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The Ego
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When I started fishing as a youngster, I was brought up on a fishing diet of Southend flounder. Every session would gaurentee you a flounder or two and if you listened to the old timers they would tell you tales of flounders the size of dinner plates using crab lines.
Every session over the years up to this year there has always been the good old flounder to fall back on when the fishing has been poor. However this year, I have caught three all year. Night fishing with prime crab has produced nothing, day fishing favourite marks around the Southend area has produced nothing.
There may well be flounders from Tilbury to Rainham, but the Southend flounder has gone.
 

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Wind Up Merchant
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jase i had a 42 flounder from the wharf wall yesterday ,10 yrds out on a 2 hook flapper ,with half a squid head.
i thought it was a sole at first:mail2:
 

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Jason! still a few up the creeks around shell haven.

Wouldn't waste me crab on them, much rather head off down South.

Send in more Bass!!
 

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flounders at this time of the year always seem to be non existant just the odd one or two now and again.
Even the winter flounder fishing has slumped in recent years both in our local estuarys and further afield some of the blame must lie with the trawler boys taking them for pot baits but the other reason i think is the pestacides that leach into our rivers from surrounding farmland killing of the fry in its early stages of development.
 

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Silly question but if there are so many schoolies about that they are taking other fish, can they be used as livebait or is it just a waste of time
 

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It may be true but im not sure, that seals are partial to flatties ie flounder. When I pass along the gunfleet sands at low water there is a huge group of seals all along there. One guy I know takes parties of people out to veiw them on the banks. It could explain a lot about the lack of a lot of fish around the estuary. I should think if they are on the gunfleets they must also be on other banks around the area. I did think why they didnt take the schoolies but they have sharp spines, so could be they leave them alone. Each time ive been out I have seen them swimming around the boat, not saying it is but would rather think it could be them instead of blaming the fishermen all the time.
 

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Sole eating squid head Tel?......more likely to have been a halibut!

jase i had a 42 flounder from the wharf wall yesterday ,10 yrds out on a 2 hook flapper ,with half a squid head.
i thought it was a sole at first:mail2:
 

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When I started fishing as a youngster, I was brought up on a fishing diet of Southend flounder. Every session would gaurentee you a flounder or two and if you listened to the old timers they would tell you tales of flounders the size of dinner plates using crab lines.
Every session over the years up to this year there has always been the good old flounder to fall back on when the fishing has been poor. However this year, I have caught three all year. Night fishing with prime crab has produced nothing, day fishing favourite marks around the Southend area has produced nothing.
There may well be flounders from Tilbury to Rainham, but the Southend flounder has gone.
I only ever seem to catch flounder when the schoolies have gone somewhere else so I think a lot of the time they just get to your bait quicker than the flounder can. The same's true for me when the whiting are in.

Having said that, I have wondered whether this side of the river has been silting-up over the years so that it's a completely different ecosystem.

If it's shallower than it used to be then perhaps the flounder don't want to make the journey; not so much because of the lack of depth but the amount of effort they'd have to make to get in and out in time (especially when they have creeks that you can follow instead to get some extra time).

If it is the bass eating the other species then there'll eventually be a collapse in the bass stocks when there's so many they've eaten every thing and other fish will move (back) in.

Thinking of the wrasse and dogfish I've heard reports of from the pier over the last few years - maybe they're newer species filling the gap already?

Or maybe the haddock will make a surprise showing again (I seem to remember the shore record was held in the Thames once).

Who knows - maybe there'll be tuna in the Estuary in fifteen years' time.

They might even be there now ha ha
 

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When I started fishing as a youngster, I was brought up on a fishing diet of Southend flounder. Every session would gaurentee you a flounder or two and if you listened to the old timers they would tell you tales of flounders the size of dinner plates using crab lines.
Every session over the years up to this year there has always been the good old flounder to fall back on when the fishing has been poor. However this year, I have caught three all year. Night fishing with prime crab has produced nothing, day fishing favourite marks around the Southend area has produced nothing.
There may well be flounders from Tilbury to Rainham, but the Southend flounder has gone.
Jason, when you fished as a youngster, a seal at southend was as rare as rocking horse s**t, now there all along the westcliffe ray, 24 hrs a day, if its true that each seal eats 60lb of fish (flounders) a week, then its easy to see why there's no southend flounders.
Think we need some eskimo's with them big clubs in southernd.
 
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I have typed before about trawlers decimating the flounder and eel stocks in the Colne.

I also don't believe the seal theory as they have been around for ever and there used to be plenty of fish of all kinds.

The demise of the flounder is down to one thing and one thing only.

Us!!

Whether it's anglers taking them or trawlers, it's our fault.

Me and Blakdog used to fish a Suffolk estuary mark which was rammed with flounders. We would keep a few and release the others. After we had been going there for a while we kept seeing "anglers" walking back from the mark with dustbin bags full of flounders. Trawlers also worked the narrow channel, so what the anglers didn't get they did.

Now there are no flounders there and in fact very little else except tons of weed.
 

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Silly question but if there are so many schoolies about that they are taking other fish, can they be used as livebait or is it just a waste of time
Just a little thing called the minimum size limit:g:

As for lack of flounders, they are easy prey for the increasing seal population.
 

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Up in Suffolk Flounders were trawled and turned into pot bait years ago, you have a better chance catching a double figure bass than a decent flounder up here
 

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Probably another silly question but is there a minimum size limit for pouting, (horse) mackerel, herring and other fish commonly used as livebait?
If you're fishing in the waters covered by the Kent & Essex Sea Fisheries Committee then these are your limits:

Link

Horse Mackrel [sic] are on the list but flounder aren't.

It's probably too late, but perhaps WSF could lobby the Committee to introduce a minimum size for flounder.

The fish on the list are ones with commercial value (scad\horse mackrel is a delicacy in Japan apparently - it's as tasty as it is bony!). Flounder isn't because it doesn't have a commercial value and so it's not expected to be taken.

Since it's used for pot baits then it does have a value / gets taken and therefore should be protected in order to preserve the balance of the eco-system.

I also noticed bluefin tuna and swordfish on the list so perhaps my earlier suggestion about tuna wasn't so crazy ...
 

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Wind Up Merchant
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i've been known to comment about the lack of flounders round these parts for a while now!

(leeboy,keep quiet!)

flounders or flounder'ers ,seems like a nice bouy lol
 

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When I started fishing as a youngster, I was brought up on a fishing diet of Southend flounder. Every session would gaurentee you a flounder or two and if you listened to the old timers they would tell you tales of flounders the size of dinner plates using crab lines.
Every session over the years up to this year there has always been the good old flounder to fall back on when the fishing has been poor. However this year, I have caught three all year. Night fishing with prime crab has produced nothing, day fishing favourite marks around the Southend area has produced nothing.
There may well be flounders from Tilbury to Rainham, but the Southend flounder has gone.
JASS there are flounders all the way to london there are more eels coming out on bacon and chicken. experiment you never know. 007
 
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