Capt. Allen Jernigan of Sneads Ferry isn’t the only fisherman happy that fall is being ushered in by a series of cold fronts, because the latest one has turned on the flounder in the area.
“We were catching some of them along, mixed with the redfish and speckled trout, but this week the flounder bite has taken a mind of its own and jumped to the forefront,” said Jernigan, who runs Breadman Ventures. “The flounder have definitely decided it’s time to feed, and they are going at it with a vengeance. The only difference in the weather has been the cold front that rolled in Sunday night, and it cooled the water a couple of degrees.
Jernigan (910-467-1482) said the cool weather has the mullet minnows working their way through the marshes and creeks headed for the ocean and a long swim down the beach. Flounder have set up along this migratory path, and when one of the minnows isn’t paying attention and gets too close, it becomes dinner.
“The cold front Sunday put a hiccup in the trout and redfish action, but (it) got the flounder going,” Jernigan said. “They will probably all be biting well again by the end of the week, but right now, flounder are the mainstay of the catch. Of course, no one is really complaining about it.”
Jernigan said many fishermen prefer live bait for flounder, but he’s been catching them on soft plastics and has caught them on spoons and hard lures. He’s having his best luck with Texas Tackle Factory’s Hackberry Hustlers and Mrs. Trout Killers soft plastics.
Jernigan likes to work soft plastics across the bottom while popping them up and letting them flutter down again. He said this allows him to cover more ground, and a flounder will occasionally chase a bait.
“I like to fish for flounder working soft plastics from the bank out towards deeper water,” Jernigan said. “When fishing the New River, there are a lot of stumps and logs just out from the bank, so you have to be careful or you’ll stay hung up. I tried to use worm and swimbait hooks so I could fish the soft plastics weedless, but I was missing too many strikes. I’ve gone back to using 1/8- and ¼-ounce jigheads and fishing braided line so the weight doesn’t dig into the bottom, and I have enough feel to tell the difference between a strike and bumping a stump.”