Fall Fishing for Flounder

We have finally made it out of the worst of the hot summer months and are beginning to see cooler evenings.  We will soon see our first cold front which will trigger all the inshore fish to strap on the feedbags.

They will start devouring all the baitfish they can find before the cold drives them away.

It’s this time of year that I love to fish for Flounder; they’re aggressively feeding and congregating in easy to reach areas.

As some might remember from the flounder piece I wrote about fishing for them in the summer.

Flounder eat a great variety of bait but as they mature they focus more on estuary fishes.

One of their favorite meals is the anchovy aka the Glass minnow, though this bait is not easily put on a hook, it is easily replicated with a Zman Slim swimz in “opening night” color.

For live bait it is hard to beat a live mud minnow or known by some as flounder candy

For live bait it is hard to beat a live mud minnow or known by some as flounder candy.

This lively bait fish is hardy and can withstand numerous casts before having to be replaced.

Another great artificial bait to use during this time of year is the Berkely Gulp swimming mullet in pearl white, put on a 1/8 oz eyestrike jighead it can be a deadly combination for catching Flounder.

I’m now going to contradict something that I put in an earlier article about Flounder fishing,  that is taking a deliberate pause (count five apple) before setting the hook.

When fishing with artificial baits, you should be setting the hook the moment you feel the strike from the fish.

The Flounder will pick up the bait as it passes because it is instinctual for an ambush predator like the Flounder to do that.

As it realizes the bait is not the real thing it will spit it out, wait too long and you will miss the fish.

Flounder do not have a strong thumping strike when they come after your bait presentation.

They will often pick up our bait and swim towards you making it more difficult to detect their strike.

For this reason a good spin-casting combo is the ticket for flounder fishing.

I would recommend a 7ft medium light or medium rod with fast action coupled with a 2000 series reel.

I like to use a Saint Croix Triumph ML 7’ rod with a Shimano Nasci 2500 reel. Line is another consideration.

Flounder have good eye sight being ambush predators so if you are a braid user, tying on at least a 3’ flouro leader is a must.

I have better success in finding flounder on a falling tide

The last thing to cover is where do you find them and when?

I personally find that I have better success in finding flounder on a falling tide, the water has to be moving.

As it gets colder the flounder are coming off the grass lines and sandbars and moving towards ledges and drop offs.

Here they can sit in deeper water and wait for the tide to pull the bait out of the grass and towards them.

When you are searching for them, do not spend too much time in one spot without a strike, if the flounder are there they will hit your bait.

If you fish an area for 15 or more minutes without any hits move on.

September’s AOY species of the month is Flounder and the identifier will be announced on the first of the month.

Tight Lines
Mike Kohler
LKA Tournament Director

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