I don't know if it was the new moon or the sudden drop in temperature from our first big rain in quite a while. But the inshore and offshore flounder bite has been Fintastic! The best bait has been live mullet. But the fish are also striking live menhaden and jigs.

I fished with Dennis Barbour at the reefs and ledges and we caught 19 flounder and kept 19 with the two top fish weighing 4.9 and 5.3 pounds. The next day, I fished the Cape Fear River and the biggest fish I netted weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Landing a fish that size alone gets quite thrilling in all of the current, with the rod in one hand and the net in the other.

Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle Charters

Over all of the years I've been fishing the southern coast of North Carolina, the third week of August has been the epicenter of activity for big flounder. The number of citation fish weighing more than 5 pounds typically peaks that week. But during hurricane season, weather can keep anglers from fishing. We're keeping a wary eye on Emily at this moment. We need the rain, but can do without the wind!

Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle Charters caught this 5.3-pound flounder fishing offshore of Carolina Beach, one of 19 flounder we landed that day. Ten fish were keepers.

Mike Marsh