear. We only caught 4, the biggest was only 15 lbs, but we had a large time. We used a 24ft pontoon boat, grilled cheeseburgers and ate watermelon. LOL!!! We are definately going to do that again. I also fish with a guy who uses a brown G3 boat with a 25 Yamaha 4 stroke tiller handle. That thing flies. Anyway, maybe we'll meet up sometime. Later, Mack.
We went last night and shallow is right on for the Neuse right now. Can't imagine it gets much shallower. My boat is 17 feet with a 50hp and the first mile or so downstream of the lumber yard ramp was averaging 1.5 to 2 feet deep. Not so bad going down but terrible leaving at 1:00 AM. I made sure I smoothed out every sand bar for the next person and fed all the

Anyway, saw several good holes and fished one of the deepest. Wound up with a 25 pound Blue on cut shad and a 5 1/2 pound Flathead on live bream.

Does the river usually stay this low? I have a 14 foot john I'm gonna have to get ready if we go again anytime soon. Besides the water being so shallow, that road to the ramp at the lumber yard is pretty rough. Not sure I can get the john boat trailer over those wicked ruts. That dude oughta take that 3 bucks a pop and fix those huge washouts.

Had a great time and will be back soon one way or another.....


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Sorry, I forgot to mention the path to the ramp. I have pulled my 14ft Jon boat with a S-10 down there, you can go with about anything if you stradle the ruts. The river is not as low as it gets. I went about 2 months ago and couldn't even go upriver. Just around the corner from the ramp we ran aground all the way across the river. We wound up going downriver to fish. You said you did ok going down but not so good back up. That's why I like to go upriver first, the boat always sits lower in the water going against the river, so if you make it upriver, you know you will be ok coming back. If you drag bad going down, you may not make it back to the ramp. If you go down towards Goldsboro, there is usually more water down that way. We put in on Ferry Bridge Road sometimes, or at Whitetail Landing off 117. Beware of the Smithfield ramps when the river has been up and dropped back down. It usually leaves a lot of mud on the ramp and without 4wd, you may not get up the ramp. Oh yeah, nice blue you caught. That boat looks kind of big to put in around Smithfield unless the river is up. We have been in a center console Polar before when it is up.
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Yeah, we are lucky we are not still feeding the skeeters. If I wanted to put in at Ferry Bridge or Whitetail Landing, how would I get there from coming into Smithfield on 70 business? Might try that next time the water is that low. I forgot your advise about going upstream first....shoulda paid attention.

Preciate your help...don't mean to post a million times....just excited about fishing some new water.....thanks again........
To get to Whitetail Landing, you have to take 70 east to Goldsboro. As you come into Goldsboro, there is a Honda dealer on the left, a Nissan dealer on the right. You will come to an overhead bridge, if you go under and loop around to the right, it takes you down 70 through Goldsboro. You will need to take the ramp to the right before the bridge which is 117 towards Mount Olive. I'm guessing you go about 2 miles maybe 3, and the road kinda splits (the median gets wider) there will be a stoplight and a produce stand on the right. Just up from that there is a store/bait shop on the right. As the road comes back together past the bait shop, there is a driveway on your right. That is the drive for Whitetail Landing. There is a club/bar there and the ramp is right beside it. It is a pretty nice ramp, really clean and we have never had to worry about anything. There are some nice spots downriver, never fished upriver from there. If the river is up good, you can make it down to where the Little River dumps into the Neuse. We have caught some there too. It is a pretty good ride downriver. Don't try it with the water low. Now Ferry Bridge road: 70 business into downtown Smithfield on main street, you will pass the courthouse. Go down until you see Soundstation and Security on the left. That is hwy 301. Turn right on 301 and go down until you get to a stoplight with D&D Body shop on the right. Turn left, that is Old Smithfield Hwy/Brogden Rd. Take that road 10-15 miles or so. You will see signs for a place called Buckleberry where people ride 4 wheelers and stuff. Go past that, you will see Lassiter Rd. to the right. You can turn there, it dead ends at Ferry Bridge road and turn right on F.B.rd, or you can go further down until you see Ferry Bridge road. Either way, turn right on Ferry Bridge rd. When you get to the river, you will cross the bridge and the ramp is on your right. Hope this helps you, happy fishing.
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If ya put in there behind lumberyard, instead of turning in there,continue on up 301 and turn right by whiteswan. take the first dirt road on right. It's a straight shot down to the ramp. That way you won't have to go thru that little "canyon" gulley turning from lumber yard.
That's good news. I'll try it next time I get that way.....
hello greggofish, i also live in cary......grew up on the haw...still have 2 tracts of land on the have got some good info from these guys but heres 1 more....if you put in at ferry bridge use your smaller boat.....shallow spots there too.......ifyou go upstream you will come to an island.....there are some deep(relatively speaking) spots around the island but at low flows you will not get even some jon boats past the top of the island.........i fish there often and at a flow of 700 cubic feet a second or less it is too shallow there....the upsteam tip and channels are also blocked with several trees........i fish out of 3 canoes...been there several timesthis year but 1 time the flow was only 400cfs......i had to get out of my canoe and drag it past the island and through stickups.... this canoe will float in inches of water!.....i could walk from 1 bank to the other and not get the top of my ankles wet...look at ...its tricky gettting used to it but look for info on water....then info by state......then look for streamflow......look at the goldsboro gauge monitered by the us geological survey.........the flow i like in wayne and johnston cos is around 1200 cfs......the flow i like in craven co is anywhere from 2-4000 cfs.....hope this helps...........mack
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Thanks for that info....I plan on maybe trying that area once I really test the areas around Smithfield. The other night we went 3-4 miles down river and it kept getting better and better. We only caught a few but heard a few giants feeding around midnight. I swear one sounded like it was eating a beaver....ha

I like the Haw River and get out there several times a year. We put in at 42 on the Cape Fear and fish just past the Hwy. 1 bridge. Caught a few decent Flatheads there this year and a few really nice Channels over ten pounds. Think I prefer the neuse though due to the fact you get fresh fish moving around.....The Cape Fear/Haw/Deep is cut off by Buckhorn, and the Jordan spillway...I think limiting the fish. And, it's not a bad drive from Cary.

Thanks again.....
hello, i have fished that part of the haw a lot but only once this year.. i agree that it is good...good for stripers too....i put in also at 42(if i use my big square stern canoe with gas motot or a freinds boat but sometimes i take my 15 ft canoe and carry it down the rrocks at the dam and fish from the end of the rocks to us 1.......if no fish are biting i usualy can p/u (no lie) anywhere from 30 -100 nice corks that have washed up against the laydowns that the perchjerkers at the dam have lost and then floated down........i aslo think that for catfish that the neuse is the best....i know guys like the cape fear but i like the neuse better....its smaller and easier to read the water.........and some places wher i fish the neuse (except for springtime shad and striper runs) i rarely see another boat.....stop by and see me if you can....i am the asst mgr at the ace hardware at highhouse and 55.....thanks mack
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Will do, I'm right off Cary Pkwy (Lake Pine Drive) and go to the Ace on Old Apex time I'll head to high house......
Yeah Mack is right about Ferry Bridge, I forgot about that island, but I have never been when it was that low, must have been lucky. We usually go to the left of the island and haven't had any trouble. But we have not been when it was really low. My name is Mack too.
hello greg go fish.....small world......i live behind the rex wellness center (between there and the lake).............i may fish some where friday but i have some wk to do on my land for deer hunting in ala co and somework on 200 acres i lease in chatham co.....i am(weather permiting) going catfishing on the neuse next saturday..probaly in craven or lenoir co.......thanks mack
small world indeed.

We will not get out til next weekend (Striper fishing on Jordan this weekend)and will probably be on the Neuse after a big flathead this time. Saw three areas on the river that have to hold big ones if I can just get them out. This time I'll bring the 14 foot Jon boat. I have a new 18 hp four stroke on it and should be able to get to the good spots alot quicker than I did last time since that boat can run well in 6-8 inches of water.

Will post the results if there area any :)
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