How to Catch Flounder

Southern Flounder

Flounder are one of the most popular fish for the dinner table, and at times can be one of the most difficult to hook into. Using a few Flounder specific techniques will help an angler not only hook into more flounder but land more as well.

Slowly Drag the Bottom

This sounds like the simplest thing to do, but in practice can be monotonous and boring when fishing is not hot. Flounder spend almost their entire lives hugging the bottom. They have great cammoflauge and are ambush pretators. Keeping that in mind will help when fishing for Flounder.

The most effective technique for hooking into a flounder is to make a long cast and VERY slowly retrive the bait. When it feels like the retrive 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!

Use the Right Bait

From Florida Shores there are 3 live baits that flounder can not seem to resist. Shrimp, Finger Mullet and Mud Minnows. These three baits have had the most success over the years and when fishing with artificial lures it is wise to mimic any of the 3.

A very popular bait recently has been berkly gulp shrimp. This is a soft plastic artifical that is infused with sent and flavor. Attached to a jig head and slowly worked across the bottom this is a deadly artifical bait for flounder.

Use the Right Rig

When using live bait for flounder the right rig can make the difference between a great day of fishing and going home smelling like a skunk. One of the best rigs for flounder is a Carolina rig.

Place an egg sinker on the main line (heavy enough to reach the bottom, no more). After the egg sinker add a glass bead and then a barrel swivel. The leader should be a 12-16” piece of 12-20 pound test fluorocarbon attached to a 2/0 circle hook.

When using shrimp the hook should be right behind the horn on the shrimps head. On a mud minnow or finger mullet place the hook through the lips, bottom up.

Net the Flounder

The most common place for a flounder to be lost is right next to the pier/bridge/wall. When a flounder is pulled out of the water they flop quite a bit and often times come off the hook quickly. When a flounder is hooked, make sure there is a net ready to aid in landing the fish and make sure the person using the net knows what they are doing.

Tips and Tricks

  • Fish slower than you think you should
  • Flounder need a little time to get the hook into their mouth, after the first hit, give them a moment to eat before setting the hook.
  • While a 12” Flounder is currently legal in Florida, they don’t have much meat on them, let them go to grow up to 14/15”

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