Tourism for Elizabeth City, NC
855 842 9559

Elizabeth City from the Locals' Point of View

Fly Fishing Our Waters – Elizabeth City’s Fishing With Mike

When it comes to fly fishing a lot of people think trout streams and rapids but fly fishing can be done in any body of water including the ocean and our local water ways. You can fish for Bass, Stripers, Brim, Perch and just about any other species we have swimming in our waters and with relatively little expense.

Fly fishing has come a long way since I was a kid but my grandfather taught me how when I was very young and since then I have fished for almost every species I can with it and you don’t know what a good fight is till you hook a 25” striper on a fly rod. Fishing with a fly rod can be simple if you have the right equipment and a little practice you can be landing Largemouth out of the ponds in no time.

The first thing you need is a rod and you can’t just go buy a rod it has to be the proper weight rod. Fly rods are made with a weight factor so the higher the weight the stronger the rods. If you are fishing for brim or perch then a 3 or 4 weight will work and if you are fishing for Largemouth a 6 to 8 will suffice. When you go offshore you want something in the 10 to 14 class in order to handle the bigger fish including Mahi, Tuna and Billfish.

Fly reels are for the most part pretty simple tools with only a spool to hold the line and the drag is set by holding the palm of your hand on the reel and keeping the fish from running by applying pressure. The main difference in reels is what the product is made of and how much line it can handle. Fly line is a lot like regular fishing line with the exception that some line floats while others sink so pick a line that suits the rod and what kind of fishing you will be doing. There are plenty of videos on You Tube to watch for instruction or you can contact me for advice and I will be happy to help.

A nice example of the beautiful color of a Yellowfin Tuna.

The offshore fishing report is looking up with good weather and hungry fish coming to the boats. The Tuna are still hanging around but you have to fish for them. Yellowfin and Blackfin are coming to the docks with the occasional big eye. The Mahi have been regulars on the grass lines and when you find one there are always more. The Billfish have really been on with blue and white marlin flags on a lot of boats as well as Sailfish and they are just in time for the peak of the tournament season.

Near the shores and on the beaches we still have some Cobia hanging around in the grass lines outside of Oregon Inlet but the numbers are down compared to last month. (Photo at top shows Jake Worthington and his mom Lisa with a Cobia caught off the grassline.)  The piers and beach fishing has been slow again this week but it looks like some action is still around the point with sharks being the main target. Fresh cut bait works here with steel leaders and the channel in between the new island is a good place to start. There are some mullet here and there up and down the beach along with some Flounder up around the northern beaches but as a general rule it is slow.

Bobby Moore has been catching quality bass all year on the Northwest River using frog baits almost exclusively.

Locally we have plenty of White Perch up in the stumps and off in the channel drops using Uncle Jessie lures and white Beetle Spins tipped with Shrimp. Remember to only keep the big ones and let the others grow up for next year. The Largemouth Bass have been on point all year with quality fish up to 7 pounds being landed in almost every river and creek we have. Top water baits like buzz baits and Pop-Rs are on a lot of rods but soft plastics like Flukes and finesse worms are also putting quality fish in the boats. Bobby Moore and his fishing partner Vince Hoium from Moyock have been catching quality bass all year on the Northwest River using frog baits almost exclusively and it seems that every week I am getting another picture of one or the other angler with 5 and 6 pound fish. Keep those pictures and reports coming guys. If anyone gets out this week send me a report to or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and let me know how you did.


Mike Sweeney is a local fishing coach and he writes about his fishing adventures in the Daily Advance, Albemarle Times and for the Elizabeth City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Click here to book light tackle guide trips for the Albemarle region and Chesapeake Bay for Stripers, Trout, Flounder, Spanish Mackerel and Blues.