What's that fish?

Over the course of the year there are many fish in the waters in and around Fairfield Harbour. From the inner harbor out to the Neuse and from the shallows and holes of Upper Broad Creek, Spring Creek, and Northwest Creek, members of the Fairfield Harbour Fishing Club land a wide variety of fish over the course of the year. Here are some of the fish you are likely to catch or see. The illustrations are by Duane Raver, Jr. from the book Fisherman's Guide: Fishes of the Southeastern United States (Raleigh: N.C. State Museum of Natural History, 1984) and used with his kind permission. The photographs show actual fish caught by members of the Fairfield Harbour Fishing Club. A commemorative Red Drum print is available from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries.

If you have any photos of fish caught in and around Fairfield Harbour that show their distinguishing characteristics, please send them to webmaster@fh-fc.com.




A nice drum caught by Bob Bruggeworth from his dock on Spring Creek. The stripes fade as the Black Drum mature.


The stripes are much more pronounced on the smaller fish like this one caught by Larry Knapp from a dock on Hawksbill Court in the Inner Harbour. They're sometimes confused with the Sheepshead.
                    Click here to compare.



An early August "Snapper" from Upper Broad Creek.

Young "Snapper" Bluefish will enter the Harbour and surrounding creeks in the summer if salinity is up. They are often found chasing schools of baitfish, particularly Finger Mullet and Menhadden. Baits slashed in half and lines bitten off are good signs you may be dealing with snappers.




A Bowfin caught in the Inner Harbour in September.




When the salinity is lower, some fairly large catfish can be caught in the harbour. This one was caught in Spring Creek by Bob Bruggeworth.




A Black Crappie caught in the Inner Harbour

North Carolina has both Black Crappie( above) with pronounced spots and White Crappie (below) with less pronounced spots and vertical stripes. The Black are common in NC coastal rivers like the Neuse.




An Upper Broad Creek Croaker



Harvey also performs exorcisms.


A nice May flounder caught by Harvey Pye at the NW Creek Marina circle. He caught it about 6 pm on a Rattler. 






A large Gar being reeled into the dock (before the line was cut). 




Caught on a live minnow in the inner harbour in February. 


 A Largemouth caught in the Inner Harbour by Larry Knapp 




The "Jumping Mullet" won't take a hook but they can be caught with a cast net or snagged with a treble hook. 




This Chain Pickerel was caught in Upper Broad Creek.




The aptly named Pinfish can inflict serious puncture wounds to the unwary angler who mistakes it for a pumpkinseed. It's one of the better bait-stealers and commonly caught.




An Upper Broad Creek Pumkinseed caught on Larry Knapp's dock.




Art Thinguldstad with a 44.5" post spawn male drum caught west of Hampton Shoals at the mouth of Upper Broad Creek and Fairfield Harbour.

More Information




A Hickory Shad from Spring Creek.



What's the difference?

(Hint: Look at the jaw.)




A Sheepshead caught by Bob Bruggeworth from his dock on Spring Creek 19 August 2009 using a shrimp head. They're sometimes confused with the Black Drum.

Click here to compare.

 aka Clear Nose Skate



Skates have many "thorns" on their back and can inflict a wound if stepped on or held. When they are in the Harbour their wings often appear as two fish swimming side by side.




Spot are a fun fish for younger anglers.

Spot Fishing: baits and rigs, and other info




Striped Bass have unbroken lines.

Eighteen inches or better is fairly common in Fairfield Harbour as shown above by Tim Miller with a Spring Creek fish.




Hybrid Bodie Bass have broken lines.

Bob Bruggeworth shows a nice 8 pound Bodie from Spring Creek.

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Tarpon are caught in Pamlico SOund every year, but are rare in Fairfield Harbour waters.  Jeff Wertz caught one from Wayne Massetti's dock in the inner harbour on New Year's Day 2016 using a live minnow . Ed Wall reported the  catch in the Sun Journal.




Speckled Trout caught by Ed Trott & Wayne Pearson.





Speckled and Gray Trout are quite similar in appearance.

Grays are more mottled than speckled with irregular or uneven wavy lines of smaller spots rather that the Specks' more colorful spots.

You can see the smaller spots on Frank Picco's citation size (over 6 pounds) Gray.




A White Perch caught by Larry Knapp from his dock on Hawksbill.






A nice Yellow Perch caught in December in Spring Creek by Jeff Wertz