Flat-out fun; it’s flounder time!
Right now we are focused on flounder, which are very active in Tampa Bay.
Live bait has been tops, with live sardines, shrimp and small pin fish working equally well.
We’re rigging up with 20-lb leader and a 1/16-oz split shot 10 inches above 1/0 circle hook. We also are using tipped jigs from 1/8 to ¼ in water less than 6 feet. We’ve been moving up to ½ and ¾ jigs in deeper water.
The tactic for flounder is get the attention of the fish without over doing it. Try to move the bait around but short, slow movements are best. Flounder feed on the bottom and they look for the puffs of sand a bait moving across the bottom kicks up.
Flounder like to ambush their pretty by hiding just under the sand or laying flat on the bottom to keep a low profile. Flounder also have the ability to change color to match their surroundings, further camouflaging themselves. They do this with special skin cells called chromatophores.
In addition to sandy bottom around oyster beds and along jetty’s and sea walls, flounder will relate to structure-particularly the sand that is outlying the structure. Good tide flow is a plus, but fishing the eddys and slower flows are better than battling fast-moving currents.
Flounder fishing is finesse fishing, so using braided line and keeping it tight to detect the bite quickly is a big factor in successful hookups. And speaking of hooking up, flounder are good sport on light tackle. They use their flat bodies to their advantage, and they pull hard for their size. Imagine reeling in a dinner plate against its flat surface and you get the idea.
A speaking of dinner plates, flounder are one of the most prized on the table. Fried, baked, broiled or grilled, the delicate, flavorful white flesh is a treat.
Here’s a link to a recipe that not only shows off the flavor of flounder, but accomplishes it without having to skin and fillet the fish.
Also, check out this link to my Facebook post about a Father’s Day flounder trip that ended up as one of the best Dad’s Days of all time Our Facebook.