Little River offers world-class flounder fishing in the fall
Fishing for southern flounder ended in North Carolina last month, leaving those anglers with a love for flounder out in the cold. While the season closure will give an opportunity for North Carolina flounder stocks to recover, South Carolina anglers are in for a treat, because doormats come out of the woodwork this month, and Little River is a top-drawer area.
With the mullet run winding down and water temperatures dropping, flounder are beginning to look towards the ocean for escape. That happens when the massive schools of mullet are still flowing in and out of the inlets, ringing the dinner bell for flounder with big appetites.
Tom Cushman of Capt. Cush Calmwater Fishing Charters out of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., targets big flounder this time of year and is very successful at it. From docks along the waterway to the jetties and nearshore reefs, Cushman rigs with jumbo finger mullet and a carbon-fiber drag system ready for action.
“The mullet run is winding down in October, but it has brought in a lot of predators, including the biggest flounder we see all year,” said Cushman (843-997-5850). “It’s a big-fish time of year, and we generally use bigger baits to attract those bigger fish.”
Anglers catch flounder in all sorts of locations around Little River
Even though big mullet are generally located near and along the oceanfront, plenty of the big baits are inshore.
“In the fall, we catch big flounder all over, from the docks on the waterway to the jetties, and we even catch them in the middle of the channel on sandy bottoms,” he said. ”They can be about anywhere, but the jetties are excellent places to target the bigger ones specifically. We often catch several doormats while drifting for bull reds in the inlet in October.”
Cushman uses Carolina rigs with oversized hooks on the bottom or large, scented-soft plastics in the 5- to 6-inch range. In areas with heavy current and structure, large bucktails with a Gulp! trailer are deadly for doormat flounder. Not only can these fish detect the fishy odor from the Gulp! bait, it is a large presentation that gives the angler an edge.