Soon the first cold front will hit our area and the water temps will drop to the magical 74 deg.
As November approaches so does the west coast flounder run. These odd flat fish with both eyes on top are one of the best eating fish in our waters.
One of the best things about them is they are predictable and easy to target. That doesn’t mean they are easy to catch though!
Inshore flounder will move into any sandy bottom area surrounded by grass or structure. Shallow pot holes on grass flats, the edges of channels , or sandy areas around oyster beds all will hold fish.
Flounder will attack lures and live bait run across their area. The trick is to slow down the presentation as flounder are ambush predators that lay in wait for food to swim by. When you feel the thump give a slight pause before setting the hook. Flounder tend to grab a bait or lure and will hold it in their teeth lined mouth before swallowing the offering. That’s the part that makes them tricky to catch.
When you feel the thump lower the rod tip and then strike. They should be hooked up. If you miss slightly move the bait or lure and the flounder might attack again. They are ferocious predators.
Best baits are live shrimp, mud minnows aka killifish, or whitebait. Lures such as soft plastics on a 1/6-1/4oz Jig Head or suspended lures like a mirro-lure work great.
A trout sized set up works fine for these fish. A 7’6″ fast action rod with a 2500-3000 class reel loaded with 10lb braid is all you need. 15-20lb fluorocarbon leader is perfect. If fishing live bait 1/0-3/0 hooks matched to bait size will work best. Circle hooks work well because the fish will hook themselves if they pull on the bait. A big flounder can feel like a snag…a snag that wants to swim away with your bait! They will grab the bait or lure and try to bury back into the sand.
Flounder will also stack up in Rocky off shore bottom in 20-40 ft and some really nice size fish can be caught. Bump tackle up to 12-17 lb spinning gear. Live or dead shrimp on a Jighead or knocker rig will always produce. A bonus of hognapper is also a possibility.
The flounder bite will remain hot until the water really cools down around mid to late December.
If you find one flounder keep fishing the area. These guys like to school up. Multiple fish can come from the same spot. They are best eaten fresh so never keep more than you will need for a few dinners.
This Trip's Catch
Your Professional Fishing Guide/Captain
Capt. Anthony Corcella
In Business: 8 years, 9 months
Pocket Change Inshore Fishing Charters
Welcome to Pocket Change Fishing Charters! Join Captain Anthony Corcella and Pocket Change Fishing Charters for a St. Petersburg fishing trip you won’t soon forget! Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Captain Anthony is a USGC licensed Florida fishing guide who has a lifetime of experience fishing the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf […]