Most of us only think of flounder fishing being done on the banks of places like the ICW creeks, rivers, and bays of Coastal Carolina because that’s where the largest fish are being caught but as it turns out, flounder fishing nearshore is becoming more and more popular. The reason for the rise is due to the protective nature of the fish, and the small ledges and bumps on the ocean floor, and large artificial reefs that cater to this behavior. Many of the structures and reefs can be found as far as a few miles off the beach, or as close as only a hundred yards.
Fishing for ocean flounder is similar to fishing inshore with only a few minor differences. Heavier lines, leaders, and gears are an essential must. A heavier gear is needed because of the increased current and depth of the water. Next, we need a larger braid line – at least 50# – to resist the chaffing that can occur when pulling your tackle over the structure that is many times concrete or metal. The larger braid line will also aid when trying to lift a flat flounder up a long distance from the bottom while it uses the current to resist your efforts. I commonly use a 2 oz. egg sinker on a Carolina rig made with a 30# leader with a 1/0 wide bend hook in the cooler months and a 3/0 wide bend hook in the warmer months.
As far as bait goes, using the same type of bait that you use inshore fishing is your best bet. Once you’ve found its location, anchor near the structure taking care to not tangle your anchor. If you have a unit that locks you into your position, we recommend using a trolling motor to keep stationary. Start casting using the clock method, then make a slow retrieve for a few feet and wait for several seconds. When you feel the bump from the flounder you know you’re in the right place. It’s thought that flounder like to lie together, so if one fish stops bumping the bait, there’s likely another one nearby. You’ll find that you may not catch as large of fish inshore, but you will likely catch more fish. Also don’t be surprised if you don’t bring in a big bull red from time to time.
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