The fatter the minnow the bigger the flounder. The best place to buy is off Shore Drive near Lynnhaven. Many of time, I went to the Bait Barn and they were sold out. Make sure you get nice fat minnows. Those guys off shore drive are also very generous. Order 2 dozen and they will give you 5 dozen. They don't count.
Send minnow straight down the pier.
Use skinny 1/0-2/0 khale hook. Color of the hook do not seem to matter but weight of hook does. Find a strong yet skinny hook.
I use skinny hooks because this makes the minnow more livlier. I also do the same when fishing for lunker smallmouths on the James River. In this case, I use really skinny gold hooks designed for a crappie. As soon as minnow loses natural swimming abilities, I don't get as much bites. For this reason, on the James for Smallmouths, I change minnows often. You would not believe all the good sized smallmouths, I have caught and released over the years. I don't eat fresh water fish.
For flounders you need a slightly stronger hook and I prefer 1/0 tan Eagle Claw khale that I snell myself. If you don't know how to snell, this site has a good illustration. You can save a ton of money by knowing how to snell a hook, which I learned from my father when I was about 7.
For flounders, hook through the mouth starting from the bottom of the lip then through the top. About 2-3 millimeter off the beginning of the lip makes the minnow appear more active. I prefer using only one hook via a three way gold swivel. Attach line to one. A snap swivel and 3-4 ounce sinker on it. The snelled hook is usually snelled with a teflon leader 18-36 inches. I usually use 20-30# for the hook. Teflon based leader is not totally necessary as I have caught with cheaper lines (Trilene Big game; very affordable) as high as 40#.
If you use 2 hook system, make sure they don't tangle easily. The bottom hook could be longer, but make sure the top hook from a standard bottom rig do not interfere with the bottom hook.
I also find that my Shimano Baitrunners works best. I haven't figured this one out yet, but it may be that the initial jerk and lack of major resistence lead to better hook up ratio.
For flounders be patient. The minnow is going to be there as long as there is no bite. Use another rod to fish for something else.
Don't set the hook on the initial bite. Let the flounder take it for a while before you set the hook. When you get a bite from a minnow, it is most likely flounder, although I have caught other fish with minnows including a puppy drum.
I don't agree with the experts that moving tide is best for flounder as far as Seagull is concerned. In the case of Sea Gull, time of year and time of day seem to be most important.
As matter of fact, I go to specific locations based on time of year which can vary slightly from year to year. The time of day to catch is definitely more predictable, although I have caught flounders during all parts of the day.
I will keep some things to myself.
However, if you ever hook a nice lunker, take your time and call for a net as I have lost some very nice flounders half way up. I have lost more 20+ inch flounders half way up then caught. This has gotten better over the last several years.
The largest I caught was about 6 lbs. The most I caught in a day was about 25 or so with 10 or so being legitimate keepers and 8 in the cooler (others were lost). Actually, I did have a partner with me that day although I prefer to fish alone most of the time. I have seen a man during the night catch a 9 lb+ flounder. That was one lucky guy. Summer and the night are not the best time for big flounders.
Another thing to try from a pier for flounder is "pier-trolling". Rig up as usual with a strip bait on a bucktail, or a live minnow, drop the rig straight down, let out some more line and began dragging and jigging the bait along as much the length of the pier as possible. Try both the up current and down current sides of the pier.
Same theory holds for flounder - big baits for big fish. To keep the dinky flatties off your hook use larger hooks and baits.
Flounder are ambush-type predators. They lay on the bottom and face into the current and wait for their food. They hunt by sight so you have to get the bait on top of them. Try a piece of florocarbon leader for finicky fish. Clear water is best, but even it mirky water you might get lucky if you hit one on the head with your bait.
It is true that they have tender mouths and many fish are lost at the water's surface. Do not raise the fish, get the net under it.
Like ccc6588 I'll also keep certain pier floundering trickery secret, but between all the hints being posted I am certain all we be revealed.
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