How To Catch Flounder? (Best Hints & Techniques)

| Published On: is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
how to catch flounder from shore

You’ve decided to catch flounder, but you’re unsure how to catch flounder. This essay will teach you effective flounder-catching techniques. Have fun reading!

Flocking flounder is simpler than you might imagine! There are a few helpful tips and tricks to be aware of to succeed in your pursuits. This post on how to catch flounder has these tips and more!

How To Successfully Catch Flounder In 2023

A satisfying hobby is flounder fishing. One of the most superficial species to catch, they are plentiful and may be easily targeted by even a beginner sea angler.

They prefer to search near the edges of beaches, estuaries, and streams and may frequently be caught by casting a line just a few yards out and using basic techniques.

image of a flounder fish hanging by fish hook

Flounders can be found in coastal estuaries and ocean floors along the Atlantic coast. The flounder species found on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are frequently captured in the same coastal settings. Thus it is best to leave subspecies identification to biologists.

Fluke is the name given to flounder along the East Coast, particularly in New York, New Jersey, and sections of New England. Still, they are very similar to flatfish caught in other parts of America for practical fishing purposes.

Best Times And Best Places To Find Flounder

When attempting to catch flounder, location is one of the essential criteria, along with the season, in determining where you’ll find fish.

The success of your time on the water depends on the season, whether it be spring, summer, fall, or winter, as well as the region of the country you are fishing in. Most of the time, flounders are taken in the spring, summer, and fall.

a guy holding flounder fish in hand
Credits: Paul Einerhand

Flounders migrate from offshore winter homes to their inshore summer homes in the spring. Nearshore waters from Maine to the Gulf Coast are home to flounder. New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida are the east coast locations with the best flounder fishing.

The Jacksonville region and Central Florida coast are home to some of Florida’s top flounder fishing locations. Both Louisiana and Texas provide great fishing along the Gulf Coast.

Best Fishing Baits For Flounder

Live bait fish is an option. Live fish like minnows, mullet, and croakers appeal to flounder. Clams and sea worms are also efficient.

Smaller baitfish are hooked through the eye, while larger baitfish are hooked through the mouth. Add some slices of fresh squid or live shrimp to change the bait mixture. Another good option is hot dogs.

Try a different bait if the first one doesn’t seem to be working. While flounder have historically preferred a particular bait, they can be finicky and may not always take. If you’re going flounder fishing, consider capturing your own live bait.

Artificial bait is another selection you have. Utilize red, pink, white, or yellow grub-tailed jigs if live bait is difficult to get in your area or if you want to change things up.

If you are having trouble catching flounder with live bait, it’s a good idea to have some artificial bait available because they occasionally prefer it.

Best Rigs And Tackle To Catch Flounder

A fish-finder sliding-sinker setup is used, along with a short leader and a barrel swivel to link the leader to the fishing line. Simple rigging is ideal. The minnow should be hooked through the lips, nose, or eyes when using a Kahle-style bait hook.

Such baits can be trolled or bumped along the bottom from a drifting boat and cast and recovered gently in likely spots.

The Carolina rig is one of the flounders’ most widely used live bait rigs. Depending on the depth and current where you are fishing, pick a weight between 1/8 and 1 ounce, and attach it to the main line.

After that, knot on a swivel, add a 2 to the 4-foot leader and finish by adding a small circular hook. A medium 7 ft (2.1 m) casting rod is usually used to catch flounder.

Use a strong line to handle larger fish that may eat the bait, preferably one that weighs around 14 lb (6.4 kg). Use a circle hook, which flounders find easier to bite. You’ll also need a sinker to ensure the hook is below the flounder’s reach.

How To Hook Set The Flounder?

When it’s time to set the hook, you need to be aware of two things. The fish first starts to turn around and swim away. The second is showing up at the scheduled time.

Circle hooks are fantastic because you can let the flounder try to consume the bait on their own. The circle hook’s construction allows it to pull straight out to the corner of the flounder’s mouth before setting itself. Learning about circle hooks is challenging because you never actually set the hook.

image of a flounder fish out of water

Simply begin reeling slowly and quicken your pace. The job is all done by the hook as your reeling speed increases. Up to freezing weather, we caught flounder using this method and these baits. On an outgoing tide, we search for the current breaks, anchor up, and start working a region.

10 Techniques & Tips For Fishing For Flounder

  1. Choose a flat watch-type lead with a hollow middle for fishing with light tackle in light surf. These can be periodically moved a few inches across the ocean floor to disturb sand puffs.
  2. Flounders will move in to inspect this disturbance because they are curious creatures. If the water is shallow, clear, and lighted by the moon, this can even be done at night.
  3. Try adding a tiny metal or plastic silver spoon and a brightly colored bead just above the baited hook when employing a sliding ledger rig with a longish flowing trace. Slowly, retrieve the bait across the seabed, an inch or two at a time.
  4. The flounder will attack the bait because of the spoon’s fluttering motion and color because they believe a little fish is stealing the food.
  5. It’s advisable to periodically cut off a solid two or three feet of line when using a three-hook boom or flapper rig on a tight line. This causes the top baits to fall to the seafloor, frequently prompting the flounder to take the bait.
  6. Keep an eye out for lift bites in the line’s low bow. On days when fish are sluggish, this simple technique is often effective.
  7. When fishing for fun, always use long shank Aberdeen hooks rather than small shanks.
  8. If a fish swallows a bait deep, the longer shanked hooks are simpler to retrieve from them.
  9. Go up a couple of hook sizes if you discover that the fish are eating your baits deep when they are ravenous while you are using size 2 Aberdeens. You’ll essentially catch the same number of fish with fewer deep-hooked fish.
  10. Throwing old bait from the hooks when you re-bait the surf tables is an excellent way to bring flounder very close to within a few yards of your feet. This is washed both internally and outward, and the aroma from a large area draws in flounder.

Match anglers use this tactic to attract fish from a rival competitor’s peg that is close to their own.

Final Verdict:

I adore flounder fishing and enjoy their fight as much as they enjoy their flavor! I’ve covered everything you need to know to target flounder, so what are you waiting for? When searching for flounder in the spring, summer, or fall, seek structures close to narrow chokepoints.

When the current rips through, bounce a jig on the bottom and wait for the strike. The best fish in our inshore waters are flounder, so don’t forget to pack your cooler (if they are legal to harvest in your area). It can be challenging to capture flounder.

You must first be in the area where flounders are most likely to live. Knowing something about their behaviors is also helpful.

They start to flow out of the creeks and rivers and into the ocean starting around September and continuing through the end of November.

They spent the spring and summer spawning, and the crop from the previous year is now big enough to go with the older brood fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What time of day is best to catch flounder?

When formerly dry sand bars are inundated at maximum high tide, flounder move into these places to eat is the optimum time of day to catch flounder inshore.

In and near wrecks and reef areas offshore, early morning and late afternoon are the ideal times of day to catch flounder.

#2 – What size hooks for flounder?

The big mouth and aggressive character of summer flounder make 4/0 to 6/0 sized hooks ideal for use since they lessen the chance of gut hooking a fish.

Anglers who target summer flounder are most frequently connected with and drawn to wide-gap hooks. Retailers frequently referred to these hooks as fluke hooks.

#3 – Where do flounders hang out?

Flounders are typically found in estuaries, broad, shallow bays, and sandy beaches near where rivers join the sea because they prefer muddy and sandy substrate.

Estuaries are also likely to hold significant populations of flounder. Muddy or sandy beaches that harbor lugworm and ragworms give better chances of landing flounder.

#4 – What kind of bottom do flounders like?

Although they prefer clean sand or mud and sand mixtures, they are content to live close to mussel beds, among rocks, and in between boulders on small patches of clean sand.

Small freshwater streams traverse open beaches and are good places to look for flounder, but only if the water is clear.

#5 – How do you fish flounder from shore?

When pulling your fish to shore, be patient. Before reaching the shore, the flounder somehow manages to escape the hook. To avoid provoking the fish and causing it to jump and escape the hook as you approach the shore, be patient and accumulate your distance from it.

#6 – How do you hook a minnow to flounder?

For redfish, trout, and flounder, mud minnows are excellent bait. The optimum way to rig them is around 6 to 8 inches from the bottom so that fish are drawn to them as they fight to swim down.

Use a float rig for this. The best approach to hook the minnow if you plan to cast more than once is through its lips. Hooking through the spine of the minnow is an additional efficient technique.

#7 – What does flounder like to eat?

Feeding sources for flounder larvae and post-larvae include small crustaceans and zooplankton. Children eat fish and crustaceans. Adults eat whenever it is convenient and primarily eat fish and crustaceans. They are opportunistic feeders.

#8 – How to catch flounder at night?

While flounders are a fantastic fish to catch for both beginning and experienced anglers, you need to get ready in advance.

If you are gigging or spearfishing, this is especially true at night when they are a little easier to capture. You can enjoy successfully capturing a few flounders if you go prepared.

Your Author

  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.