Flounder season will be open for six weeks
During the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission meeting on Feb. 20, the Commission voted to open the 2020 recreational flounder season on Aug. 16. The season will run through Sept. 30.
Capt. Jot Owens of Jot It Down Charters in Wilmington looks for the flounder fishing to be outstanding. Flounder fishing is popular among his charter clients. He expects to be booked pretty solid for the 2020 flounder season.
“I’m betting as good as it was last year, it will be even better this year,” said Owens. He heard the news while listening to the Marine Fisheries Commission’s meeting in New Bern.
The MFC closed the recreational flounder fishery in North Carolina waters this past fall for what was then declared an undisclosed amount of time. The Commission wanted to look at several factors and data before determining when, and even if, they would hold a recreational season in 2020.
Before, and then after the flounder season closed, anglers up and down the Tarheel State’s coast reported catching big numbers of flounder. That trend has continued during the catch-and-release only season.
Commission has not issued proclamation yet
Although the MFC voted on and approved the measure to open the six-week season, they have yet to issue an official proclamation. But Owens said he believes that’s a mere formality at this point.
“It was seconded and voted in. Now a proclamation has to be issued for it to go into effect. But there is no reason that would not happen,” Owens said on his charter’s Facebook page.
As far as daily limits and size restrictions, Owens said those topics were not discussed during the meeting. That leads him to believe that the limits will remain what they were before the harvest season was closed.
“(As far as I know), nothing has been spoken about the limits, which means they stay the same,” he said.
Before the closure, the daily flounder limit was four fish per person with a 15-inch minimum size limit.