With family and friends in town for the 4th, I cleared my work schedule and didnâ€™t book any charters. The ocean was a zoo anyways, and the inlet so confused with boat wake it looked as if we had a hurricane coming through. But, nonetheless, the water was beautiful â€“ breezy enough to keep us comfortable and not rough enough to be uncomfortable.
But, with friends and family comes fishing â€“ and folks wanted to catch flounder for dinner. On Sunday, I took out some friends who wanted flounder for dinner â€“ best part was that our friends had never really fished before, let alone for flounder. Team Waterdog (my fiancÃ© Katie and I) had its hands full. We motored out to AR-315 to find approximately 25 boats in the vicinityâ€”it appeared that the majority was slow-trolling for kings and a handful of boats were also anchored up near the buoy dropping shrimp and cut bait. During the two hours we spent on the wreck, I saw less than 3 or 4 fish caught between probably 40 boats.
Anyway, I anchored up in a â€œspotâ€ of mine and opened up the livewell. I only had a couple dozen mullet minnows, and our friends, being inexperienced anglers, went through bait quickly. Within 15 minutes, they had 4 legal flatties in the box. Within an hour, we had tallied 12 keepers (all between 15 and 18 inches) and ran out of bait. So, I used a sabiki rig and managed to catch a bunch of big, hand-sized pinfish. Not my favorite bait â€“ but what else were we to work with? We dropped two right under the boat and immediately â€“ BAM! Two fish on â€“landed both fish (two flounder over 4lbs). Pictured is a 5lb 1oz citation that easily would not have been a citation had he not eaten the 8oz pinfish we offered him. Two hours after arriving, we left the spot after landing 19 legal flounder (didnâ€™t catch a single short). We kept 5 for dinner and released the rest.
Our guests were actually worn-out pulling up these big fatties â€“ most people donâ€™t realize how hard it can be to lift a big flounder from the bottom when in 50 feet of water. With huge smiles on their faces, I couldnâ€™t have been happier or prouder â€“ flounder arenâ€™t easy for even experienced anglers to hook! The bite just seems to get hotter and being that I spent the majority of my time tying up new rigs and trying to catch bait and dozens of missed fishâ€“ their average of 10 fish an hour is simply incredible. We probably had hookups on 80% of our casts. The bite just seems to get better and better â€“ and when the big fish donâ€™t show, use bigger baits!