Rising spring temperatures along the East Coast usher offshore schools of flounder toward shallow inshore waters. If you’ve been eager to catch this rather unusual-looking species, spring and summer are the two of the best seasons of the year to do it.
Learning how to fish for flounder from a shoreline, pier, or inshore boat can be easy. Just like most other fish, it really just comes down to finding the right spots, having the right gear, and rigging the right baits on your line.
Use these five simple flounder fishing tips to help make your first flatfish mission a successful one.
- Look for fishing spots near passes, inlets, bridges, piers, and docks where there is plenty of tidal movement and baitfish activity. Flounder will be found on the bottom, cleverly camouflaging themselves to ambush any prey that is brought along with the current.
- Use a 7-foot medium to medium-heavy saltwater rod that is spooled with 10 to 15-pound braided line, 20-pound fluorocarbon leader, and a fish finder rig (also referred to 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 rigs to use because it bounces along the bottom as it moves with the current.
- Rig your hook with a live baitfish (such as finger mullet or scaled sardines) for your best chance at getting flounder to bite.
- A good technique to use when learning how to fish for flounder is to slowly drag or bump your rig along the bottom. Be sure to stay connected to your line, and remain aware of any thumps or added heaviness (flounder are not aggressive strikers).
- One of the most important flounder fishing tips is to refrain from reeling and setting the hook too quickly when you do feel a bite. Take a few extra seconds to make sure the flounder has fully taken the bait into its mouth before starting to reel. Flounder are known for “mouthing” or adjusting baits before eating them.
Whether you are fishing from a boat or learning how to fish from shore for flounder, check the saltwater fishing regulations and purchase a fishing license before you go.