Greetings fellow flounder fanatics!
If someone would have proposed to me the idea of trying to catch and release 100 flounder all on lures in five days just three or four years ago I would have passed. The fact is the fishery in Texas was just not up to par and I had lost my confidence in some key flounder areas.
So as I stood on the shore and released flounder number 102 into the marsh near Bridge City, I could not help but smile and think how much things have changed in just a few short years. The regulation changes protecting the fish during spawning time, cutting back on commercial harvest and a new flounder stocking program have made a huge difference. We'll get into those numbers in an update at the end of the month but for now just know I could not be happier with where the fishery is headed.
Flounder No. 102 made history but hopefully gets to make babies as she was put back into the Bridge City Marsh to produce more of her kind. She's a beauty, isn't she?
Now to the challenge.
I came up with the idea for the Fall Flounder Run (TM)
a few months back and when Mr. Twister/Exude
signed on to sponsor Flatfish University (TM)
it seemed like a perfect way to celebrate this partnership. Catch and release 100 flounder in five days on artificial lures. Sounds crazy? At times it felt like it.
However, I am happy to report the goal was reached and exceeded on the evening of the run's fourth day. My Dad and I went out after church and combined caught more than 35 flounder all on Mr. Twister 2.5-inch Sassy Shad rigged on an eighth ounce jighead tipped with shrimp. I was at 81 flounder going into the day and the 21 I caught put me at 102.
This event was not about numbers, my fishing skill or personal aspirations. It was about raising awareness to flounder conservation and showing people great things can be done if they have the gift of belief.
I am no better than anyone else out there. Any fishing skills I have were not natural, but learned and practiced again and again. I do however have a larger than life passion for flounder and flounder fishing which pushes me to do things like this project. God has blessed me with the opportunity to be involved with flounder in my career and I truly hope this project shows that your passions, no matter what they may be, can put you on the path to seeing dreams realized.
It was important to me that we end this run from the bank where many flounder fishermen are relegated to fishing. I have always said flounder are a fish of the people and their comeback will benefit everyone from the wealthy with the most expensive bay boat money can buy to the person who can barely afford a license and gas to get to their favorite bank fishing destination. Everyone rich or poor deserves to be able to catch fish. As that last fish (an 18-incher) splashed me with her big tail as she swam into the waters near Bridge City, only a stone's throw from where I lost a big flounder as a child that birthed my passion for the species, it all sort of came together.
Yes, this project helped me reach some personal goals and was good business to promote my flounder teachings but it was really about you.
If you have dreams that involve flounder they are attainable. Set your sites on catching your biggest ever fish or putting your child on their first flounder because you can do it. Life is good my friends and we have some super cool things coming your way to be announced soon.
Lure Pack Winners
Kelly Gunn got Monday's Mr. Twister/Exude lure pack by photo texting this super spotted caught and released flounder.
Mr. Twister/Exude provided me with some lure packages and decals to give out during the run. Each day the the first angler to photo text or email me a flounder they caught and released that day won. The response was great. Here are the winners
Thursday: Scott Bandy
Friday: Case Williams
Saturday: Case Williams
Sunday: Justin Hawkins
Monday: Kelly Gunn
We'll have another update later in the week with a few exclusive notes on techniques and gear from the quest as well as other announcements. Thanks for all the support and a special thanks to Mr. Twister/Exude for helping make it happen.
Flounder Revolution (R)