The poor results for this year’s flounder migration have been the topic of many Reel Reports for several weeks now. Anglers accustomed to prolific action on flounder around the pathways to the Gulf of Mexico, overall, have been disappointed this year, and many fear that it is a sign of a serious decline in the stocks of the popular fish.
Several theories have cropped up about why the runs have been progressively disappointing for the last three or four years and one of the theories that I lean toward is that flounder are making their run later and later each year.
While there are fewer anglers on the water during mid to late December, it is hard to get a reading on what is taking place.
If Wednesday’s report of a fishing trip along the Galveston Ship Channel is any indication, it could serve to give credibility to that late run theory.
Mike Cripps and Ron Warren took a chance on the weather Wednesday and fished the Galveston Ship Channel. Fishing with artificial lures and mullet, they caught nine flounder from 15 inches to 21 inches in length. Warren said it was the best day they have had all year.
You may recall that when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department first set the special flounder regulations, it was just for the month of November.
Following that, it was determined that the flounder run actually was lasting well into December and appropriately, the regulations for the most part were extended until mid-December.
With our warmer weather and warm waters lasting much longer than in earlier years, flounder likely are waiting longer to make their run and possibly are doing it more gradually, much like the spring return to the bays.
It will be interesting to hear what the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has to say on this topic. Once we receive an update, it will be passed on.