Because of its remarkable ability to pass for a part of the ocean floor, flounder fish are considered to be one of the most difficult species to catch. As you can see from our recent article on fish finders, there are a variety of techniques that an angler can use to catch even the most difficult to catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time angler or a seasoned veteran. Catching this fish can be extremely enjoyable, and the white meat that it produces is absolutely delicious. For flounder fish, you’ll need some background knowledge on the species, as well as the best tackle for catching it and the time-tested methods that other anglers swear by.
What exactly is a flounder fish?
Whenever you want to catch a fish that you haven’t dealt with before, the general rule of thumb is that you should get to know it a little first. The information provided here will provide you with a better understanding of what this fish looks like, what environment it prefers, and what habits it may have that will be useful to you in your quest to catch it.
Briefly stated, flounder fish are a species of flatfish that prefers to lie on the seabed, where they hunt for small fish and shrimps that provide them with the majority of their nutrition. Because their method of obtaining their food entails camouflaging themselves to resemble the seabed and catching the unaware fish that swims in their vicinity, it is perhaps a stretch to describe them as hunters.
Flounders have the ability to change the color and pattern of their skin, and they can even conceal themselves in the sand or mud on the seafloor. As a result, they are extremely intelligent; while this technique is effective for catching food, it also serves to keep them safe from predators. Due to the fact that they have both eyes on one side of their heads, they are able to scout the vast expanse of water above them more effectively than any other species.
In spite of the fact that such habits make flounders smarter than other fish, they can be used to an angler’s advantage, which is the most important factor to consider.
There are four different types of flounders that you should be aware of. The winter flounder prefers shallow waters near the coast, where it can find food. When it comes to winter flounders, you may have heard them referred to as lemon soles or lemon soles and flounders. They can grow to be 8 pounds in weight, so if you manage to catch one, you’ll have plenty of meat to prepare for your family.
The summer flounder, also known as a fluke, is a fish that is distinct from other flounder species. They don’t sit around and wait for food to come to them; instead, they hunt it themselves. Because they have a lifespan of up to 20 years, their weight increases to approximately 26 pounds.
Known as the Southern flounder, it can be found along the Gulf coast and is often preferred by anglers because it can grow to be over 25 inches in length. Last but not least, the Gulf flounder is another type of fish to become acquainted with; however, keep in mind that the heaviest specimens rarely weigh more than 5 pounds, making them anything but trophy fish.
What kind of environment do they prefer to work in? Saltwater environments are preferred by flounder fish, which is why they can be found along the coast. They are, however, not uncommon in rivers, creeks, and estuaries, where they can be found in large numbers. In the winter, they swim to the ocean and return in the spring.
The good news is that if you’re wondering when you should go flounder fishing, you’ve come to the right place. Throughout the year, you can go fishing for it. The time of year when they migrate is one of their favorite times of the year. That occurs between September and November, which is when you have the best chance of catching one.
Where to look for flounder to catch
From Maine to Texas, and all the way up and down the Pacific coast, there are numerous locations where flounders can be found in large numbers. Keep an eye out for signs of flounder tracks on the ocean’s ocean floor. Due to the fact that flounders must use their eyes to locate their prey, they prefer clear waters. This, in turn, aids in your ability to detect the presence of flounders.
Flounders are known to relocate in order to improve their chances of catching food during tide shifts. That also works to your advantage, as you will be able to notice when they are moving around more easily. If you’re looking for flounder at low tide, you’ll have to wade through shallow muddy waters and sand flats. This time of year, when the flounders reach their maximum weight, is the best time to go fishing because you will get some very satisfying results.
If you want to catch flounder, what fishing equipment do you need?
Regardless of where you decide to go on your fishing expedition, you must ensure that you have the proper equipment for catching flounder. For example, because flounders are not strong fighters, you can use a traditional rod and reel to catch them. Although they are not aggressive, you should be aware that they are timid, and as a result, they will attempt to taste the bait at first.
Preferably, you should invest in a sensitive rod that will alert you when the flounders are about to attack. Equip yourself with a 7-foot rod and a 12-pound reel to ensure that you have the proper equipment for catching this species. Make certain that you purchase a type of line that is capable of handling heavy specimens. Depending on the type of flounder you want to catch, you will be able to determine which line weight is most appropriate.
When fishing for flounder, circle hooks are a good choice. It is also recommended to use a sinker because the bait needs to be brought up close to the fish that are lying on the ocean bottom. Never forget that flounder fish have superior vision to their counterparts. Make use of a reflective spinner rig to attract their attention and entice them to take a bite.
Live bait, such as minnows, is effective for catching flounder. Shrimps or marine worms that are still alive are just as good. If you prefer to use artificial lures, choose those that are painted in the colors pink, red, and white, as they closely resemble the shrimp that flounders eat.
You will almost certainly require a boat in your search for flounder. flounders can be found on the ocean floor at a considerable distance from the shore, despite the fact that they prefer shallow water to deep water. It is a good idea to use flat-bottomed boats because they make it easier to reel in the fish you’ve caught.
Techniques for catching flounder that have been tried and tested
Professional anglers are well acquainted with the two primary methods of capturing this elusive fish: one employs a gig and the other, a rod and reel combination. As you will discover right away, there are several variations to these methods to choose from.
If you want to catch flounder fish, a rod and reel is an extremely effective combination. The technique is referred to as drift and bounce, and it works as follows: When the tide recedes, you’ll have to get in your boat and find a current that moves slowly enough to accommodate you. As soon as you’ve located this sweet spot, you can turn off the engine and allow the boat to drift away.
Weights can be used to assist your bait in reaching the ocean floor. When you cast the line, make sure the bait moves slowly up and down in order for the flounders to notice it. Don’t be tempted to pull your line as soon as the first bite is detected. It’s critical to allow the flounder to take a larger bite in this situation. Hopefully, a flounder is hanging from your hook when you’re ready to pull the line after a few seconds of twiddling.
This method can also be modified by mooring your boat at the mouth of a creek or the mouth of a river. This is the area where flounder fish typically congregate. Carefully select your bait before casting your line, and bounce it slightly after casting your line to ensure that the fish is aware of it.
While it is recommended that you use a boat to properly fish for flounder, you can also fish from the shore. During the spring and summer, flounder comes closer to the shore to take advantage of the shallow waters that are rich in food. If you want to get the bait to move, cast your line and assist it in moving with the tide.
Many anglers believe that gigging is the most straightforward method of catching flounder. You can fish from a boat or from the shore, just as you would with a rod and reel combination. This is also a technique that should be used at night, but avoid going fishing during a full moon because the flounders will be able to detect your presence easily. Make use of a lamp to assist you in identifying the flounders’ eyes in the water.
Spearing and gigging require a high level of precision. If you want to have a good time fishing, make sure you get the proper training first. It is not necessary to torture the fish by shooting it in the wrong direction. Keep in mind that water can distort your perception of distance, so you may need to push deeper to get to your target.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.