An informative article from http://www.floridashorefishing.com/ . Great information on catching flounder. Worth the read. Also check out their website.
Flounder, a group of very similar species of flatfish, are one of the most sought after fish in the ocean. They are one of the best tasting fish and can be a challenge to even an experienced angler
Where to Find Flounder
- Creek Mouths
- Oyster Bars
- Bridges, Piers and Docks
- Drop Offs / Dips and Sand Bars
The most popular reels to use are spinning and baitcasting reels that are rated for saltwater. Spinning reels in the 2000-3000 size and baitcasting reels that are rated for 10-15 pound line work perfectly for flounder. Some recommended reels include:
- Penn Battle Spinning Reel
- Shimano Stradic FJ Spinning Reel
- Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcasting Reel
- Shimano Curado Baitcasting Reel
Because Flounder are always caught on the bottom and are often found near structure a rod with a decent amount of power is needed but because of their often subtle strike a sensitive tip is also required. A length of 7 foot or longer will help increase casting distance to help cover more water. When choosing a rod make sure that it is saltwater rated.
A medium to medium heavy power with a fast to moderate action rod will be best for most inshore flounder fishing conditions.
Because of where flounder are most frequently found braid is the best line for many reasons. Braid is far more sensitive than any other style of line allowing subtle hits from flounder to be detected. Its small diameter allows the bait or lure to reach the bottom faster and stay there with little resistance. Braid also has higher abrasion resistance which will often come in handy when fishing around structure such as oyster beds or pylons. 10-20lb test braid will do fine for most fishing conditions.
For a leader, 10-20lb fluorocarbon line works the best. It is nearly invisible in the water and and has much higher abrasion resistance than monofilament.
- Finger Mullet
- Mud Minnows
- Scaled Sardines
- Live Shrimp
- Berkeley Alive Gulp Shrimp
- Bucktail Jig with Grub Trailer
- Berkeley Alive Swimming Mullet
- DOA Cal
Slowly Dragging The Bottom
The most effective technique for hooking into a flounder is to make a long cast and VERY slowly retrieve the bait. When it feels like the retrieve is slow enough, it should be just a little bit slower. Slowly bump the bait along the bottom and when it crosses the path of a flounder, they will have a hard time denying the bait!
Detecting a Hit
Often times when a flounder hits a lure or a bait the hit can be difficult to detect. They will simply wait for the bait to get near them and mouth it as it passes. This is often detected as a small thump or simply as increased weight at the end of the line.
Setting the Hook
Because flounder do not often strike aggressively they will need to be allowed time to get the lure or bait fully into their mouths. They will spend a short amount of time, 5-10 seconds adjusting the bait to fit into their mouths. The angler should allow 5-10 seconds after detecting a strike before setting the hook. Set the hook using a rapid upward motion, this will also help get the large fish off the bottom, which can be a challenge of they are very large.
*** Do not use a large sweeping motion if using circle hooks for live bait. Gently lift the rod tip up and start to reel the line in rapidly. Circle hooks are designed to hook the fish in the side of the mouth with this process and a large sweeping motion will pull the hook out of their mouth more times than it will not. ***
Tips and Tricks
- Fish Slower than you think you should
- Make sure to give the flounder time to get the lure or bait into its mouth after a strike is detected before setting the hook.
- Check your local regulations on size and bag limits.
- Some flounder that are legal size will often be rather thin and should be released as they just don’t have enough meat on them to justify the harvest.
- Most Flounder that are lost are lost as they are being pulled out of the water. Use a net to land them!