Flounder gigging is a nocturnal sport. Flounder can be seen after dark on the sandy bottoms of inlets, sounds and marsh environments. Equipment needed depends on whether you plan to walk or float. Gigging from a boat limits the area covered to the draft of the boat. It has to have lights mounted underwater for visibility. And, you have to control the boat against the wind and current to stay in position. Walking along sandy shallows at night is a relaxing way to stalk the elusive flatfish. Also the simplest, as you only need a short gig, LED pole light and small battery carried in a fanny pack. Flatties will usually stay put as you advance close with the light in front of you, and slowly move into gigging distance-about 4-5 feet away. Now, to accurately gig, you have to compensate for the refraction as water bends the light passing through it. This means the flounder is closer than it appears to be, so you have to aim the gig closer to you than you think. If not, you will see a sand trail speeding away in the dark as the flattie blasts off into deeper water! Sometimes, you may get lucky and find a big stone crab creeping along the bottom. You can harvest one claw and return the stony to the water. Your nighttime adventure can result in a fine flounder and stone crab dinner next day!
Contributed by: Dr. Steve Wallace, Wilmington, NC