Jim, I am new here too but I've live over here in Jacksonville for a while now. I would respectfully suggest that the best striper fishing around here without going all the way to "the coast" is New Bern. Starting Oct. 1st the season opens for being able to keep them and the fishery is usually pretty good. A good place to launch is Lawson Creek Park which is basically where the Trent and the Neuse come together. The bite can be topwater, suspending plugs, jigs, rubber shads, rigged rubber eels and depending on the weather and your comfort level, will last through the winter.
Happy to help if you want more info, pm or email [email protected]