Summer time is the prime time to fish for flounder but the state has cut us off from some good dinner fare.
Now the season is open and the fish are cooperating. Flounder are some of the best eating fish out there but they can be kind of picky eaters so if you follow some general rules you should be able to pick up a fish here or there.
First of all you have to be where the fish are and some of the best flounder fishing is around the Oregon Inlet and up to the mouth of the rivers. With this warm weather and general lack of rain the salt water has moved inland and so have the bait which means the big fish are right behind them.
Flounder are ambush predators and they love shallow water but they only go up late in the day and through the night. Because they are flat fish they can be in as little as two or three inches right on the bank or up on a sand bar but as soon as the sun rises they like to move deeper.
What all this means is you either have to get up way early or fish through dark to get most of the good fish.
There are many kinds of bait to catch flounder but my two favorites are the flounder rig and the speck jig.
I will tip the baits with strips of squid then throw up onto the bank and drag it into the water. Then I will work it slowly back down the drop offs and into deeper water till it is directly under the boat.
This technique will cover the entire water column in case the fish have not moved up all the way. The funny thing about flounder is the way they bite the lure.
They first hit the bait hard then wait a few seconds to make sure it is dead. This is where a lot of anglers miss the fish because they reflex and set the hook too soon and pull the bait right out of their mouth.
You have to wait to set the hook on the second or even the third strike then you have a better chance of bringing the fish in. It takes lot of practice and patience to wait on that second strike but if you want to catch a flounder you have to wait for it.
I know a skipper up on the Chesapeake Bay who only fishes live spot and I am talking big spot over a pound. He slow trolls them in deep water around the tunnels and that is where you have to learn patience on the strike.
Sometimes you have to wait as much as five minutes till the whole spot is eaten then set the hook.
You can also catch flounder up in the rivers this time of year with the same techniques but you have to be near deep water where the fish have a place to retreat when it gets light out.
What’s biting, where...
Near the shore and on the beach it is showing signs of picking up with spot, croaker and even a puppy drum or two.
The Spanish bite is still on the metal bite and we even had some good size bull drum after dark. Bottom rigs with blood worms and fresh shrimp are the go too baits but don’t forget about sand fleas.
It looks like it’s time to get back out on the sand and see what we can do.
In the sound it is still all about the speckled trout bite with fish seeming to be everywhere but you still have to hunt for them.
Once you find one there are usually more so stay in that area till you have picked it clean.
The locals have been bragging about the number of fish caught off the banks and piers on the rivers with tons of white perch coming in on Beetle Spins and Uncle Jessie lures tipped with shrimp.
We also have reports of puppy drum, flounder and croaker near the mouth of the rivers. Lisa Brock from Weeksville was out fishing the pier on the Little River with her nine year old daughter Bella and landed a couple of nice puppy drum on fresh shrimp.
Great job Bella and thank you Lisa for getting your kids outside fishing.
The largemouth bass have been pretty good early in the morning and late in the day.
Top water baits and plastics have been the one two punch that work the best there.
If anyone gets out this week shoot me a report and some pics to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.