Brad Floyd, a fisheries biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said that a three-year study on flounder, and specifically flounder-gigging, revealed some interesting data.
"Overall, flounder fishermen and giggers are happy with the flounder resource," Floyd said. "The creel limits are generous and enable anglers to catch plenty of these fish."
Floyd said the information from the study revealed some interesting information.
"As far as fishing effort goes, 13 percent of saltwater recreational fishing license holders participate in the flounder gig fishery," Floyd said. "An average of two people per trip was the norm, and the most active time of the year is from June through September."
Floyd said that the catch was comprised of 83-percent flounder, and 99 percent of those were southern flounder. Other major species caught were sheepshead (8 percent) and red drum (5 percent).
Floyd said that experience seems to matter in terms of production on flounder gigging.
"Giggers with five or fewer years of gigging experience caught an average of one flounder per trip, while giggers with greater than five year of experience caught an average of four flounder per trip," Floyd said. "Also, 30 percent of gigging parties caught more than five flounder per trip and only 13 percent caught more than 10 flounder per trip. No gigging party interviewed caught the boat limit."