A Fisherman’s Guide to Flounder Fishing
Flounder fishing is an enjoyable and challenging sport that many people have taken a fancy to in recent years. They are fun to catch, present a bit of a challenge for many, and the rewards for a successful catch are absolutely delicious.
If you are interested in trying your hand at flounder fishing and don’t know what to expect or how to prepare, read further to gain a basic understanding of baits and tactics that you can do to ensure you don’t come back home empty handed.
Where to Find Them
The first thing you should familiarize yourself with when it comes to flounder fishing is where to find them. Common along the eastern coast, flounder seem to enjoy cooler, shallow waters (depending on species). They will frequently hang around inlets and submerged structures like shipwrecks and bridge pylons, enjoying the sandy bottoms of the ocean floor. Winter months are ideal for this kind of fishing, but be sure to check with locals if you are not from eastern regions, as the tides and currents tend to change.
Depending on the season, your area, and the specific type of flounder fishing you plan on doing, you will need specific types of bait. The most common types of bait for flounder consist of live minnows, squid strips, and silverside minnows. Some fisherman and anglers prefer to use combinations of these baits, creating a type of sandwich with the squid and minnows.
While almost all bait and tackle shops along the coast will carry these types and other appropriate types of bait, you should know that flounder will eat almost anything. In fact, many people have managed to catch these fish using eel meat, shrimp, and even crabs.
Tackle and Rigs
Local tackle shops should also have a large variety of flounder rigs available to consumers. These rigs can be found in literally every color of the rainbow, but you don’t need to buy them all. All you really need is a staple white, neon yellow and pink one. If you’ve got those, then you probably have all that you need.
As for styling, many people like to use 2 hook styles that employ either naked presentations, skirted hooks, or even sometimes a combination of the two. Some people choose to utilize single hook rigs. Single hook setups generally use a circle hook that is dressed up with a mylar skirt and then rigged on approximately a 36 to a 42 inch leader. The sinker and the main line can then be connected to the leader by way of a 3 way swivel.
As for sinkers, you are going to need to take the depth and the current into account when selecting one. It’s wisest to purchase a small selection of them, ranging from one half to 3 ounces in weight. Be sure to look for sinkers that can glide over the sandy bottom easily, as they will be less prone to getting caught or hung up on the sea bed.
Flounder fishing can be kind of tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you’ve found a prime location you catch some using regular fishing techniques and simply casting out. As you get to deeper waters, though, and waters that have currents you may want to consider trolling for flounder.
Allow your baited line to skim along the sandy bottom of the ocean floor, bouncing along as it goes. This is an enticing movement and will grab the attention of your flounder prey with minimal complications.
Be sure to pay attention to your line. Since your rig is bouncing along, an inexperienced fisherman may not be able to tell when the bait is being mouthed. Pay attention to your rod and look for tell-tale signs of nibbling. If you have an experienced flounder fisherman with you, be sure to ask their advice about flounders in your region.