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Do you want to learn how to catch flounder? Flounders are widespread and are receptive to natural and artificial baits. They are also tasty fish. In this article, we discuss how to catch flounder. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced flounder angler, you will learn how to be successful with catching flounders.

How To Catch Flounder
How To Catch Flounder

How To Catch Flounder

1. Flounders like drop-offs and ledges. Locate drop-offs and ledges and there will be flounders there waiting to ambush their prey. Locate areas where the current runs from shallow to deeper water and the odds are you will find flounders there. When learning how to catch flounder, look for drop-offs and ledges.

2. The best way to approach flounder in shallow water is by wading. It doesn’t spook the flounders and you can use your feet to find little drop-offs the flounders like.

3. The best time to fish ledges for flounders is when the current is flowing from shallow to deep. The flounders gather on the deep side of the ledge anticipating bait.

How To Fish Flounders
How To Fish Flounders

4. Casts that are made parallel to the ledge are often very productive as the lure is kept in the strike zone throughout the entire retrieve.

5. You can locate hot spots of flounder by walking mud bars when the tide recedes. If you find “flounder tracks” while wading the shallow mud and sand flats at low tide, then that is a hot spot to look for flounders when the tide comes back in.

Flounder Fishing Tricks
Flounder Fishing Tricks

6. Flounders don’t take the bait or lure at the moment it is presented. They follow it during the retrieval. When they behave like this, the flounder will reside at the bottom, right under the boat. In this scenario, continue working a jig or bait directly under the skiff.

7. Creeks that feed into bays, bayous, rivers, sounds, and the Intracoastal Waterway are great areas to locate flounders.

8. Any creek run-out will have fish. The run-outs that are near creek bends are some of the best run-outs. You will discover a large amount of fish in a creek bend that has a number of run-outs pouring in from different directions.

Catching Flounder Tricks
Catching Flounder Tricks

9. Flippin’ is a technique used by anglers to fish heavy cover. It is usually used to fish for freshwater bass. However, some anglers use it to fish for founders in hard-to-reach areas. This article on bass fishing tips helps you to be more successful in fishing for bass.

10. Drifting for flounders is a way to catch flounders and get to know the fishing area. You drift by letting the current or tide push the boat so you cover a lot of water quickly. When you find a possible area, run upcurrent. Turn the boat broadside to the flow and just drift along. Use bottom-bumping live-bait rigs or jigs.

11. To catch more flounder, keep your bait moving. With the bait in constant motion, you will locate rocks and pilings on the bottom and it will present the bait in a natural way. Flounder has the habit of waiting for bait to come to them. So keeping the bait moving is a great technique to catch flounders.

Flounder Fishing Tips
Flounder Fishing Tips

12. When a flounder bites in a tricky spot, slowly reel in the line and lead it to a place where it can be lured to the bait without the risk of a cut-off.

13. You can learn a lot about the bottom by fishing jigs and/or live bait on a standard fish-finder rig, especially when using a low-stretched braided line. Depending on depth sounders to show the location of rocks and drop-offs is not the only way to learn about the bottom.

14. Live baitfish is one of the best bait for catching flounders.

15. Move live bait across the path of flounders and wait for them to strike. Flounder like to hide and ambush their prey. This behavior makes this technique of moving the live bait across the path of flounders very effective.

16. It is easier to fish for flounders when they migrate toward the ocean in the Fall between September and November. They migrate toward the ocean to spend the winter there before returning.

Flounder Fishing Ideas
Flounder Fishing Ideas

17. Flounders are usually found near the bottoms. They like to lie on their sides at the bottom of rivers.

18. Experiment with artificial bait. Use red, pink, white, or yellow grub-tailed jigs. Flounders do prefer artificial baits sometimes.

19. Before you reel a fish in, wait about five seconds to make sure its mouth is hooked. Flounders lie sideways on the ground and it takes a few seconds for them to get a good grip on the bait.

Catching Flounder Ideas
Catching Flounder Ideas

20. Another way to catch flounders is by gigging. Gigging is spearing the fish with a barbed spike. You can fish at night and wade through shallow water and while the fish are stationary, you spear them.

21. A good place to target flounder (fluke) is an area with good tide movements like jetties, creeks, and channels. Flounders will not be in the fastest part of the water, rather they will be near breaks in the current.

22. You will find record-making doormats around wrecks and reefs 10 to 25 miles off the coast.

Catching Flounder Tips
Catching Flounder Tips

How To Catch Flounder From Shore

You can fish for flounder from the shore as they are often very close to the shore and short casts work well. A casting distance of 20-50 yards will get you to flounders off the shore. You don’t need to cast very far into the water because flounder are often close to the shore where the waves are breaking.

Most anglers use lures when fishing for flounder from shore and jigs are a popular choice. When you cast the jig, make sure that it hits the bottom before starting your retrieve as the water along the shore is not very deep. After a short cast with the jig, do a fast jigging action up and down on the rod while slowly retrieving it as this gets the attention of the flounder.

Fishing from the shore for flounder involves some walking as you want to cover as much ground as possible as flounder doesn’t move around as much as other fish like striped bass or bluegills.

Light tackle is used when fishing from the shore and this jigging technique with the light tackle works well because the waves hit the shore and bring with them a lot of baitfish, sand fleas, shrimp, crabs, and other marine life that have been disoriented by the strong waves slamming them on the shores. This is like a conveyor belt of food for flounder. This is why they are close to the shore and you really don’t need to make long cast deep into the water.

How To Catch Flounder In Florida

Flounder is found in Florida’s brackish and saltwater environments. Look for flounders in tidal creeks, river mouths that empty into salt water, near piers, wrecks, docks, inlets, and in sandy potholes in grass flats. Flounder likes to hide close to structure that is facing into the current. This is an ideal ambush area for them to hide and wait for bait to come by.

Dropping your bait close to any of these structures will most likely result in a bite from flounder. It is important that your bait should come from up current as they will be facing into the current. Flounder are usually very close to the bottom; therefore, your bait or lure should be in that area to get the attention of the flounder.

When fishing for flounder, you have to learn to be patient. They tend to follow the bait for some time before striking. Always make sure you give them enough time to get the bait into their mouths. They like to grab the fish and hold on to it for a few seconds before swallowing it. When using lures, once you feel a hit, set the hook in.

How To Catch Flounder At Night

Flounders can be caught both inshore and offshore at night. They are very good at camouflaging themselves and will even do a better job at night. Flounders are good at finding the best ambush spot and waiting there for their prey to come close to them.

This behavior simply means that when fishing for flounder at night, you need to locate them and bring your lures very close to them for a strike. A slow presentation is the best presentation when fishing for flounder.

When fishing for flounder at night, bounce the jig on the bottom with a slow retrieve away from the shadows and into the light. You have to pay attention when fishing for flounder at night as they have a subtle strike and you can easily miss it if you are not paying attention.

How To Catch Flounder In Texas

Flounder can be found in the grassy flats, jetties, shorelines, outlets, bays, marsh drains, marshes, and brackish estuaries on the Texas coast. They prey on shrimp, mullet, and mud minnow. Gigging at night and bowfishing are some of the popular fishing methods used to catch flounder in Texas.

How To Catch Flounder From A Pier

Flounder likes structures and can be found around docks, piers, wrecks, rocks as well as the bottom. You can also find barnacles, crabs, snails, and other baitfish around piers and bridge pilings where flounder hang around. You can fish for flounder from a pier by dropping your bait or lures in areas close to structures where flounder may be waiting in ambush for prey.

Best Flounder Rig

1. Fish Finder Rig

This rig is one of the best rigs to use when fishing for flounder. It allows your tackle to get to the bottom and keep your bait slightly off the bottom. Additionally, the fish finder rig allows the sinker to slide along the line which gives the flounder more time to work the bait before sensing the weight and realizing that it is in danger.

2. Carolina Rig

The Carolina rig is a popular and effective rig used by anglers when fishing different species of fish. it can also be used when fishing for flounder as it allows the bait to be just slightly off the bottom.

Best Flounder Rig For Drifting

1. Basic Drift Rig

When drifting for flounder, the basic drift rig is a tried-and-tested rig that works well. It features a three-way swivel that reduces line twists and tangles, even in strong currents. You can use almost any bait such as Berkley Gulp, squid, sand eel, or spearing.

2. Fish Finder Rig

This rig makes your bait or lure reach the bottom and remain slightly off the bottom. It is very effective when drifting for flounder as the bait is deep into the water column where flounder can see it and be tempted to make a go for it.

3. High-Low Rig

This rig is very effective when drifting for flounder as it allows for one bait to be closer to the bottom and another one above. It works well when fishing for flounder as it keeps two baits in the area where flounders are located and increase your chances of a strike.

4. Popcorn Rig

The popcorn rig is similar to the high-low rig except that on the end of each of the two 3- to 4-inch long dropper loops is a small 1/4- to 3/4-ounce bucktail or silicone-skirted jig.

5. Fluke Bucktail Rig

This rig works well and is a favorite for anglers who like to jig for flounder. With the Fluke bucktail rig, an SPRO power bucktail is vertically worked by bouncing it on a tight line to keep it from snagging between rocks or along wreck edges.

Bait For Catching Flounder

1. Minnow

Minnows serve as highly effective bait for anglers targeting flounders, particularly in coastal and estuarine environments. These small, silvery fish are known for their lively movement and natural appearance, making them irresistible to predatory species like flounders.

When rigged properly on fishing hooks, minnows mimic the movements of prey fish, enticing flounders to strike. Anglers often employ various techniques, such as drifting or slow trolling, to present minnows at the ideal depth and location where flounders are known to inhabit.

Additionally, anglers may opt to use live minnows or artificial imitations, depending on personal preference and fishing conditions. Overall, minnows remain a favored bait choice among flounder anglers due to their versatility and effectiveness in enticing strikes from these prized game fish.

2. Mullet

Mullet is a widely used bait for targeting flounders, particularly in coastal and estuarine waters. These slender, silver fish possess a natural shimmer and enticing movement that makes them irresistible to predatory species like flounders.

Anglers often rig mullet onto fishing hooks to mimic the appearance of natural prey, presenting them at various depths and locations where flounders are known to frequent. Whether used live or as cut bait, mullet emits strong scent trails that attract flounders and trigger feeding instincts.

Anglers may employ techniques such as bottom fishing or drift fishing to effectively present mullet to flounders. With their versatility and effectiveness, mullet remains a popular choice among anglers seeking to lure in these prized flatfish.

3. Croaker

Croaker is a versatile and effective bait often used by anglers to target flounders in coastal waters. These small fish, known for their distinctive croaking sound, make for excellent bait due to their strong scent and natural movement.

Anglers typically rig croaker onto fishing hooks, either whole or as cut bait, to mimic the appearance of common prey for flounders. The lively action and scent trail emitted by croakers can attract flounders from a distance, making them a valuable asset in enticing these bottom-dwelling predators. Whether used in drift fishing, bottom fishing, or other techniques, croaker remains a favored bait choice among anglers seeking success in flounder fishing.

4. Sea Worms

Sea worms are a popular and effective bait choice for anglers targeting flounder in coastal waters. These marine worms, also known as ragworms or sandworms, are commonly found burrowed in sandy or muddy substrates along the seafloor.

Their natural scent and wriggling movements make them irresistible to flounders, which are known to forage along the bottom for prey. Anglers often thread sea worms onto fishing hooks, allowing them to dangle enticingly in the water column or rest on the seafloor.

The lively action and scent emitted by sea worms can attract flounders from a distance, making them a reliable bait option for anglers seeking success in flounder fishing. Whether fished on a Carolina rig, a jig head or simply with a hook and sinker, sea worms offer anglers a versatile and effective means of targeting these prized flatfish.

5. Clams

Clams are widely regarded as one of the most effective baits for targeting flounder, prized for their natural scent and irresistible appeal to these bottom-dwelling predators. Flounders, known for their voracious appetite and keen sense of smell, are drawn to the scent of fresh or live clams buried in the sandy or muddy substrate where they typically reside.

Anglers often use whole or cut pieces of clam as bait, either threading them onto fishing hooks or securing them to rigs such as the classic flounder rig or a high-low rig. When presented properly, the scent and texture of the clam bait can trigger an instinctive feeding response in flounders, enticing them to strike. Whether fishing from a boat, pier, or shore, clams provide anglers with a reliable and versatile bait option for pursuing these prized flatfish.

What bait is best for flounder?
Minnows, mullet, shad, sea worms, clams, and croaker are some of the best bait for catching flounder.
What time of day is best to catch flounder?
Early morning and late afternoon is the best time of the day to catch flounder.
What is the best depth to catch flounder?
The best depth to catch flounder is between 5 to 30 feet.
What size hooks for flounder?
4/0 t0 6/0 sized hooks work well for flounders.
Can you catch flounder on a hook?
Yes, you can catch flounders on a hook and small hooks are the best to use on flounders.
Can you use Vaseline on crossbow strings?
Never, ever use a vaseline-type rail lube as it can gum up your trigger.

The Bottom Line

Flounders are a popular target of anglers. In this article, we discussed how to catch flounders to help you be successful on your fishing trips. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, these flounder fishing tips will help you catch more flounder.

If you want to learn how to catch more fish, you can learn how to catch a grass carp in a pond from this article. You can also read muskie fishing tips for beginners, bluefish fishing tips, pike fishing tips, and redfish fishing tips.