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.

If you have any photos of fish caught in and around Fairfield Harbour that show their distinguishing characteristics, please send them to fhfc@suddenlink.net.




Duane Raver


A nice specimen 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.

Duane Raver


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.

Duane Raver


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.

Duane Raver


An Upper Broad Creek Croaker

Duane Raver


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.


Duane Raver


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

Duane Raver


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.

Duane Raver


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.

Duane Raver

Red Drum

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.


Duane Raver
Hickory Shad

American Shad

A Spring Creek Shad.

What's the difference?
(Hint: Look at the jaw.)

Duane Raver


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.

Duane Raver

Skate, 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.

Duane Raver




Duane Raver


Striped Bass
have unbroken lines.








Hybrid Bodie Bass
have broken lines.

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


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




Duane Raver


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

Duane Raver


Speckled Trout caught by Ed Trott & Wayne Pearson.
They really show the color variations and speckles.


Duane Raver



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.


Duane Raver


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