The most sought-after game fish in America is the flounder. Anglers can be found looking for large flatfish from New England to Texas. We’ve discovered that these fish are delicious and fun to catch. However, there are a few tricks that can help you increase your chances of catching them.
Are you able to identify the preferred live bait for flounders? Which lure is the most effective? Are you able to predict the location of big flounder during an ebb? Do you know the best rigs?
These questions will be answered if you continue reading.
You’ll find below our comprehensive guide to floundering and our top tips and tricks that will help you tilt the odds in favor.
Rods and Reels to Flounder
When fishing for flounder, the right rod and reel can make a big difference.
A light-to-medium-light rod is required with a sensitive tip. Flounders will take your bait just as easily as they hammer it. The rod must have enough backbone to handle these tough-fighting fish. However, a medium-power rod will just make your sensitivity worse.
We have reviewed some of our favorite saltwater fishing rods and reels and saltwater combos. If you have a limited budget, the Cadence C4 combo is a great choice. I’d be happy to fish with this tackle for my next trip for flounder.
The Penn Battle II combo, medium-light power, is another great option. This combo is great for flatfish fishing. It includes a Battle II reel of 3000-size and a 7-foot rod.
The Ugly Stik Inshore Select is a medium-light saltwater fishing rod that’s worth looking into. You’d be ready to take home the largest trophy if you paired it with a Shimano Ultegra spinning reel.
We have you covered if you fish from the shore! Check out our reviews on the top surfcasting rods.
Flounder Fishing Tips
Where to find summer and spring flounder
Adult males spend their entire lives in deeper waters, while females move inshore when the weather is warm and stay until mid-fall.
Regardless of whether you are wading in the Texas murky waters or drifting with Massachusetts’ current, the basic habitats and locations that flounder are the same.
Flounder, which are ambush predators who hide on the bottom and use natural camouflage to conceal their presence, can adapt to any changes in the composition or topography of the bottom.
If you find a shift from sand to mud or gravel, flounder is likely to be there. Any ripple, depression, ridge, or hole can also collect flounder, no matter how small. This is particularly true during the ebb when these predators wait for baitfish to be pulled from estuaries and river mouths.
If you can set up near this spot, any structure that breaks the tide will keep floundering waiting for easy prey.
Never flounder without a leader
Flounders have sharp teeth that can cause fishing lines to break if they get in contact with them. A wire leader is almost guaranteed to leave a cooler empty because flounders are so dependent on sight. You’ll need mono or fluorocarbon to get one bite.
These teeth are online murder.
When fishing for flounder, I strongly recommend you use a stout lead. It is generally a 20-pound test. For reasons I have explained previously, I prefer monofilament over fluorocarbon.
Mono is more flexible than fluorocarbon and ties better. It also has the same amazing abrasion resistance that I tested. Although fluorocarbon is not invisible, science doesn’t support it. However, the evidence I have seen does not support this claim.
My choice is the 20-pound Trilene Big Game in clear
Live bait for flounder
Piscivorous adult flounders eat mainly fish. This doesn’t mean they won’t eat shrimp, alive or dead. However, nine out of ten times a minnow, small fish, or shrimp will be able to get a bite quicker than shrimp.
As usual, I suggest that you match hatches, rigging minnows, or fish that are common prey items within the waters that you fish.
The eastern coast is home to species such as Atlantic menhaden (also known as the “peanut butter”), mullet, and immature bluefish.
Atlantic menhaden make excellent flounder bait.
You can use a bare hook with just enough weight to pull the minnow down to the bottom. You want the minnow to be distressed and actively swimming just where the flounder are waiting.
Both tail hooking and lip hooking work well, as long as the minnow is active and swimming.
Our guide will help you choose the best live bait bucket.
Use Kahle hooks
The 3/0 to 5-0 Kahle-style Hook is the best choice if you are going to be rigging live bait. Most experienced flounder anglers will agree. Kahle hooks are the offspring of a circle and a short-shank standard, and their wide gap makes it easy to catch a flounder at the corner of its mouth.
Mustad’s Kahle Hooks are my favorite. They come and stay sharp and provide solid lock-up for flounders that take my bait for a run.
Some flounder-men taught me that it is better to wait a few seconds before setting the hook.
It’s worth a shot.
Rig ’em right for flounder
Artificial baits are also good, especially for curly-tail grubs such as the Gulp! Grub and the Gulp Mullet. These are the best flounder choice you will find.
Gulp! is available in many colors. Gulp! Grubs have a long, wriggling tail that flounders can’t resist.
This is Berkley Gulp! These baits are the best for flounders.
You can make them more appealing by adding some shrimp or minnow tails to the hook.
Success with curly-tail Grubbs is all about the right rig. Three are most popular among flounder-men.
Drop-shot or dropper device
If there is a better way than a drop-shot to get that grub dance, I don’t know what it would be!
Drop shot or dropper rig suspends the hook and bait to your mainline above the weight at the bottom. This allows for unrivaled action and prevents snags. It also lets you set your distance from the bottom.
That’s my opinion!
The drop shot is a great technique for largemouth bass. To fight tide and current, you can switch to a Kahle hook.
Tandem or bucktail rig
You can run two artificial baits at the same height using a tandem or bucktail rig. This allows both baits to freely wiggle and swim. You can quickly get big flounder’s attention by letting the jigs settle, then gently putting them on the bottom to settle.
This can make it a dangerous option, especially with jig heads that are 1/4, 1/8, and 3/8 ounces.
Many anglers love Dr.Fish Bucktail Jigs in 1/4 ounce options, and I’ve had great luck with Berkley Fusion19 Bucktails, too.
Berkley has a range of bucktails that are ideal for flounders.
There are two ways to tie this rig.
To reduce line twists, the first uses a 3-way swivel. The swivel attaches to one end of your mainline. You then run 20-pound leaders to each of your Gulp! tipped jigs.
This rig is extremely easy to use and efficient thanks to its three-way swivel.
You can also tie it with a barrel swing.
The second uses a single barrel swivel to tie a longer leader and then knot it off-center.
This guide provides excellent instruction on this technique.
How to make a Tandem Flounder Ri