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I have to admit i'm getting a little discouraged with the neuse catfishing. Have been out 5 or 6 times on the Neuse with 1 fish to show for it. I have been using cut frozen shad. 2 rods out with Carolina rigs. Fishing the outside of a gradual bend near a creek mouth that gives it somewhat of an eddy. I have also fished a shallow flat one night. 2 hours or so each time. (I know it isn't that long but I have a job and I'm on a kayak.) Been quitting around 930 to 1030. Water temp was up to to 65 and the river is in the 7.5 foot range near fort barnwell. I really think my chances would improve with the water warming to 70 or over and coming down another 2 feet or so... What do you all think?
 

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I've caught three catfish this year in the Neuse, lost a fourth on the bank and had one break 25# line. The first two were on cut shad in the Neuse River cut, go down from white tail, then take the first right, looks like a creek but goes up almost a mile to a low water dam, we anchored below the dam, caught an 8lb 4oz blue right in the middle of the fastest current in 20 miles, caught an 8lb 5oz channel right near the bank in a foot of water. Week later, caught a 13lb 14 oz blue on an eddy break in deep water between sam casey & broadhurst bridge, she bit cut bream. Had about a 10 lb channel up on the bank and slipped the hook before I could grab him. Also on cut bait. Haven't caught a flattie yet this year. Went to the boat ramp and fished live bream and cut bait on Stevens mill road about 2 weeks ago, two bites, but they were gar I think, even my cut bait is hand sized , goin for bruisers this year!
 

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I have always used what size I could get. Fishing for blues I would hook the eel in the mouth and cut the head off and make chunks about the same size as the head. For flatheads I really like to fish them whole/live do not hook up thru the top of the head. Used tandem hook rigs and single hook rigs with little difference.
 

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I use a pair of old kitchen shears to trim my big baits tails, it puts a different vibration in the water and makes the bait struggle to stay upright in the current, I can't say it's better, but it works for me, in europe they drill holes in wooden spoons and splash the water to draw in those HUGE wels catfish,
 

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Try shallower more often. They move up at dusk, feeding near the bank and around shallow logjams. Hence all the bankside limb lines being checked in the morning. I saw a friend do some serious work on Neuse cats in 3-5' of slack, muddy water. Back where all the bowfin hang out.
 

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The Bait I've had the most success with on the Neuse from Raleigh to Smithfield is minnows.
I buy what they call a bass minnow but is really what used to be called a medium minnow.
If I felt I needed to I put 2 on a hook. It doesn't matter if they die. Just rig em on an 8/0 Octopus or circle hook.
Second best is eel.

Pulled many a big flathead out of the Neuse on nothing more than a minnow.
What I always did is carry minnows and then maybe a few eels and a cut bait. That way you got it covered.
 
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