Tips for Catching Shallow-Water Flounder

Fun with flatfish on the flats.

May 15, 2012

Upon a flooding tide, flounder — aka fluke or summer flounder — move onto shallow bars and shoals. There, they take advantage of feeding grounds inaccessible at low tide, and in so doing make themselves prime quarry for savvy anglers. Use this quartet of tips to target them.

Bar None
Look for shallow-water structure that catches the current. Oyster bars, points and rocky outcroppings all do the trick. Anywhere moving water meets something solid is a good bet.

Creek Crawl
Probe the mouths of creeks in tidal marshes at the start of the ebb. Outgoing water often sweeps forage of all kinds from the marsh, and fluke seek out the sun-warmed water draining from the shallow marshland.


On the Fall
Cast 1/4- to 1/8-ounce jigs and bucktails, bouncing them slowly along the bottom. If it feels like you’re snagged, set the hook — often fluke will grab the lure just before it plops down, and you won’t feel the take.

Crustacean Nation
If shrimp are around, flounder are bound to be after them. Try three- to four-inch lures in white or gold patterns. Or use a dropper loop to deploy a shrimp-pattern teaser in front of another lure.


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