Fishing The Flats

     What’s the best tasting fish in the salt water? The flat ones are, hands down, a winner. Not only are they choice for the table, but also they provide a challenge to the angler. They are unique in their feeding habits and sort of slow about biting. If you’ve ever seen your cork or bobber seem to be hung on something and very slowly get lower in the water, you may have a flounder about to suck up your bait. 
     I’ll tell you what occurs in the winter with these fish. During the summer they have spread out to backwater areas, swamps, back-bays, and just about everywhere. But let the cold winds blow and they become travelers. With each successive norther, they move closer to the gulf and deep water. So, the trick in early winter or late fall is to find them somewhere on a road to the gulf. Channel edgers are a good bet. They like dead shrimp, but if it’s cold, you had better peel it. This is because cold water causes what I call ‘sore mouths’. ‘Sore mouths’ simply means slow and finicky biting. You need to be patient in the winter since flounder will test your stamina. 
     If you use a slide cork that can be adjusted, you have the right tool. You try it over and over, deeper and deeper until you see the cork start to lay over. This means that your weight and leader are on the bottom, a good way to tell how deep the water is. Measure the distance from your lead to your hook, add three inches to that distance and drag the cork up at that measure. Now your bait is three to four inches off the bottom and fair game for a hungry flatfish flounder. That’s why a flounder has both eyes on one side. He doesn’t need to inspect the bottom, just needs to lay on it.

Captain Mike Scott is a retired Texas Gulf fishing guide and commercial fisherman. As Mike puts it “If you really want to catch your limit talk to me.” Please feel free to contact Mike for any fishing questions through or by using his site email in the AlphaLane search page. Use Mike’s CID which is 119 or simply search on category ‘fishing’.

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