How to Catch Flounder
I need yalls help. I fish for flounder reguarly but i need a more effective way to fish for them off the pier. I plan on using finger mullets. I NEED all your imput and or suggestions on how to fish for flounder ,using this bait, off the pier. Ei. floating them or what not.
Make a Carolina rig and hook the minnow through both lips. Drop the rig around pier pylons and jig it up and down with about a 2" rise. Do this up and down the pier until you feel the hook cacth on something. Then yank and reel.
When pier fishing for Flatties the standard Fluke-Killer rig or something similar.
Live-bait with whatever is available, preferrably what you cast-net from the shore nearby. Adding a squid strip to the same hook that is through the baits lips helps.
Cut bait when fresh is not available is good and usually is better when fished near the fish-cleaning table where all the other scraps are already going overboard.
Don't know if your a newbie or a "Old Salt" at catching Flounder, so just in case, don't expect them to slam the bait on the pick-up like a Bluefish, Croaker,etc. They take a while to eat so give them a few seconds before trying to set the hook.
Oh yeah, float rigs work but they need to be anchored to the bottom so as to float just above it. The rigs without floats are usually for an area with a moving current especially if you're using cut bait
Remember that a Flounder is an Assassin
He wants to kill a live minnow from ambush, so keep it off the bottom and keep it moving.
Cast and retrieve, slowly, covering all the water You can reach, then move to a new spot and do it again.
Some days they like the rigs with spinner blades and some days they don't.
Great advice so far guys thanks and keep it comming!
In shallow water a live minnow on a shad dart below a bobber is deadly! Put enough line under the float so the bait is a foot or two offf the bottom. This will not work in a ripping tide though. The biggest mistake people make with flounder is keeping their bait on the bottom. Flounder swim on the bottom with their eyes looking up so they can ambush prey ABOVE them. You would not believe the number of times I have had flounder swirl on a jig on the surface as I lift it out of the water for another cast. Speaking of which, bucktails and soft plastics can be deadly baits as well. I like a white bucktail with a long squid strip.
Im in no way an expert on flounder fishin but the ways that I've caught them (the very few ive caught) I have caught one flounder off a jerk jig or gotcha I was down the pier a ways by the breakers and set the jig on the bottom and pulled it up bout 6 inches not alot and reel that 6 inches in and just jig it bout 6" to a foot or more off the bottom. My other way which is how Ive caught the most was we took a fairly heavy jig head like 3/4 oz and we would catch threadfin's on a sabiki rig and then fillet them and cut the fillets into strips bout 1/8 " wide and as long as the fillet so its a 1'8 by like 3 1/2 -4 inch piece of bait. Which the skin of a threadfin is shinyish white so you just put that on the jig head and let it to the bottom and just hop it along or just jig it in one place dont really matter. but we slayed them doin that one day well not really slayed them because we let them all go but thats how i caught my biggest which was only 14 1/2 ". That and a regular bottom rig with minnows or squid is how ive caught them but I am not a serious flounder fisherman just do it to kill time while im watchin the pin rig. Hopefully Jake Ace well write up a lil somethin on flounder fishin youll be set then!
dad and i fish for them all the time, except sometimes i get distracted by spanish or something, and he never does so he catches a lot more than me. what we do is hook a live mullet minnow on a carolina rig and just work it around the pilings up and down the pier until you find where they are and on which side. we usually use a #1 kahle hook, but after jimmy price's seminar this weekend, i'll prolly switch to a #4 Eagle Claw L42 Wide Bend style hook. a lot of times they will be stacked up between two or three pilings and not be anywhere else. the thing with flounder, is that they will hit the bait and then scale it, so you want to give him some time after he hits it before you set the hook. what you wan to do is when you feel the hit, and it can be a slap or a series of taps, you wait a second and then lift up very slowly. if you feel like your hung, or if it feels like your lifting a dead weight, lower back down very slowly. wait as long as you can stand it, then hit him and try to get him up to the surface as quick as possible. use a net to land him if he's any size at all, cause the body shape makes it easy for him to shake off.
after attending jimmy price's seminar at the boat show in greensboro this weekend, my dad and I are going to try 5/8 oz and 1oz bucktails this year some, with artificials you don't have to wait, hit him when he hits it.
Last edited by bluerunner; 01-19-2004 at 08:49 PM.
You definately need to drop back on the strike when bait fishing for flounder. I have always used a kahle hook myself, but I think circles would be great, flounder either swallow the hook or barely have it in them at all. One more thing, someone mentioned that it is vital to keep the bait moving. Don't forget it! Flounder are ambushers not hunters, a still bait covers less water and will be seen by fewer flatties. I did not get to target them as much as I usually do this past summer but I did manage a few keepers this year. All from shore, pier, or jetty! I hope to spend some more time after them this coming spring.
If you plan to do most of your fishing off piers, I definately suggest going at dead low tide and finding out where the sloughs between bars are. Don't be afraid to fish tight to the beach either, when the water is cool in fall and spring the fish will come very shallow at times. I'd focus around the pilings and sloughs. Concentrate on flounder when the water is clearest as they feed primarily by sight and clear water make a big difference in the fishing. If you are going to use mullet I suggest using a sliding sinker rig like a carolina rig or the bobber rig I mentioned above. If you use the bobber rig focus on the down curren side of the pier. Drop the bait tight to the pilings at first and gradually let out line and allow the wind and current to take the bait.
I use a floating jig head, similiar to those used for weakfish up north here. Hook the kelli, or mullet down south through the lips with about a three foot leader to a three way with a bank sinker two to three depending on the current, cast er out and bring it it slooooowwww. It works for me off the jettys up here and should work off the piers, though I have no experience with them yet....salt
If I'm using live bait, what I often do is make a light fishfinder rig or use an egg weight and dump it over the side of the pier with a small mullet or mudminnow and let it sit while I'm drum, shark or king fishing. I just check every once in awhile and move it if nothing is happening. Other times I'll work it up and down the pilings while I'm waiting for something to peel some line on the big rig. That way I have something tasty to take home.
As for artificials, I usually use those in the backwaters and a Space Guppy Bass Assassin on a 1/8th head usually does the trick.
Flounder chum pot...
Take an old 35mm film canister and punch a hole in the center of the bottom and the top lid. Run your line through both holes. Fill canister with chum bait such as cut squid, ground mackeral or bluefish, etc. and close tightly. This works great for Springtime flounder.
Edit - Forgot the most important part - Punch holes in the canister to allow the chum and juices to exit and drift with the current to entice those fish!
Last edited by Sandcrab; 01-20-2004 at 08:23 AM.
Flounder are lazy opertunistic feeders
Always keep your bait moving if your going to catch Flounder;either cast and retrive,use the current to move your bait(casting upstream and letting the current carry it downstream),or use a bobber to drift the bait to them.If you uuse a spin n glow rig in an area of current you can possibly dead stick but always try to keep your bait moving.Live minnows/squid strip or a live Spot will work,strips of Spot or Bluefish will work too.If your going to try lures Bucktail with a strip of squid or cut fish will work;so will soft plasticks on jigheads.If you use artificals retrive them with a slow twichy motion or slow it down more.Flounder are a lazy fish they wait for the curent to bring the bait to them;but there are times when they chase bait too;but this dosent happen too often.
Man o Man guys great advice thanks a ton!
For N.C. piers, #4 kahle hook, 20 in. of 20lb. leader,40 lb. swivel, 1 1/2 , 2, and 3 0z. egg sinkers. If you need more than that it's too rough!
Now for the hottest tip I've found.....and I don't think anyone else has mentioned......power pro or fireline for your running line.
With this stuff, you no longer have to wonder IS there one messing with it, there ain't no doubt!! You feel every little burp down there!
I use 20 lb. power pro and it's amazing how much my hook-up ratio went up. The slightest bump from a flounder and it was plain as day! The 1st few scared me they were so plain.
Also with 20 lb, mono leader, you have a chance when that red drum eats your bait, cause 20 lb power pro breaks at about 32 lbs.
Also when you get hung, all you lose is the hook and leader.
Focus 75% of your effort UNDER the piers.
Mud minnows in the spring, but 1st sign of popeyes, change!!
You'll catch a lot of flounder on muds but your QUALITY will come on popeyes..........later