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North Carolina Flounder Regs 8/16-9/30, Confused

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North Carolina Flounder Regs 8/16-9/30, Confused

Old 08-29-2020, 02:31 PM
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Default North Carolina Flounder Regs 8/16-9/30, Confused

I keep seeing pics of flounder being caught in NC during a period that I thought was closed. These flounder were obviously not being released (unless dead). Did I miss something?
Old 08-29-2020, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mrmamiller View Post
I keep seeing pics of flounder being caught in NC during a period that I thought was closed. These flounder were obviously not being released (unless dead). Did I miss something?

ďThe 2020 recreational flounder season begins Aug. 16 and ends Sept. 30. The minimum size limit will remain at 15 inches total length and the creel limit will remain at four fish per person per day in internal and ocean waters of the state.ď
Old 08-29-2020, 02:47 PM
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If you havenít been flounder fishing your lateeee to the game. Iím hardly finding a limit gigging now. The fish were thick in numbers and size the first 2 weeks. They are getting MIA now. I think the pressure is catching up. Literally everyone is trying to hunt them down these days
Old 08-29-2020, 02:57 PM
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Fish around the inlet, they may be making their way out.
Old 08-29-2020, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Wickedfisha View Post
If you havenít been flounder fishing your lateeee to the game. Iím hardly finding a limit gigging now. The fish were thick in numbers and size the first 2 weeks. They are getting MIA now. I think the pressure is catching up. Literally everyone is trying to hunt them down these days
True.
A LOT harder finding them now than a few days or even a week after the season opened.
Giggers are wearing them out nightly on every part of the water - river, and creeks.
Old 08-29-2020, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CAP1 View Post
True.
A LOT harder finding them now than a few days or even a week after the season opened.
Giggers are wearing them out nightly on every part of the water - river, and creeks.
while I agree with most of this, Iv gigged a ton since the season started. More boats fishing rod and reel for them then whatís on the water at night. Atleast for my area. Iv been a solo boat at lockwood 3 nights this week. The charters are wearing them out on the reefs and monster fish. I havenít seen this drastic of a population density change since Iv started gigging them and seeing their yearly inshore patterns. Literally anyone and everyone is fishing for them. Last year had more wade gig guys than this year and now the fetish has worn off, itís been calm on the night life scene this past week and a half. The inlet is getting pounded but the viz is what it is. Iv tried other good spots that I have got them on in past years. Canít see the bottom while stuck. The rain isnít helped the fishery out either. If your concerned with what gig boats are doing, In my opinion a spot lock feature is just as deadly as a gig to the population. Those ocean fish are huge and getting taken out quick
Old 08-29-2020, 05:02 PM
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With the number of folks after them, a one fish per day limit is the only hope. We argue often against commercial guys but a look at the boat ramps tell the story. Itís a booming human population pounding many different species and not realizing how many of us there are. The ramp has had more trucks/trailers on the weekends than during the king tournaments.
Very telling.
Old 08-29-2020, 05:12 PM
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Try offshore reefs with live mullet. Limited out 2 times this week. Good luck!
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Wickedfisha View Post
If your concerned with what gig boats are doing, In my opinion a spot lock feature is just as deadly as a gig to the population. Those ocean fish are huge and getting taken out quick
Not even close.. Just about everybody and their brother that can afford a jon boat has been out as often as weather allows and I've seen plenty of pics of big gigged 22-28" limits of fish vs. a handful of popular wreck spots getting hit hard

Best thing they could do is cut the limits and raise the size or implement a slot vs a 6 week kill everything you see season.. 2 Fish @ 18" with a 6 per vessel limit or something similar could be a step in the right direction
Old 08-29-2020, 08:01 PM
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Have you been out at night on a gig boat? Iv played double duty 3x this week. Not all waters will be the same but I guarantee you there are more boats fishing lockwood folly area for flounder than the same nights gig boats. Charters are running 2-3 trips a day to the reefs. Iím on the water, I see it first hand man.
We can definitely agree on some sort of limitation. Iím all for that.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:25 PM
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I thought I had ďsecretĒ spots that were good around Mhc. I went opening day at day light and was back home by 8am with 4 keepers under 20Ē. Went few days later and took a little more work but got keeper limit with little more work. Been twice since then with charters circling and looking spot I was on..... itís ridiculous. Boston butts can be bought for .99 lb and chicken breast for 1.99$
Old 08-30-2020, 02:18 PM
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I'd be willing to bet we end up blowing way past the target reduction in harvest for this year and end up with even less for next year...
Old 08-30-2020, 03:32 PM
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Does anybody know if the flounder season for recs was tweaked at all for increased fishing pressure due to COVID19? Harvesting rates envisioned pre-COVID probably don't come close to what's actually happening.
Old 08-30-2020, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wxguesser View Post
Does anybody know if the flounder season for recs was tweaked at all for increased fishing pressure due to COVID19? Harvesting rates envisioned pre-COVID probably don't come close to what's actually happening.
the numbers werenít even clear from the start to its a crap shoot. Sometimes you come out ok I guess. Hope itís that way
Old 08-30-2020, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Wickedfisha View Post
Have you been out at night on a gig boat? Iv played double duty 3x this week. Not all waters will be the same but I guarantee you there are more boats fishing lockwood folly area for flounder than the same nights gig boats. Charters are running 2-3 trips a day to the reefs. I’m on the water, I see it first hand man.
We can definitely agree on some sort of limitation. I’m all for that.
I fish Lockwood Folly inlet from the shoreline 5 days a week (Daytime) and very very few boats are fishing compared to years past . The ones that you do see flounder fishing might hookup with a single fish but NEVER come close to their 4 fish limit . When night fishing i see gigger's on both sides of the inlet going back and forth over the same spots for hours on end . 99% in small boats i rarely see giggers walking . There used to be people on nearly every Intracoastal dock fishing years back but docks are barren these days you see very very few anglers fishing off docks anymore . While flounder used to line grassy shorelines all over N.C and make mullet schools hugging grass banks shoot high into the air the only thing you see making them jump these days are Lizard Fish .

The boats that can make it to the artificial reef's always clean up but inshore it's atrocious .

It's truly criminal what has happened to this fishery in this state .
Old 08-30-2020, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by lcg8978 View Post
I'd be willing to bet we end up blowing way past the target reduction in harvest for this year and end up with even less for next year...
I would bet so too, but with zero rec reporting, there is absolutely NO way to know. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire for the government to be more involved and requiring reporting.

One thing is for sure - a sure way to get people to want more of something is for a government to say you can't have it.
Old 08-30-2020, 07:54 PM
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I follow several capt. on social media and they are limiting almost daily. Im a weekend warrior and can tell ya several weeks ago I would catch 2-4 easily now i may get one. Got one Friday. Needs to be a slot system imo.
Old 08-30-2020, 08:04 PM
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I don't know where you all are fishing, but the few times I've been out recently it's been as good as I have seen it in a very long time. Same with trout and reds.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:49 PM
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What I have witnessed over the last three weeks has really been an eye opener. I could walk down the end of my dock at night on the ICW prior to Aug. 16th and catch 4 flounder with relative ease. Some nights it would take a little longer but usually less than an hour. Several times in early Aug. I would walk down and catch 6-7 within 45 minutes. All keeper size and all went back in the water. My kids would scratch their heads and ask why I was targeting flounder knowing that I couldn't keep them. Told them it was my own little study. LOL I did end up catching my first red tagged flounder one night so that was cool and made it all worth it. The flounder fishing, inshore and off, was the best I had ever seen it. And then comes 12:01 AM Sunday morning the 16th. The whole freakin waterway was lit up with the giggers. They were everywhere and they went at it all night. Coming and going from the boat ramp. Bringing back four fish and heading back out? Yep. How many times? Who knows. And then, during the daytime hours, there were/are boats flounder fishing every single day, nonstop. Just this week, I would have a boat fishing my dock and the docks around me almost every hour of the day and I am talking weekdays folks. I fished every night this week over an hour each night. Caught one 20" flounder last night and it's the only fish I have caught off my dock. Caught one 16" this past Monday morning in my yak. We, the recreational guys, have decimated the flounder in just three weeks. With almost 4 weeks to go, and a holiday weekend thrown in, I have a feeling I won't catch another flounder off my dock this year. I really don't understand what good came of the closing if we are simply going to destroy the gains that were so short lived.
Old 09-03-2020, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CAP1 View Post
One thing is for sure - a sure way to get people to want more of something is for a government to say you can't have it.
Originally Posted by koiboydavid View Post
What I have witnessed over the last three weeks has really been an eye opener. I could walk down the end of my dock at night on the ICW prior to Aug. 16th and catch 4 flounder with relative ease. Some nights it would take a little longer but usually less than an hour. Several times in early Aug. I would walk down and catch 6-7 within 45 minutes. All keeper size and all went back in the water. My kids would scratch their heads and ask why I was targeting flounder knowing that I couldn't keep them. Told them it was my own little study. LOL I did end up catching my first red tagged flounder one night so that was cool and made it all worth it. The flounder fishing, inshore and off, was the best I had ever seen it. And then comes 12:01 AM Sunday morning the 16th. The whole freakin waterway was lit up with the giggers. They were everywhere and they went at it all night. Coming and going from the boat ramp. Bringing back four fish and heading back out? Yep. How many times? Who knows. And then, during the daytime hours, there were/are boats flounder fishing every single day, nonstop. Just this week, I would have a boat fishing my dock and the docks around me almost every hour of the day and I am talking weekdays folks. I fished every night this week over an hour each night. Caught one 20" flounder last night and it's the only fish I have caught off my dock. Caught one 16" this past Monday morning in my yak. We, the recreational guys, have decimated the flounder in just three weeks. With almost 4 weeks to go, and a holiday weekend thrown in, I have a feeling I won't catch another flounder off my dock this year. I really don't understand what good came of the closing if we are simply going to destroy the gains that were so short lived.
My observations as well. Flounder very plentiful before the season opening. Now where we were catching decent flounder - none. Flounder pounder boats dragging baits for hours for a single or two fish if that is what I have witnessed this week repeatedly.

Closing the season and reopening it as they have done may have done more damage to the overall stock than having done nothing last fall.

Our fisheries management in NC has to change.

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