Neuse River near Raleigh, NC

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by mikeb210, May 12, 2009.

  1. mikeb210

    mikeb210 New Member

    Anyone ever fish this area of the Neuse? I just moved to Raleigh and would love to get into some decent catfishing. I've heard of the Falls tailrace and Milburnie dam but haven't really spoke with anyone from the area who could give me good answers. Thanks all...

  2. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Wilm .N.C
    Mike welcome to the BOC .it,s a great site .it made take a day or 2 but u will get the info you were asking about

  3. Catfish_Hunter88

    Catfish_Hunter88 New Member

    Raleigh, North
    The Milburnie dam area produces some decent sized fish. I have had good luck with channels ranging from 2 -10 lbs. There are some nice flats too. Daytime fishing there can be bothersome. Nothing worse than having a group of guys wading the river around your line or throwing the cast net on your line! :angry:
  4. amk29

    amk29 New Member

    Durham, NC
    Mikeb, welcome from another rookie. I am in the same boat as you, just moved to the triangle and have been dying to hook into some big cats. This is a fantastic site and a bunch of master catmen have posted about Raleigh fishing on the Neuse. I pasted a few of the highlights below. The best thing to do may be to search this forum to get the full posts. These boys really know their stuff...I personally haven't fished much of the river mostly because its been so high recently but from what I have scouted there are a number of good holes and access points along the Raleigh-Neuse. I think the dam prevents big fish from coming up towards falls. Milburnie dam down to New Bern Ave is really heavily fished judging by the number of chicken liver containers on the banks, but where there's smoke there's fire and I have heard of a bunch of big fish taken here! From New Bern Ave to Rt64 there are a number of promising holes and good trails that run on either side of the river. Looks to be less fished. There is a nice canoe access from Rt 64. The trail on the west side of the river runs all the way past Poole road. Crabtree creek meets the neuse in this stretch and looks to me like a promising place for fish. There is also a Level II run of rapids in this stretch just below Anderson point park that I am hoping has a nice hole afterwards. There is a really nice canoe launch at Poole road and the west side trail continues south from there (not sure if it goes all the way to Auburn Knightdale Road)and there are some really sharp bends in the river in this stretch (by the golf course) that prob have nice holes and collected timber in them. I will post more info when I actually have had a chance to fish, but from what people have posted there are some huge fish and the pressure is not bad once you get away from the access points. The river is too shallow to boat, so it's either canoe, kayak or walk (this is what keeps the pressure down).
    Of course if you ever want to combine forces, shoot me a message and we can go after them together...
    Past Posts:
    Venture farther downstream from the dam. 30 pound flatheads become an old hat. You've got about 20 miles of good fishing there. Some of the best in the state. You might as well say it's unfished water. The key is putting in the time and effort to get away from the easy places to fish like bridge crossings and parks. There are sections of the Neuse we hike and wade into.Ultimately the best way is by canoe or kayak.

    What makes it so great?
    No traffic. Most fishermen prefer to go first class. You cant go first class in this portion of the river. It involves alot of work sometimes like paddling or wading.

    There are alot monsters up there.
    CPR'd a 51 pound flathead in the Raleigh city limits.
    Released numerous 30-40 pound class flatheads all up and down there.
    Big blues aren't as prevelant but 20 pound class blues aren't anything to have a heart attack over in that section. The channel cat fishery is healthy. We catch some nice channels up there. My fishing partner released a channel a few weeks ago close to Clayton that beat the current record on portable scales. It's the only place I know of to fish and never see a another soul fishing. We occasionally see a yakker paddle by that is just yakking and not fishing.
    We fish all over the dang thing. You can pull 40 pounders out of water less then 2 foot deep. Sometimes we use shad from the river but believe it or not large bass minnows have caught more big fish for us consistently then anything else over the years. I also use finger mullet I go to the coast and buy frozen in 10 pound boxes. Bream, and eels.
    Might as well leave the depth finder at home. You wont need it:smile2:
    It's shallow, thats why it doesnt get the traffic. Last weekend it was gar weekend. Piss poor moon to be fishing on and it appears the gar are spawning. When they spawn you cant keep them off the hook. Aggravating. But I did catch a few gars 3 feet long or better.

    _mark makes an excellant point about going where the boats with motors cannot.....i love to fish the neuse near the wayne and johnston line and down between kinston and boats with motors can get into my holes this time of year but not in the summertime when there is a drought.....even near ft barnwell there are sections that in the summer you see no 1......last year the river all the way accross in 1 spot was only 6 inchs deep and this is in craven canoe went righ over that shallow area ....and i have never seen a jetdrive on the neuse..waiting for low water......mack

    In the past we have jon boated it. Too much hassle because when you put in you are committed to the flow of the river.
    Trying to paddle a jon boat against the current is a heart attack waiting to happen.
    What we have been doing for the past couple of years is hiking in about 3/4 of mile then wading for another half mile or so with chest waders.
    It's alot of work.
    Plenty of hawgs from the Raleigh city limits to Smithfield and no bush hookers. As much as I fish the upper Neuse I've only seen a handful of canoes or kayaks on the river and only one of those was fishing. Bass fishing. The cats aren't pressured. It's a treasure not many folks are willing to seek. You've got the usual bank fishing haunts like the bridges but a canoe quickly gets you away from all that.
    Back in the early to mid 80's I made front page of the Raleigh Times.
    28 of us left the bridge on Pool Rd. in Raleigh and wound up at Cape Hatteras.
    Raleigh Fishing by rt 64
    -I found a spot on 64 that has a little trail to walk down to the river, I've been fishing there alot and so far the only decent fish I caught was a 3 pound catfish, everything else was tiny. The only bait I have is worms and I was wondering if I should be using anything else. I'm new to catfishing and want to catch a big one, are there any good spots on the river I need to try?

    -take the worms you are trying to catch cats with and use them to catch bream...then throw out the bream (I use a 8/0 gami. circle hook) and hold on...

    not sure the exact spot your talking about but I caught my biggest flathead (23lbs) in that stretch of river and i know of a 32lb. that was taking out of the stretch and a few 20's as well...

    Be patient flatheads travel along way sometimes looking for bait in the night time...not sure your line weight but I use 65lb. braided allot of snags and you may need to muscle the fish away from snags...make sure you have sufficient terminal tackle there are some monsters in there...not to mention HUGE bowfin and gar....

    -Bankfishing at night is going to give you the best oppertunity.
    The river is shallow and bankfishing leaves you fishing where you can access.
    At night those flatheads will move up into those shallows.

    Use PVC rod holders driven into the ground. The old Y shaped stick stuck in the sand will leave you rodless real quick. Seen it happen more then a few times.

    -..when I have seen some of the spots in the daytime that i fished in the night time i was amazed!!!!!...less than a foot of water right in front of a log a current break...

    the spots you linked to are good patient!!

    look for current breaks....flatties don't like currents...during the day fish close to the log jams or under cuts in the banks...night time, fish away from the structure and try to find neck down areas or sand bars...

    flatheads will actually use the shore line to push a bream or shad out of the water...we have heard them feeding at night and they will break water chasing their food source...they are ferocious feeders...

    like i said make sure you have the right may not get a second chance....

    not sure about your rod and reel capabilities...i use a 9' surf rod and a quantum reel (open face)...but a small stout rod will work...all my combos were cheap, less than $50 and two of them were purchased at wally world but i have caught plenty of big cats with those I said...

    i spend all of money on my terminal tackle....gamakatsu hooks, we make our own no roll sinkers and suffix braided line...

    -The canoe launch off 64 has yielded some big flatheads and blues.
    We've pulled a bunch over 30 pounds out of there and more then a few over 40. Fish downriver and upriver from the launch.
    Work a little to get to a spot. You'll find that the easy to get to spots are fished to death and fished often.

    -The current probally isnt as strong now. The river was about normal this week everytime I saw it in Smithfield.
    Get you some no roll sinkers.

    Neuse like the Cape Fear is hard to access for fishing. About your only option is to get a map and access from the bridges that cross it.
    I've personally never had any luck around these bridges as everybody and their half brother fishes at them.
    What we do is park at a bridge and start hiking. Get to a point where no one else bothers to go.
    Its alot of work to catch nice fish from the bank.
    Dont blaze a trail either. Everybody and his half brother will take advantage of your hard work. We are careful not to leave sign of where we have been and how we got there. Nothing that a rain wont wash away anyway.

    About that ramp. Unless something has changed we've always parked down at the ramps and stayed until we got ready to leave whatever time that might be.

    The best bet for the
    Neuse is a canoe or kayak. Use the canoe or kayak to go down river to scout out sandbars to fish from. Park the canoe and bank fish.
    Then a canoe is easy to paddle back up river.

    Forget a motor of any kind up there in that part of the
    Neuse. You'll tear up alot more then its worth.

    -i've been exploring and found a few holes between milburnie dam and falls dam. most of the river up that ways that ive seen has STEEP banks and snake heaven to get to it. i was out in the woods saturday and saw a dozen moccasins with 300 yards of each other. the canoe idea is sounding better and better.
    google earth has been a great tool as well to trace the river and get some ideas.

    Falls is packed full of small whites and channels. If you're looking for a stringer full of eating size fish it's a good place to go. But, if you're looking for an opportunity to catch a big fish or two, take Mark J's advice and mosey on down below the Milburnie Dam, big catfish, blackfish and gar abound.
    About 10 miles downstream from the tailrace at falls reservoir there's another dam called Milburnie Dam. It prolly blocks most of the fish headed upstream in springtime. If I was looking for some running shad I would try fishing there instead of at the Falls Dam. It's off of Milburnie Road about 1/4 mile or so from US 64 (New Bern Ave.). There is a city park there now but as far as I know you can still fish there. When I was a kid this area below the dam was known as Raleigh Beach.