Rising spring temperatures along the east coast lead swarms of offshore flounders towards shallow coastal waters. If you want to catch this rather unusual looking species, spring and summer are the two best times of the year to do so.
Learning how to fish flounder from a shoreline, pier, or coastal boat can be easy. As with most other fish, it really comes down to finding the right spots, having the right gear, and putting the right bait on your line.
Use these five simple flounder fishing tips to make your first flatfish mission a success.
- Look for fishing spots near passes, bays, bridges, piers, and docks where there is plenty of tidal movement and bait fishing activity. On the bottom is a flounder that cleverly camouflages itself to ambush any prey that is brought in with the current.
- Use a 7 foot medium to medium weight saltwater rod tied with 10 to 15 pound braided line, a 20 pound fluorocarbon leader, and a fish finder rig (also known as a Carolina rig) with a 1 / 0 to 2/0 circle hook. The fish finder rig, or Carolina rig, is one of the best flounder fishing tackle because it ricochets off the bottom when it moves with the current.
- Upgrade your hook with a live baitfish (like finger barbel or scaly sardines) for the best chance of getting flounder to bite.
- A good technique for learning how to fish flounder is to slowly pull or push the rig along the bottom. Be sure to keep in touch with your lead and watch out for any punches or extra heaviness (flounder are not aggressive strikers).
- One of the most important tips for flounder fishing is not to reel in too quickly and hook the hook when you feel a bite. Take a few seconds to make sure the flounder has completely put the bait in its mouth before you start reeling. Flounder has been known to “muzzle” or adjust bait before consumption.
Whether you’re fishing from a boat or learning how to fish for flounder from the coast, read the saltwater fishing regulations and obtain a fishing license before you set off.