Return of the flounder

ncpierman with a nice one caught 7/11/10

I am seeing more flounder this year than I have for a while. Usually I see them as I am poling my skiff across mudflats in less than 6 inches of water. They let you get pretty close and then they scoot out from under the boat. There will be a mud trail with interspersed puffs for every time the tail hits the bottom. Last year and the year before I hardly saw this occur at all. This year… quite a bit. I don’t actually catch many flounder because I am not actively fishing for them, but I see them. They are out there. In numbers better than in recent years. Why? What is the difference? I am hearing about people having the best days of their lives flounder fishing in inside waters. Catching the biggest one they have ever caught. What is diffferent? Is it the weather? I don’t think so because by all accounts this past winter was the harshest we have seen around here in a long time. Are they using better baits/techniques? It appears that a live minnow on a hook is still the number one way to catch a flounder, which was the best way to do it when I was a kid almost 30 years ago (sidebar:ugh). The single biggest difference between this year and the past three years is simple: the absence of the 24 hour untended gill net (period). The simple act of changing the laws about how gill nets can be used has seen a dramatic increase in the number of flounder in our inshore waters. How can an entanglement net that is left in the water for a straight week not have a detrimental effect on fish populations in an area? It can’t. Now the nets have to be fished, i.e. checked and taken out of the water, every morning. They can only be used 4 nights a week and not at all in the daylight hours and not on the weekend. Also the amount of gear that can be used has been lessened. BINGO! More fish! For everyone. How difficult is this to determine? If this is continued I foresee a good outcome. More flounder for anglers AND (wait for it) commercials. Now if those guys can just get over their attitude that they have to catch every available fish and keep getting more and more…

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2 thoughts on “Return of the flounder

  1. NCPIERMAN

    Capt Gordon,
    I agree with you on the net statement and also seeing more flounder. I too dont normally target them but have seen the mud pats in the past,but not as I am seeing them now. Isee more mud pats being tossed than ever before. Did i ever think i would catch a monster like in the pic above? Plain and simple, no way! If this is what happens with restrictions I’m all for it, not that I’ll keep targetting flounder, I’m more after the drum.
    Great read thanks for sharing it.

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