With NC possible flounder closure nearing, it’s time to catch them
The summer heat hasn’t slowed the flounder bite. Anglers up and down the coast of both Carolinas are catching plenty of flatfish, including some hefty ones.
At Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle, youth anglers Emerson Howell and Brayden Smith weighed in a 5-pound flounder two days ago. They caught the fish on a live minnow.
And last week, Chasin’ Tails weighed in a citation flounder every day for seven consecutive days. Most of those were also caught on live minnows.
“Some of the best inside flounder fishing is going on right now at Atlantic Beach, N.C. It’s the best we’ve seen in years,” they said.
In Murrells Inlet, Capt. Justin Witten with Ambush Sport Fishing Charters said the flounder bite is on fire. He’s been sending clients home with some nice filets, and they’ve been releasing more than they’re keeping.
Artificial lures are also working well
In Wrightsville Beach, Capt. Jot Owens of Jot It Down Fishing Charters agrees. He’s been catching flounder in a variety of sizes. He and his clients are catching theirs on Berkley Fusion bucktails with Gulp! 5-inch grub trailers. The best colors have been curried chicken and salmon red. He’s going on the heavy side with the bucktails, using 1.5 and 2-ounce sizes.
Owens has been finding the majority of his flounder in deeper water with lots of structure that is covered in barnacles and oysters.
At the Apache Pier in Myrtle Beach, Spanish mackerel have been the stars of the show lately, but flounder have been coming on strong as well.
Anglers at the Surf City, Avalon, and Nags Head piers are also catching flounder in numbers. Minnows have been the key, slowly worked parallel with the piers. Anglers are catching the flounder close to shore, around the middle of piers, and toward the ends.
Capt. Bobby Brewer with Baldheaded Bobby Guide Service in Oriental said flounder are also bitingly in his area. Surf anglers, kayak anglers, and powerboat anglers are hooking into plenty of them.
”The flounder are here, hungry, and biting. With that meeting coming up later this month, the flounder fishery may close down for at least a year. So it’s time to catch them, right now,” he said.
Don’t overlook tiny saltwater ponds
The saltwater ponds in the resort areas of Pawleys Island are also giving up plenty of flounder. These fish are most often located close to the bases of wooden retaining walls nearest culverts that provide incoming water.
Donavan McPhail, who works at one of the resorts, said too many anglers cast to the middle of these ponds.
“The fish, especially flounder, are concentrated along those wooden walls. The walls have lots of crevices and cracks that baitfish hide in and around. The flounder just swim back and forth along those walls.
Click here for Ocean East’s latest saltwater report for the Nags Head area.