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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all - I just joined your site, but I've been lurking for a few years now, checking it periodically. Last year, my wife and I almost moved to the Greenville area, but decided to hold off a bit and do more research. I'm hoping you all can help me in that endeavor.

Here's the question - Is the fishing in Greenville, Washington, Pamlico sound good enough all year round to justify a move?

I know you can't answer that, but here's some background:

- I'm lucky enough currently to be able to work from anywhere.
- We currently live in the Mountains of Western VA, but the cold and the fishing are killing me. These fish up here are what I used to call bait when I lived in Florida
- I love, love, love saltwater flats fishing - inshore fishing, flyfishing, etc for reds, trout, flounder, etc
- I have 4 kids and a great wife, Florida isn't the place to raise them. Crime, culture, pedophiles, believe me, not the place to raise a good family, as much as it kills me.
- I need to be somewhat close to a city - again, while I might rather live in the middle of nowhere in a fishing mecca, I have to balance that out with what's good for a family. We like small cities - current city is about 100K in the MSA and it's about right for us.
- I need to be able to fish all year. Weather doesn't stop me, if it doesnt' stop the fish.
- I have an 18.5 ft flats boat - you know the style, shallow draft, jack plate, poling platform. And I live in the mountains. Kind of funny.

So, the questions for you guys if you'd be willing to help:
1) Based on the above, does G'ville/Washington have what I'm looking for? Would you recommend?
2) For a family guy, is it a good place to bring the fam?
3) Would a flats boat be useful in the rivers and Pamlico sound? Too much? Too little?

Thanks in advance. I have a friend moving to the area next month and we'll be visiting them in April, hopefully hiring a guide and getting a taste of things. If any of you have recommendations, feel free to share them too!
 

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I think the area is great year around but I don't have any idea how the fishing compares to Florida or other like places. I live in New bern and love it. Five minutes to three different boat ramps with great rock fishing year around. I'd also add Wilmington to your list of places to explore.
 

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For a family Wilmington has a lot to offer as well as drum, trout, flounder inshore fishing. Stripers in the winter also. I don't know anything about Greenville but it has a college and community college as does Wilmington. Plenty of rivers and creeks near Greenville but Wilmington would be more like Fla. with all the coastline, flats and the river. Wilmington is a historic town as well.

ICM (Ice Cream Man) on this site lives near wilmington, look at his post and you can see how good the fishing is down there. He is always on trout and reds.
 

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New Bern would be something to look at you can hit anything and everything from there. I grew up a few minutes from there in Vanceboro. Wilmington would prob have the more "Flats Fishing" feel though two nice colleges and plenty of historical stuff. Greenville is more of a college town, can get kinda rough and very busy sometimes, kinda long drives from there to any good saltwater fishing in my opinion.

Flats boat would be fine if you fish creeks, rivers and non windy days in the sound(can get choppy in wide crossings). Something around a 18-21ft bay boat or skiff would really get you what you need to do anything and even run a bit offshore when its blown down.

If I had to suggest anything it would prob be around New Bern for me. You can honestly hit anything and everything you could possibly want from there within an hour drive or less (Trout, Drum, Stripers, Bass fishing, Panfish, even bottom fishing wrecks is 1hr plus boat run)
 

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If I had to suggest anything it would prob be around New Bern for me. You can honestly hit anything and everything you could possibly want from there within an hour drive or less (Trout, Drum, Stripers, Bass fishing, Panfish, even bottom fishing wrecks is 1hr plus boat run)
This goes for Wilmington as well. I grew up fishing the Pamlico and Neuse, but work landed me in Wilmington and now that I've got accustomed to it, I prefer fishing the Wilmington area. Your flats boat would be right at home down here.
 
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I lived in Greenville area several years ago due to a job, it was okay there, except, I had really wanted to be closer to the coast. If you are serious about saltwater fishing focus and flexible about location, New Bern or Wilmington would be better imo. Wilmington has grown a lot residentially and commercially the past few years. New Bern is nice, very historic and probably little less commercial compared to Wilmington. Wilmington is closer to the "beach" which your kids and wife might like. There is a lot of inshore type water available near both places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow - thanks for the quick responses - but now I'm completely confused. . .

Looking at the map, Wilmington and "flats" seem incompatible. Can you give me some additional detail? We visited Wilmington but I didn't get a chance to do much research on the fishing there.

The Pamlico Sound, however, seems like a mecca of flats fishing - but good ole' Wikipedia doesn't tell the whole story. Would love more info on both.

BTW, for the rivers, (Neuse and Tar/Pamlico), are they easily navigable by boat, or do you have to know the water well? I am specifically referring to sections generally downstream from Greenville and New Bern, but would be curious about sections upstream as well.

Feel free to direct me to resources, but your personal experiences are very much appreciated too. My wife has a friend in Southport, too, so anywhere between there and Greenville are on our radar.
 

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If you want to get a little more rural, try the Belhaven area. 60 miles from Greenville with many waterfront opportunities and plenty of fishing opportunities.
 

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Anywhere between Greenville and Newport would be great for you and your family and the cost of living in most places isn't bad at all. Your boat is made for these waters 99% of the time and you would be no more than 1hr 45 min from the actual beach. I love this area. Good schools good medical care, plenty of places for your shopping needs etc. I live in "the original" Washington. You can catch bass crappie cats perch bream striper flounder trout drum tarpon (tarpon is rare but happens) all within a boat ride from our docks at various times of year and conditions. Pamlico and Tar river converges here. Fresh upriver salt downriver.. Real estate prices are right too!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Washington does look pretty appealing. What kind of water am I working with down there? I'm used to the turtlegrass flats in Florida - St. Pete area prior to moving to VA. It looks like some of the creeks have grass, but what about the main river channels and the sound itself?
 

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I'll be very interested in seeing how the opinions flow in this thread.
Whatever choice you make best of luck to you and your family.
I came to Wilmington in 1986 and it was about as great a place as I could have stumbled upon. At that time it was maybe 25% as "big" and crowded as it is now. I moved to Hampstead in 2007. Actually almost to Surf City so I am way far up Hwy 17. For me Wilmington became way too crowded and no longer appeals to me at all. From a life style standpoint I much prefer a slow and small pace. I also feel that life is too short to sit in traffic and Wilmington has a load of that. The beach you will go to is likely going to be Wrightsville Beach if you live in Wilmington and, although very pretty, it is JAMMED in the warmer months. Parking is a hassle and costs money. Sitting on the beach can be confrontational these days with people placing their blankets side by side. No thanks. I now go to Surf City/Topsail island if I want to go to the beach. It isn't as "high class" to a lot of people but what many consider class I consider crass.
From a fishing stand point I would have to think that the fisheries in the northern counties are much better than Pender and South. This is just an opinion I've reached in reading things on this site. I am sure there are folks in my area that can go find a school of winter drum but I have not been able to. In addition to the information I've gleaned from this site I can also say that I booked a trip with an inshore charter captain this past year. I wanted to fish the area where I fish or at lease fairly close. When I mentioned this to the boat captain he convinced me to go to the areas he has been doing well at which was well north of Topsail. He said he could likely find some fish around Topsail but that he would have no trouble getting on fish where he had been day after day.
Maybe it's just the "grass is always greener" syndrome but I'm intrigued by the folks that post here about old drum and fisheries with little tide movement etc.
Good luck.
BTW-Maybe a map and some darts???
Or better yet, let the wife decide;)
 

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I live on the Outer Banks, probably closer to what you are lookin for. I wouldn't live in Greenville too much crime and not close to a beachy feel. Belhaven is fine but man you are in the sticks, in a cultural void and school system leaves alot to be desired but it is true coastal rural living at it's best, front doors unlocked and keys left in the truck.Wilmington is another good spot,pretty decent schools and fishin is pretty darn good.We raised three kids here and fishing is pretty good most of the time.NC has great colleges and some are pretty reasonably priced ones as well.
 

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I wouldn't want to raise a family in Greenville, it seems that crime is on the rise there. I drive through Washington several times a year and I'm not too crazy about it either. Just call it a vibe. New Bern is a decent sized city, and seems highly recommended by a lot here, so I won't. Other places to consider, Morehead, Beaufort, and Cape Carteret. The people I know who live in Carteret absolutely love it. I think that you would easily find what you're looking for in one of these cities.
 

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I would think anywhere along the Crystal Coast would be good. Morehead City area. You have grass flats, oyster reefs, backwater creeks, with little travel to the Pamlico sound, and just out the inlet to cape lookout. All the replies are good.
Wish you luck and good fishing
 

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Ask yourself if you will want to fish in the ocean. If that does not matter, any of the sound communities will work for fishing. Schools and shopping are another matter. Better get first hand advice from someone in the same circumstances as yours. Take a few weekends visiting potential locations. It will be time well spent. Swansboro may fit what you are looking for.
 

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1) Based on the above, does G'ville/Washington have what I'm looking for? Would you recommend?

I'd go a little further Southeast than that. Swansboro, Beaufort, New Bern, Cape Carteret. From looking at Google maps it seems like you'd really be limited to just fishing Pamlico without making a long haul. My wife grew up here in eastern NC and says Greenville has a higher crime rate than most of the ENC cities; something to think about with the kiddos. I live out in Richlands but I'm considering moving closer to the city as well.. possibly New Bern or the out-skirts of Raleigh.. for job purposes. I like having access to all the fishing ENC has to offer, though. I love shore fishing, pier fishing, flats, inlets, creeks... we've got it all! I'd imagine Pamlico sound would be good for what your looking for though if we're explicitly talking trout, drum and flounder. You'd probably only get really good fishing in season though, further east you have more options as to where you can fish based on the temperature/weather and can usually catch one of those three fish on any given day all year round if you pick the right land scenario.

2) For a family guy, is it a good place to bring the fam?

Haven't done any Googling at far as crime rates and school district standardized test scores/teacher:student ratios but like I said for #1... my wife is a local and isn't comfortable raising our 3 children there.

3) Would a flats boat be useful in the rivers and Pamlico sound? Too much? Too little?

Heck yeah. I'm not a huge boat guy or boat fisherman but it seems like everyone's either got a flats boat, a jon or a skiff. Can't tell you how many times I've been on the bank of a flat or in the ICW and been like "man I'd love to get a top-water boat up in that creek."

Just my 2 cents from a novice fisherman
 

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All the smaller cities in NC have a higher rate of petty crime in the last few years. Most of it has a racial/economic barrier, and is very concentrated to the "bad neighborhoods" that every small city has, especially in the south. Not a real problem for the average responsible person living out of those neighborhoods. Now if you are a "city" person and see a cracked sidewalk and think it means a "hood" then you aren't going to be happy in any small Eastern town in the South unless you get right on the coast in expensive neighborhoods and deal with crazy HOAs and people forcing their lifestyles on locals. If you are happy with good local food a Walmart, Food Lion type area and some nice little shops and decent medical care then this area will work for you. School districts do vary, so be careful where you choose as far as district. NC is bad for concentrating low income kids and low scores into one area of schools. Belhaven will be a poor choice for education and very rural. The closer you get to the actual coast the higher the prices and a lot of older retirees and people who want to bring their cultures and there lifestyles and force them on local traditions. If hauling the boat 1 hour is too much for you, then you will need to get closer to the coast for your "flats" style fishing. We don't have the broad flats, clear water, grassy fishing you are used to in FL. There are small areas but it isnt the norm here. I would say fishing in NC is like rivers and lakes in the south with a splash of TX/LA backwaters and bays. Our waters are only clear in the dead of winter for the most part. Much more tanic waters here.
 
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as far as the flats boat 99% of the inshore fishing here is in 8 feet or less and to get to the honey holes you need to be able to function in 6 inches. Now the sound can get ugly quick and has to be respected but you can cover most of coastal NC and never be more than 100 yards from a shoreline anyway. Those rough days you make friends with bigger boats :)
 
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