3 Tips For Catching Flounder On Artificial Lures
By: Joe Simonds on November 3, 2016
It’s Flounder Fishing Time Again!
Earlier this year, we posted a fishing tip called, “How To Catch More Flounder With This Paddletail Lure” (you can see that post here).
And we received quite a few messages that we should do more flounder fishing posts… in particular, flounder fishing using artificial lures.
So when Salt Strong Ambassador Nick Lytle reached out to us asking if he could contribute a flounder fishing tip on artificials, we said, “Heck yeah!”
Here is Nick’s latest post.
3 Tips For Catching Flounder On Artificials
By Nick Lytle
Do you want to become “Flounder Strong”?
And do you want to increase the number of flounder you catch on artificial lures each year?
If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, then this article is for you.
But before I reveal the three tips, let’s start with the most critical piece of flounder fishing first.
The most critical piece of the puzzle is RESEARCH.
Research, aka doing your homework, is even more critical than the lure you use.
In fact, when targeting any new species of fish, your overall success levels will always be heavily dependent on your level of research.
If you can’t find them, then nothing else matters.
Studying flounder behavioral characteristics will help you understand where they live and what they are doing during each part of the year.
Because once you know where they live and what they feed on, it’s pretty easy to match up the right artificial lure to make it look like the flounder’s favorite meal.
Quick Flounder Knowledge 101
- Flounder spend the majority of their lives lying on the ocean floor, waiting for an easy meal.
- Flounder are excellent ambush predators, blend in with soft bottoms throughout the coast of Florida, and are very aggressive.
- Here, in Northwest Florida, we have two types of Flounder. The Summer Flounder and the Gulf Flounder.
- Female Summer Flounder prefer brackish waters and move offshore to spawn, during the winter months.
Flounder Tip #1 – Have A Strategy Before You Hit The Water
As I mentioned before, the key to targeting a flounder is having a strategy in place BEFORE you hit the water.
Strategies can only be made after doing extensive research to help dial in your strategies.
My fall flounder strategy hinges on a number of variables, but the simplest (and most important) revolves around migration habits.
We know summer flounder migrate out of estuaries, creeks, and bays beginning in the fall.
So, let’s use that knowledge to our advantage.
As fall progresses, fish begin to exit the bays and estuaries through passes, canals, and rivers.
As the fish make this migration, they become easy targets and can be found in the same area year after year.
I prefer to target areas close to inlets and deep water.
When searching for new fishing locations, I always use Google Earth.
Google Earth allows me to locate “target-rich environments”.
My definition of a target-rich environment is an area that has healthy grass and large potholes like this one below.
Potholes create the perfect ambush point for flounder and should be worked thoroughly from more than one angle.
So always study up and have a good idea of where flounder will be during specific times of year, tides, etc.
Flounder Tip #2 – The Right Equipment and Tackle
When targeting Flounder, I prefer to use a 7’ bait casting setup with 20 pound braided line and a 20 pound fluorocarbon leader.
However, any medium action setup will perform perfectly.
Bouncing soft plastic paddle tails and flukes will allow you to cover a ton of water, while fishing for Flounder.
More often than not, I use a Matrix Shad in the color Ultra-Violet (see it on Amazon here)
Regardless of which soft plastics you prefer, be sure to pair the soft plastic with a jig head that is heavy enough to keep the lure on the bottom at all times.
If the lure does not stay within six inches of the bottom, your chances of catching Flounder drastically decrease.
Flounder Tip #3 – Setting the Hook Like A Pro
Like myself, I’m sure many of you have a story about a flounder that let the lure go just before reaching the net.
Why does this happen?
It happens because flounder typically bite their prey then return to the bottom, prior to eating.
It is common for anglers to unexpectedly set the hook, pulling the lure away from the flounder.
When fishing for flounder, you will feel the lure “hang” on the bottom.
When this happens, do not set the hook!
- Slowly raise the rod tip.
- Feel for fish movement.
- Keep steady pressure.
- Wait for it…
THEN SET THE HOOK HARD!!!
Once you have him on the line, a big flounder will shake their heads and pull drag like small redfish.
But you won’t even get the chance if you don’t set the hook correctly.
Targeting a new species can be challenging.
But with a little dedication, research, and a few drops of luck you will succeed in catching more Flounder.
Remember, research is the key to mastering anything, and fishing is no exception.
And when you combine research with the right tackle then you will see more flounder coming in your boat.
Go become Flounder Strong!
Do you have more tips for targeting Flounder?
If so, let us know in the comment section below!!!
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