Game Fishing > Bottom Saltwater Fish types > Flounder


FlounderNext in importance to the plaice is the flounder, sometimes called the winter flounder, and also the flatfish; it is much more abundant and does not grow to so large a size as the plaice. The flounder is a cold-weather fish, biting from February to the beginning of May, and again from October to December. They are always on the bottom, feeding on shells, young crabs, or whatever they can find among the stones and in the mud.

They prefer soft, black mud bottoms, and the boat should be anchored half-way between the middle of the channel and the edges. At high tide they scatter well over the flats; at low tide they gather together in the centre of channels. Their mouths are very small, and as they would be unable to seize and kill other fish, they never come to the surface in search of their prey, as do the large-mouthed plaice.

If the angler does not succeed in getting bites, it often happens that the fish lie buried in the mud, so that if the bottom is raked with the anchor or with the oar it will often stir them up to take the bait; and if the sinker is a heavy one and gets embedded, move it around to stir up the bottom. The hooks should be small, and placed within a few inches of the sinker.

The best baits are sand worms, clams, and mussels. There is very little sport in landing flounders, because they rarely attain a weight of over two pounds, but they make up in numbers what they lack in weight, and the angler more often than not fills his basket with this toothsome little fish.

The rod is of little service in flounder fishing. Hand lines are invariably the rule; just a simple line, snelled hook, and sinker. No leader is required. Two or three hooks may be attached if the fish are plentiful, and it is not uncommon for three fish to be hauled in at once. All the hooks should, however, be as near the sinker and the bottom as possible; for that reason a small wire spreader can be attached whereby the three hooks can be tied, all of even length from the wire, about six inches, the same distance as the sinker.

Like the plaice, they are ever ready to bite at all times during the day or night, and wind and tide play no part in the success of their capture.