In last month’s article, Part 1, I had discussed issues that have arisen from SCDNR stating that our Flounder populations along our coast have diminished.
SCDNR believe the main reason being over fishing by recreational fishermen.
My first objective was to bring information to the public that would help them understand some of the real threats that have and could harm or cause our Flounder to seek other locations and other habitats to thrive, and of course, discussing some over fishing situations.
I did not discuss or bring up commercial fishing. DNR will have to deal with those issues themselves.
Myself, along with the majority of sport fishermen, do not appreciate the finger being pointed at us, especially without all the facts on the table and the situation being misrepresented to the public.
Luckily, due to my show “Fishing with Jiggin Jerry” on YouTube, I have developed a huge fan base, which I appreciate and enjoy, and doing so has given me the opportunity to work and fish with a lot of them.
This also includes obtaining the opinions of our local fishermen.
After discussing the issues involving our Southern Flounder, we have remedies that we believe would help maintain our Flounder population in our state.
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One of the first things that a number of sport fishermen and myself had discussed were sizes and limits. Flounder used to be 14 inches to keep and a catch limit of 20 per person.
I personally have always believed this to be unacceptable. Fourteen inches is too small.
In order to feed a couple of people, you would at least have to have 2 Flounder, and even then, the filets are very small, and 20 per person is overkill.
They then raised the size limit to 15 inches and dropped the bag limit to 10, which was definitely better, but a lot of us sport fishermen feel that 15 inches is still too small.
Most sport fishermen usually keep 1 out of 5 or 10 Flounder, and the Flounder kept is usually between 18 and 20 inches.
This is because an 18-inch and over fish will feed 2 people easily, and 2 of these fish will feed 4; therefore, a larger size limit will reduce the kill rate due to consumption.
The majority of sport fishermen that I have spoken with agreed that we would find it completely acceptable to raise the size limit to at least 18 inches and reduce the bag limit to 5 per person.
After all, most of us sport fishermen are practicing this already and would be happy for it to become law.
A lot of us believe that DNR could place a moratorium on Flounder gigging for a specific length of time to help habitats that have been over-gigged.
In my previous article, I had also mentioned gigging, and I also stated I have nothing against gigging, but gigging is not sport fishing, and I am sure we have all heard the term, “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.”
That’s exactly right. Experienced individuals gigging off a boat with the proper equipment can clean out a flat overnight.
Click the picture above to see their full inventory!Turn on the lights, spot the Flounder, stab the Flounder and throw it on the boat.
Therefore, again, after discussing the issue with numerous sport fishermen, a lot of us believe that DNR could place a moratorium on Flounder gigging for a specific length of time to help habitats that have been over-gigged.
After all, if the state decides to ban fishing for Flounder for a specific length of time, you would still have the same outcome when it comes to gigging but everybody loses.
With the recommendations mentioned above, they can still at least sport fish for them and have fun doing so.
Another remedy to help future research on our local Flounder would be a tag and release program established by DNR and done by qualifying sport fishermen specifically for Southern and Summer Flounder.
One of our last remedies would be for DNR to start limiting building and construction permits for new development in our wetlands and waterways.
That would involve heavy prop wash, dredging and other destructive construction that would damage the habitat.
We request that DNR supply proper wildlife and marine studies to the locations that permits have been applied for.
We have all seen the outcome of inadequate studies and permits given regardless of what the true devastation would be to the environment.
Any individual can look up the history and permits involving Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant.
The remedies suggested above would be beneficial for everyone concerned. I believe that we sport fishermen are not asking too much, and we are not looking for miracles or to be misinformed.
We are just asking that the proper remedies are taken. After all, it is the sport fishermen, the recreational fishermen of this state, including visitors, that pay for fishing licenses and permits.
These permits pay individuals to do their jobs, and without us, you don’t have one. I support SCDNR completely.
They are necessary and are in place to help protect our state wildlife, marine life, in fact, all fisheries, but this also includes protecting the public and our rights. It just needs to be done correctly.
Like I always say, until next time, good luck out there and have fun fishing!
To view some fishing adventures, go to my YouTube Channel Fishing With Jiggin Jerry.
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