Flounder Fishing (Best Spots, Lures, Tips, & Rigging For More Flounder)

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Want to catch more flounder?

Then you’re going to love this video!

I’ve got Salt Strong fishing coaches Luke, Wyatt, and Tony with me here as they share some of their best secrets for catching inshore flounder.

We cover a lot, including:

  • Where to catch flounder in each season (which is super important since they migrate)
  • The best flounder spots
  • The best lures for big flounder (hint: it’s not Gulp shrimp)
  • And much more

You can watch the video version of this podcast below, listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

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When & Where To Catch Flounder

Flounder are a migratory species, so where to find them depends on what time of year it is.

In the winter, they go offshore to spawn so you can usually catch big flounder around nearshore wrecks by bouncing bucktails on the bottom.

In the spring, they migrate into shallow inshore waters, you can find them in and around inlets and passes, including nearby docks and bridges.

In the summer, they’re hunting in inshore waters so you can catch them around structure such as:

  • Docks
  • Creek mouths
  • Spoil islands
  • Oyster bars

Then in the fall, they’re migrating back out offshore, so you can find them once again in or near inlets and passes as they head back offshore.

As far as tide goes, incoming and outgoing both work well, as long as there’s current.

Best Lures For Flounder

doormat flounder

Flounder are mostly hunting for baitfish, so lures that imitate baitfish work really well.

Paddletails are our favorite and, if the water is clear and shallow, jerk baits work great, too.

In deeper water, bucktail jigs with curly-tail grubs are a good option as well.

And yes, shrimp lures like Gulp work, but we’ve had more success on baitfish imitations.

Color doesn’t seem to matter (we’ve caught them on a variety of colors), but what does matter is profile, action, and smell.

Big flounder like big lures, so go with a larger paddletail in the 5″ range, like the Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ, if that’s what you’re after.

3-4″ paddletails, like the Slam Shady 2.0, are great for smaller flounder.

As far as rigging goes, rigging paddletails on a jig head is best, and if you’re getting snagged on rocks, a weedless jig head is a good option.

How To Catch Flounder

Now that you know where to find flounder and have the right lure, the next step is to actually catch them!

Flounder are waiting in ambush on the bottom, so bounce your lure along the bottom and wait for the thump.

Many people recommend waiting 5-10 seconds after you feel it to set the hook, but based on the video in this article, that’s not necessary.

We set the hook as soon as we feel the thump and that’s worked out great for us.

Now the final thing to know about catching flounder is that a net is pretty much a necessity.

They’re great at shaking their heads and spitting the hook, so be really caeful when landing them.

Keep their head under the water until right before they get to the boat and then lift them up and slip the net under them.

Conclusion

how to catch flounder in summer

Flounder are really fun to catch, not to mention delicious, so I hope these tips help you catch more of them.

You can find them around structure near inlets and passes in the spring or fall, in inshore waters in the summer, or nearshore wrecks in the winter.

Bounce a baitfish imitation lure on the bottom and set the hook as soon as you feel the thump.

Do you have any questions about catching flounder?

Let us know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to catch more flounder, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Chuck Harrison
1 year ago

Luke, the “count” after the bite goes back to using cut bait that was as much as 8 inches long for big flounder in deeper water. Absolutely in that case the fish often hit the tail end of the bait and worked its way up.

william weekley
1 year ago

informative, we do have two different species of flounder around Pensacola area. The one stays inshore year round the other will migrate in the fall to spawn off shore. But what do I know, still looking for winner, winner, flounder dinner!

william weekley
1 year ago

new member, fished all my life. Great info, you guys are like my buddies at work talking about fishing. Enjoy the videos and the discussions.

Keith Smith
1 year ago

Great video and great tips. I love fishing for flounder and it is one of my favorites to eat! I will be in North Carolina, Duck in the northern Outer Banks, in 2 weeks. Looking forward to giving some of these tips a try while fishing in the surf. I have had pretty good luck in the surf the last couple of years. Wyatt, do you do any fishing in the surf? I would be very interested in any tips you have for fishing in the NC surf.

Anonymous
1 year ago

Won’t watch anything more than 15 minutes

Mark McKinney
1 year ago

I thought that was a very informative video !!! When I fish around the oyster bars up here in Florida’s Big Bend, I’m fishing for flounder and reds. I was catching plenty of both until it got hot about 6 weeks ago. I guess that’s what happened. Since then I’ve been struggling. I’ve been fishing choke points around the bars and points on oyster bars.

Wyatt Parcel
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark McKinney

Yeah, that heat is definitely pushing fish further towards the gulf right now… still keep hammering those choke points for those flounder though! The reds won’t be too far off either!

Cory Capallia
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark McKinney

I feel ya right there with ya as I fish the big bend area as well and couldn’t have said it better myself as of here lately.. Really thinking about becoming an insider.Does it allow you to talk and share ideas and information with other anglers in your area.If not maybe they should incorporate a map of some sort so that fellow anglers in the same area can link up..

Anonymous
1 year ago

Citation Flounder for NC is 5lbs or larger.

Wyatt Parcel
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thanks for the clarification! I was having a tough time remembering during the podcast.

Glenn Acomb
1 year ago

Excellent discussion with helpful tips. When fishing alone, I don’t have time to reach for the net so I keep the line tight and lift them into the boat quickly. Often, they shake off but will fall to the deck of the boat. You all mentioned the rule changes that are proposed for Florida. Be aware of this if the changes go through. In particular, proposals include — 14″ minimum size from 12″; limit of 5 instead of 10; and some others.

Wyatt Parcel
1 year ago
Reply to  Glenn Acomb

Correct. There will be several changes that have been proposed. Stay tuned in with FWC to get the exact changes and new regs! Thanks so much for watching Glenn!

Sam Craparo
1 year ago

The largest flounder I have caught in Tampa Bay was on a reef off Ana Maria. While mackerel fishing I dropped a white bait on a jig to the bottom and caught multiple flounder that barely fit in a 48 quart cooler. Was surprised the got that big.

Wyatt Parcel
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Craparo

That’s awesome!! Those big girls definitely like to sit on those nearshore reefs and get big. Most trophies aren’t inshore, but on those reefs. That’s not to say you can’t get lucky and find a doormat in the Bay though!

Rex
1 year ago

Love these posts and look forward to joining the club soon. Covid ate up my July, but I should be square soon. But hey, unlike most fish which are netted head first are you saying you net flats tail first? I only fished northern flounder nearly a half century ago and can’t recall what we did.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rex

It is smart to always lead a fish into a landing net head first. Here’s a video that shows the best way to do it: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/use-fishing-net-to-land-fish/

Russ Gardner
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Very good …

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