Flounder are a species of flatfish that are typically found in the Northern Atlantic and in waters that are off the shores of the east coast (in the U.S.). There are actually several different types of species that we often include in the term “flounder.” In the United States, we have the summer flounder (found primarily in the Western Atlantic), the southern flounder, and the winter flounder. There are also species of flounder that can be found in waters off the coasts of Europe and Japan.
Flounders are traditionally pretty small fish and usually range from 12 to 15 inches in size. Interestingly, this presents a unique challenge to anglers. Instead of feeling an immediate bite, fishermen who angle for flounder often can feel as if they’ve snagged their line on something. This can make it tricky to ultimately land a flounder, particularly because the flounder often will hold the bait in its mouth and swim a few feet back to its feeding area.
As a result, if a fisherman tries to hook it too soon, they will simply lose half of their bait. As a result, catching flounder presents a challenge for fishermen despite the fish’s small size. Flounder are considered ambush predators and they generally feed in the soft mud or sand of the bottom of the ocean.
They can especially be found near bridge piles, docks, reefs, and other types of natural or manmade structures that protrude from the ground. As a result, flounder can generally be found close to the bottom of the ocean floor, which is a good thing for fishermen to keep in mind.
Flounder are especially prevalent during their migration season, so if you want to stand the best chance of landing flounder, it’s a good idea to angle for them from September through November, which are considered their migratory months. As far as tackle is concerned, experts recommend using a medium stiff casting rod, particularly one that is around 7 feet long.
In addition, it’s a good idea to use this in conjunction with a smaller baitcasting reel. Many experts consider the “standard flounder rig” to be a 4/0-circle hook on a 15-inch 30 lb. test monofilament leader (terminal rigging). However, as with most tackle, you’ll want to experiment a little and perhaps implement your own unique combination that you find to be the most effective.
There are actually several factors to consider when selecting flounder rigs: water depth, current, and bottom terrain. Because flounder live primarily near the bottom of the ocean (near the floor) you need to make sure that your rig can get the bait down to the bottom.