Image nighttime flats and shallows, illuminated solely by the moonlight and tender glow of LED lights out of your boat. Your eyes are scanning the sandy backside, on the lookout for a “Doormat.” You’re filled with adrenaline and might’t assist however really feel the joys of the journey. The hunt has begun!
Flounder gigging is an effective way to embrace custom and hunt for meals the way in which our ancestors did. This area of interest sport is actually distinctive, permitting you to discover marine life at night time. It’s an journey in itself – and one which doesn’t require an excessive amount of from the anglers.
In case you have the will and just a bit little bit of enthusiasm, you’re 50% prepared to your Flounder gigging journey. On this information, we’ll attempt to reply all of the questions you could have about this sport, together with one of the best spots, gear you’ll require, and extra. So with out additional ado…
What’s Flounder gigging?
Flounder gigging is once you pierce your goal fish with a spear or handheld prong. That is what’s referred to as a gig, trident, leister, or trishul. In brief, as an alternative of catching your goal with a rod and line combo, you stab – or spear – your fish. You goal fish that lay in place on the seafloor, which isn’t the only process. Flounder, the most well-liked gigging goal, prefer to bury themselves within the sand.
How can an untrained fisherman spot their Flounder? Effectively, the reply to that’s fairly easy. You have to make out their form utilizing a powerful gentle supply as you wade or float over the seafloor. In fact, comparatively clear and calm waters assist. Probably the most attention-grabbing half is that you simply’ll be on the lookout for Flounder’s eyes. A fast tip – the farther aside they’re, the larger the fish!
Measurement actually issues right here, as you may solely spear fish that fall inside dimension rules. As soon as efficiently gigged, your Flounder doesn’t have a lot of an opportunity of surviving. Subsequently, you solely need to spear as many Flounders as you’re planning to eat later.
All of the motion sometimes occurs at night time, though day journeys are additionally potential. Flounder gigging fanatics use this methodology whereas fishing on the flats and backwaters.
Can I goal something moreover Flounder?
As we talked about above, Flounder is essentially the most sought-after gamefish for gigging fanatics. Nonetheless, it’s not the one species you may harvest with a gig. Anglers (typically mistakenly) gig Rays, whereas in Oklahoma, as an example, you might also goal White Bass.
Gigging has an extended heritage within the Ozarks, too. Through the official Arkansas gigging season, which lasts from September 15 till February 15, you may legally goal non-game fish, together with some forms of Carp, Bowfin, Gar, Suckers, Bullhead, and Drum. Gigging Bass, Trout, Catfish, and different gamefish is forbidden.
There are some gigging gadgets you must at all times have in your arsenal for a profitable hunt. In fact, a gig itself is primary, together with a top quality lighting supply. Let’s cowl essentially the most important gear earlier than we transfer onto some methods of going gigging.
A Flounder gig has a trident-like look due to its barbed tines (sharped spears), becoming on the tip of a pipe or an extended pole. It’s normally product of corrosion-resistant materials and has sharp factors. Gigs of decrease high quality, produced from carbon or 304 stainless-steel may also be used, nevertheless, larger high quality supplies corresponding to 316 or 17-4 stainless-steel carry out significantly better. Anglers usually use these whereas gigging from a ship.
Rules and necessities for the prongs on a Flounder gig differ relying on the nation. As an example, Volusia County, FL, requires anglers to make use of three or fewer prongs, whereas there are not any prong rules in Texas. Be sure that to examine your native rules earlier than heading out.
Flounder Gigging Lights
Because the majority of Flounder gigging journeys occur later within the night and at nighttime, correct lighting is as vital because the gig itself. As you would possibly’ve already guessed, lights serve the aim of serving to you find your Flounder laying on the seabed.
A high quality gentle wants to have the ability to penetrate each clear and muddy water whereas being compact sufficient to suit in your pole or the boat itself. And, in fact, it must be vivid and comparatively light-weight – the much less it weighs, the higher, because you’ll be fishing in shallow water. Relating to the colour, heat yellowish gentle works greatest for muddy circumstances, whereas cool whites are optimum for clear waters.
Most Flounder gigging boats have LED lights which are mounted each above water and underwater. Nonetheless, some anglers use headlamps to light up fish additional forward.
How is Flounder Gigging achieved?
What’s the distinction between Flounder gigging by foot and from a ship? Are there different methods to gig a doormat? Can you utilize any boat appropriate for residences fishing to your Flounder gigging journey? Let’s reply these questions, one after the other.
From a Boat
Since Flounder gigging is a shallow water sport, you’ll must be sure you have the precise boat. Given the character of this sport, a flat-bottomed boat with a shallow draft is normally the most suitable choice. Common boats can drag the underside and get caught in varied particles, corresponding to rocks and oyster shells.
For these causes, the vast majority of Flounder gigging boats are produced from aluminum as an alternative of fiberglass. Bay fishing fiberglass boats may also be used – you simply must be particularly cautious and aware of the terrain.
A typical Flounder gigging boat is supplied with gigging lights (mounted above water and underwater) and a motor. There are two sorts:
- Air motors. These are normally small air or fan motors with a prop hooked up to them.
- Trolling motors. Trolling motors come customary on most boats and are a lot quieter than fan motors.
Nonetheless, a number of anglers desire to make use of air motors, since a trolling motor shaft must be adjusted on a regular basis to keep away from dragging the underside.
From a Kayak
Some anglers desire gigging from a kayak, standing on the platform, pushing ahead with an extended pole or the gig itself, and focusing their consideration on the underside. They arrange the lights within the rear of the kayak and typically add a headlamp for higher visibility and security.
When gigging in calm waters, a kayak can just about function a ship. All you want is a steady sit-on-top, a gig with an extended pole to push you ahead, and a few good lighting.
Wade-gigging is good for these anglers who prefer it the old style approach. Wading fanatics say that this methodology permits them to have extra management and spot their goal simpler. A vivid gentle is very vital for anglers’ security, right here, to assist keep away from Stingrays.
Basically, all you want is an efficient lighting supply, your gig, and good wading boots. The one distinction from gigging from a ship is fairly clear – you’ll be strolling as an alternative of floating on the water. Although you’ll have to stay to the non-muddy backside and might’t cowl as a lot water as you’d on a ship, you would possibly be capable of entry locations that boats can’t attain.
The place and When to Go Flounder Gigging
Flounder gigging is hottest alongside the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas, in addition to alongside the Atlantic coast as much as the Carolinas. Nonetheless, anglers additionally gig for Flounder in New Zealand and Australia.
Usually, the season begins in late August and lasts by means of November, though you can even prepare a gigging journey in spring and summer season if native rules permit it. In the event you’re planning a Flounder gigging journey in Australia or New Zealand, November till Might is the only option. In colder months, Flounder migrate to offshore waters.
Nighttime Flounder gigging occurs shortly after darkish when the doormats transfer into the shallows to search for meals. They have a tendency to hang around extra in tender mud bottoms, however anglers additionally work areas with a number of grass, sand, and oyster beds. In the event you come throughout one thing that’s known as a “Flounder mattress” – imprints of their physique – it’s an indication that your goal fish just isn’t there, however has moved already.
There are a couple of extra issues that you must think about whereas making ready to your Flounder gigging journey:
- Water temperature. The temperature is cooler throughout night time hours, which brings bait fish in. Flounder might transfer to waters as much as 3 toes deep on a scorching night time.
- Water readability. Windy nights should not one of the best time for Flounder gigging – it may be laborious to identify your goal. You may additionally need to keep on with areas with oyster shell bottoms, grass beds, or more durable sand bottoms.
- Tides. The tide is an especially vital issue to think about. Flounder transfer into deeper waters on a falling tide, and the water readability is decrease. Typically talking, a rising tide opens extra floor so that you can gig from a ship.
High Spots for Flounder Gigging
Now that you already know when and how one can attempt Flounder gigging, it’s time to undergo the highest locations to hunt these fish. Right here’s a listing of a few of the hottest locations:
- Texas: It’s virtually assured you’ll have a number of enjoyable attempting to find Flounder virtually in every single place within the state. In the event you completely have to decide on, you may’t go incorrect with Rockport or Galveston.
- South Carolina: Arguably one of the best place for Flounder gigging in South Carolina is the Charleston space.
- The Florida Panhandle: This aspect of the Gulf Coast is dwelling to not one however two prime Flounder gigging spots – Panama Metropolis and Pensacola.
- North Carolina: The coast of the “Outdated North State” is a wonderful selection for Flounder gigging fanatics, particularly for those who hit the Outer Banks.
- Georgia: In the event you’re in Georgia, head to the Georgia Coast and the inter-coastal waters of Hilton Head.
- Mississippi: In the event you’ve by no means ventured out after darkish on the Mississippi Sound or Cell Bay, you’re lacking out on a number of Flounder gigging enjoyable.
- Louisiana: It typically appears as if the Bayou State was made for Flounder gigging, since you may take pleasure in it in every single place alongside the shoreline from Venice to Cameron.
Flounder Gigging – The Hunt Begins
Flounder gigging isn’t boring. How might or not it’s, when it’s such a blast for anglers of all ages? To begin with, it’s thrilling to search for a fish that resembles a wallowed-out soccer. Secondly, it’s a terrific alternative to discover aquatic life at night time and keep away from the scorching warmth. Thirdly, it’s lethal efficient. And final however not least, it’s fairly rewarding to come back again dwelling with a cooler filled with scrumptious fish!
And now, let’s hear from you. Have you ever ever tried Flounder gigging? Do you could have any ways you’d prefer to share? Tell us within the feedback beneath.