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  • Swansboro Flounder

    I fished on Tuesday with Dale Collins of Bait Runner Charters in Swansboro.

    The ocean was a little rough early on, so we ducked back inside and fished for flounder around docks in the Swansboro/Emerald Isle area.

    Dale is used to using live bait on his charters -- mud minnows, small menhaden and finger mullet -- but when he's out fishing for fun, he likes to fish artificials, and his favorite artificial is a white, half-ounce Spro bucktail tipped with a 5-inch white Gulp! jerkshad.

    Can you catch flounder on bucktails? The answer was a definite YES!

    The key is fishing around structure that holds bait, whether it's a boat dock, submerged rip-rap, an oyster bar or a shell-encrusted seawall. If it's shallow and it holds bait, flounder will be around.

    Flounder, Dale said, will congregate in relatively small areas -- if they're the right area. On Tuesday, Dale and Jerry Dilsaver, a writer for NC Sportsman, caught four keeper flounder and a short on an area of sandy bottom up against a metal seawall, an area that was barely bigger than the top of a picnic table.

    'If you catch one, stick around, because there will usually be more than one,' Dale said.

    Several other times, Dale or Jerry would get a flounder bite and miss the hookset, then catch another flounder just a couple of feet away from the spot where they got the first bite.

    Dale starts looking for flounder around Memorial Day, when they come in through Bogue Inlet from the ocean -- where they spend the winter and spring. They move through the inlet and spread out into feeder creeks. Dale said they'll stay through October, for sure, but he's caught them in November when he's been targeting speckled trout.

    Dan Kibler
    Managing Editor
    NC Sportsman
    Swansboro Flounder
    I was there and this was fun! Thanks Dale, I had a great time. That one small place was amazing and we kept wondering 'Will this be the last one?'
    How is the flounder gigging in the Swansboro area?