Fall Flounder Fishing in the Carolinas

As the end of summer approaches and air temperatures begin to cool, flounder fishing in the Carolinas is heating up. Fall fishing in the Carolinas typically brings a comfortable experience with air temperatures hovering between the lower-to-mid 60s in the mornings and evenings, and highs in the mid-to-low 80s during the day with much less humidity. Get your boat and flounder gear ready, or book a charter and be ready to get hooked up.Dennis Durham with a nice pair of Flounder Weighed in at Island Tackle and Hardware

Fall flatfish are one of the best fish to target for numbers and table fare. The flounder frenzy peaks with larger, more active fish being caught in September and October. Fat feeding flatfish are more prevalent in the fall due to the progression of bait fish throughout the summer. Mullet fingerling and menhaden bait have increased in number and size. These bait sources have allowed the flounder to eat well throughout the summer, hence their bodies are swollen.


Flounder will lie facing the current, sometimes hiding near structure or in holes waiting to ambush and suck down the easy prey swimming nearby. Drifting for flounder is popular in the Carolinas; but for larger flounder, targeting holes and structure near oyster rocks and beds, docks, artificial reefs and shipwrecks has always been productive both inshore and offshore. These larger flounder reach double digit weights and are quite impressive. The current NC state record, held by Harold Auten since 1980, is 20 pounds 8 ounces, while L.C. Floyd holds the SC state record with a 17 pound, 6 ounce flounder caught in 1974 (information courtesy of NCDNR and SCDNR websites).Carolina rigging larger live baits, such as mullet up to six inches, menhaden up to eight inches, croaker and spots, will tempt the bigger flounder to bite. Larger gulp baits like six-inch shrimp will also produce strikes from larger fish. If you’re primarily looking to catch quantity of fish, stick with 2-to 2 ½-inch live mullet, small menhaden and 3-inch gulp bait variety. Use ¼- to 2-ounce bucktails with chartreuse or white curly tail gulps or soft plastic paddle tails and expect to get hooked up when bumping them at a slow-to-medium pace across the bottom.

Book a trip with one of the great local captains who can put you on the fish, or take your own boat and go. Just get out and enjoy the flounder fishing this fall!

Co Publisher CAM

Eddie Hardgrove