How To Find Early Fall Flounder (Top 3 Types Of Spots)


For those of you who have reached out regarding my whereabouts and the hurricane: Unfortunately we were in Florida in the RV when the hurricane hit. We evacuated to spend a couple nights in a hotel, leaving the RV at the campground. Thankfully the RV made it through the storm, although I can tell that it almost tipped over. Glad we didn’t stay there!

Our hearts are breaking for so many whose lives have been turned upside down by this storm, (including many of our own members). I would ask that you please keep Coach Richard in your prayers. He is working on a rescue and recovery team down in the Ft Myers area. We have heard updates and the news is not good. The destruction and sadness he is seeing is devastating.


Coach Pat


RIGHT NOW is an excellent time to scan some marshes to find early fall flounder!!

Late summer moving into early autumn is one of my favorite times of the year to target flounder.

These fish are on the move!!

Learn how to catch them here…

How To Find Early Fall Flounder [VIDEO]

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Equipment Mentioned:

1) Drains

Drains are areas that link the marshlands to the main channels and canals.

On high tide, flounder like to go as far back into these drains as they can to get to areas they normally would not have access to.

There are crabs and shrimp present in these areas and the fish know that.

During an outgoing tide, all of that water is going to drain out and there will be less water for those fish to swim in.

Especially around big tide swings.

This is the best time to sit at the bottom of those drains waiting for the fish to exit the marshes.

The best time to target flounder near drains is right at the last of the outgoing tide, through slack, and beginning of the incoming tide.

At about halfway through the incoming tide, the drains will fill back up and those fish will move further back.

The cycle then repeats itself.

So the best time to fish these drains is right when the water bottoms out at the base of these drains.

2) Oyster Beds

Another fantastic spot for targeting flounder during this time of the year is around or near oyster beds.

I’ve been having particular luck on the slack side of the oyster beds as the tide moves in and out.

You can target and catch flounder around oyster beds on either an incoming or an outgoing tide.

You just need to make sure you are on the side with the current break.

To best position yourself near oyster beds, face your vessel downcurrent, cast up and into the oyster beds, and retrieve the lure with the current.

If you are fishing with live bait from a boat, then position yourself upcurrent from the oysters and let your bait drift down passed the oyster beds.

Fish both sides of the oyster beds as well as the ends to cover the entire area.

3) Mud Flats

Mud flats are right outside the mouths of these winding creeks.

Lots of times, the flounder sit in super skinny water of less than a foot waiting for bait to flush out of the marshes.

As that tide falls, sometimes these super shallow areas dry up.

In that case, the flounder fall off into nearby deeper water.

They’ll wait here until the tide moves back in pushing water in and then they’ll move back to where they staged originally.

Flounder Lures

When it comes to targeting flounder, it is hard to beat any type of shrimp presentation.

The Power Prawn USA Junior in the Gold Digger color is the best lure for this type of fishing.

When rigged on a Hoss Football Jighead, you can get up and close to oysters and mangroves where these fish are staged.

Use the lightest weight that you can get away with.

Another fantastic lure is the Gold Digger 2.0 swimbait rigged on the Hoss Helix Hook.

Paddletails also catch flounder, however, it all comes down to your retrieve.

You want to make sure your presentations stay as close to the bottom as possible.

Lastly, the Owner Flashy Swimmer is another useful hook I like to use when fishing for flounder.

It is similar to the Owner’s Twistlock weedless weighted rigging hooks just with additional flash from a spinner blade.

You can use this hook style with either a paddletail or a shrimp lure but the added vibration of the paddletail is best.


NOW is an excellent time to put these tips into practice!!!

We’re quickly moving into fall seasonal trends which means the flounder are staging near these drains and creek mouths as we speak.

Head out there and find some promising drains and oyster beds during the right portion of the tide cycle!!

What kinds of questions do you have about how to find early fall flounder??

Have you caught your first flounder of the fall yet?

Please share in the comments!!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about how to find early fall flounder, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Chris Pashos
3 months ago

Great video Pat. Planning on heading to Ft. McAllister GA area for some fishing. Do you fish that area and what is your opinion?

Darren Toler
5 months ago

First, glad you are OK from the storm! Second, excellent info as always Pat!

Werner Boeer
5 months ago

Pat, feel so sorry for all involved with Ian. I am glad to hear that the RV is OK. You provide us all with so much good advise on fishing the big three. I really enjoy all of your advise. Good luck in getting back on the road soon.

Charles Gurnea
5 months ago

I live in a bay system no grass but rocks what can I do to catch more flounder

Matthew Swartz
5 months ago

We caught 11 flounder in Southeastern NC fishing the creek mouths back in early September. All of them hit paddle tail swimbaits on 1/8 and 3/16 jig heads. They were all keyed in on mullet, I couldn’t get a bite on a power prawn but I saw a few fish follow them, and my dad got a black drum on one.

5 of the flounder were keepers including a nice one I caught in the canal behind the beach house! Biggest flounder was just under 17″ so no doormats but man we ate good while we were there.

This was the first time I committed to using artificial lures for the duration of our trip, and it paid off!! I feel like we got way more bites. My dad is very much a live bait kind of guy, but I think I started to change his mind and he got a keeper flounder on a paddle tail. Thanks for the info Pat, great stuff!! Now I need to find some redfish…

David Bankston
5 months ago

Key point you made; work your lure with the current flow. Fish know something is wrong with bait swimming against the current.

Blair Minnix
5 months ago

Good to hear you guys were safe Pat. Also thanks for the tips. I made it a point this fall season to fish more for flounder and this will surely help.

Robert Janger
5 months ago

Thanks Pat. Really good video for the marsh areas just off the ICW in SE NC.

Andy Hong
5 months ago

Thanks for the update, Pat. I’m relieved to hear you guys came out okay. But yes, so heartbreaking to see all the news & photos of the devastation that others are enduring.

Also, thanks for all the useful Flounder-catching tips! Great video lesson!

Last edited 5 months ago by Andy Hong
Keith Bartenhagen
5 months ago

Hey Pat, glad to hear you made it through the storm OK. I went out fishing last Saturday near Freeport, TX. In Drum Bay just up the coast. I caught 4-5 flounder but most were small. One was about 18″ and seemed a bit more out from the shore in 2′ of water. On my way back to the launch I drifted along now exposed oyster beds and picked up two nice trout. I then beached on an oyster bed with my Kayak and waded the bed and fished off both sides and picked up a small redfish. My first Texas Slam! I caught all the fish on Trout eye jig with the pink Fred paddle tail (2.0?). Water is pretty clear and water temps at 73-75 degf.

William Clifford
5 months ago

Keith; Congrats on your slam. And also thanks for your report. I caught a 16″ flounder in Drum Bay 2 weeks ago with power prawn and hoss helix #4. Next time I will try jig head to reduce hang ups on oyster beds that Pat O. recommended recently.

Keith Bartenhagen
5 months ago

Thanks Will, I have better luck with the weedless setup on those oyster beds. I think my jighead is 1/8 oz. I may go out Saturday again. Was thinking Christmas bay, cold pass, Churchill bayou. Drum is so shallow I can’t pedal everywhere. Still on the fence. Might see which way the wind is blowing.


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