Flounder season rules now in effect

Published 12:12 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF 31-2023 sets the 2023 recreational flounder fishery season, creel and size limits and prohibits the harvest of flounder using recreational commercial gear in accordance in internal coastal and joint fishing waters and Atlantic Ocean Waters.

The short season opened one minute after midnight, Friday, Sept. 15 and closes at one minute before midnight Friday, Sept. 29.

One flounder per person per day is the creel limit. It is unlawful to possess flounder less than 15 inches total length. Harvesting flounder with Recreational Commercial Gear License is illegal.

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North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF 32-2023 addresses the southern flounder commercial fishery in internal coastal and joint fishing waters and Atlantic Ocean waters.

Commercial season rules became effective one minute after midnight, Friday, September 15, 2023.

Mobile gear is inclusive of all fishing gears except pound nets.

Northern Management Area runs from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Davis and Club House on Core Banks. Season opens Oct. 3, 2023, a minute after midnight.

­­Large mesh gill nets can only catch flounder Tuesday through Thursday each week. All other gears are allow seven days a week.

Harvest will close by proclamation.

Southern management area runs to the South Carolina-North Carolina border. Regulations are the same.

Flounder fishing with pound nets is divided into three management areas.

Northern Management Area runs from North Carolina/Virginia state line to the north end of Pea Island. The season opens Sept. 15 at the usual time.

Using pound nets and with a standard commercial fishing license or a recreation standard commercial fishing license, a fishing operation can only harvest 1,000 pounds. If more than one license, the limit is 2,000 pounds.

Central area runs from Pea Island south to the Cedar Island Ferry.

Season starts a minute after midnight Oct. 1, 2023. Possession limit for one license holder is 2,000 pounds. For more than one license, 4,000 pounds.

Southern Management Area runs to the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Season stars October 1 but will less harvest. One license can possess no more than 500 pounds; two licenses can have 1,000 pound.

If fishing in the Atlantic, the gear must be trawl.

It is unlawful to fail to render a flounder pound net set inoperable during the closed flounder season.