Friday, June 14, 2013

Targeting Flounder at Flounder Lake

Decided to play hooky on Friday when I got invited to go fish Flounder Lake in Meggett, SC. This is a manmade pond or lake surrounded by private property. This result in a great fishery that has no public access to Flounder Lake, for some folks that have been given the opportunity to fish this lake it is code named ‘Jurassic Lake’.

The lakes structure is pretty flat and shallow. I would have to say the depth of the lake is 90 percent 1.5 feet deep. Flounder Lake get to about 4 -5 feet deep at the dam end of the lake where it is feed from the Gibson Creek through a flood gate. The lake empties into Meggett Creek. The east shoreline of the lake is Yonges Island.
Fish species of the lake from what I have been told and caught are: redfish, flounder, speckled trout, black drum, ladyfish, and mullet. If you what to break your personal best on skinny water this is the lake for you. On this trip Colin and I were going to target some doormat size flounder. I have seen photos from his mother Jeanne had shown me a while back I was truly interested. The key to the flounder on this lake is to concentrate on the incoming tide as the flood gate opens and the dinner bell is rung for the flounder to come and feed. The high tide for this event was only a 4.6 at 12:30 PM.
We launched at about 11:45 and as we paddled towards the inlet. Along the way we would push what I would have to say about a 100 redfish between the launch site and the inlet. In one area we watched a huge redfish or maybe a black drum cruising about 200 yards away. The wake created by this fish was huge. Also along the way we saw some nice big tailing action as well. Uff da!!! I did manage to do some casting with a D.O.A. C.A.L. Airhead but no hook ups. I asked Colin about this and he stated that he has never had any luck with artificial lures on this lake.
When we arrived to the inlet and staked out to wait the 30 minutes till the flow gate would lift, start allowing fresh brackish water into the lake and the feeding frenzy of the doormats would begin. The plan for catching the flounder was to use a size 1 Gamakatsu circle hook with two #1 size split shot for weight. Of course I did plan on also topping the four hour trip with a personal best redfish or black drum so I did bring a frozen ladyfish from the Boondoggle at Merritt Island, Florida.
The set up for a Jurassic drum is a similar to my flounder set up but I changed the hook to a 6/0 Gamakatsu circle hook using the ladyfish as cut bait.
The water flow through the gate started slow and occasionally I could feel a slight bite could be a flounder or maybe a blue crab. There would be a little weight but that would be gone and the mud Minnow would still be somewhat alive. Eventually I managed to hook into a nice flounder; the bite was very slight and hard to detect. The size of the flounder did not manner, I managed to catch three at around 12 inches and four around the 18 inch mark. I only lost one of the nice ones at the hook that had a foul hook in the tail.
When the flow gate stopped allowing water into Flounder Lake; the bite lingered on for about 30 minutes longer. Then all of a sudden Colin had something big. The action of the rod was acting like a nice size redfish or from his experience maybe one of those doormats that he has caught in this section of the lake. After about 3 – 5 minutes a copper-red color made a brief appearance at the surface. This is when we knew that the big fighter was a redfish. Colin would have been on a great sleigh but he still had the anchor out so the best sleigh ride he had was going in circles. He managed to net a nice 26 inch redfish.
Shortly after landing that redfish, my rod with the cut bait of a ladyfish and the 6/0 Gamakatsu circle hook started screaming. I removed the rod from the rod holder, turned off the clicker, and started to reel the fish in. Uff da; the fight was on!! As I tried to bring this fish in; I decided not to pull the stick-it pin just to see if the fight would last a bit longer. After all my personal best redfish is a 42 incher where I pulled the stick-it pin and the battle only lasted about five minutes; I contributed this to the reason by pulling the stick-it pin and becoming a human bobber. Basically the fish had to pull about 300 – 400 lbs and not fight a stationary kayak. Sure enough the fish had to start pulling line off of the reel and really not noticing the impact of the kayak and me. Eventually the fish surfaced about 90 feet away and the size and color of copper-red gave away that I had a very nice redfish. What seem like 6 minutes I managed to get the redfish within netting distance, but the red was too big to be netted, in fact at one point he tried swimming under the kayak. When this occurs there is the opportunity to lose the fish. I managed to muscle the redfish back to try to grab the redfish with The Fish Grip Fish Holder.
The Fish Grip Fish Holder is a great tool for the yak angler since it is a flexible, floating, locking device enabling the angler to land and release fish safely and easily. The fisher gripper keeps you from handling the fish directly, reducing the chance of harm to you or the fish. I managed to lip the redfish the fish gripper and safely into the Jackson Big Tuna. I get him onto the 321Fish.com measuring board and he measures 35 inches. My second best redfish; uff da he totally wore me out. After reviving the monster he swam away unharmed.
I need to add that during my battle, Colin hooked into another nice redfish as well. His redfish measured the same as his first. After all this action it was time to head back to the launch to call it a day. As we head back the day is ending with sighting of redfish just swimming away as we paddled back.
Till my next journey maybe we will cross our paddles on the water some day.

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