The flounder fishing season is almost here, hundreds of people will be heading to the esturies to catch these endearing fish across the UK
Image from whitbyseaanglers.co.uk
Flounder fishing basics
The traditional method to catch the bottom dwelling flounder was using a moderate weight beach casting set up, a rig with some attractor spoons and lobbing it out into the river expecting to catch flounder because its a flounder river – I know this because I have been there.
Now there is another method, one used by those anglers you see in the glossy magazines and its simply about targeting the flounder in thier habitat and using the flounders inqusative nature and behaviour to increase your catch rate.
Improving your catch rate
I have written a few dits about doing a recce before fishing and reading signs on the shore line. You can use all of that information to help you and assist you improve your catch rate, but here are a few more ideas targeted at the flounder
Get to your mark at low water and look for gullies in the mud, the areas where the flodding tide will reach first. The flounder will follow these channels and hold waiting for the water to flood the main plain of the estuary, when they will leave the gully into shallow water and start feeding.
Fish these channels, and the shallow water, but look for depressions or basins created by an object / tidal currents that would cause food to gather and attract fish.
Some people actually mark and bouy these features, so they know where they are when the tide has flooded
I understand that flounder move in small shoals, so if you hook a fish, remember the spot and cast there again. This is a good tip for all fishing techniques, but over looked in flounder fishing.
Consider keeping mobile. What do I mean? well it might be worth, on the mark you are fishing to move up the estuary when possible with the tide, so you are fishing the freshly flooded areas. To achive this you need to keep your tackle light and compact.
Try a multi hook rig and keep changing the bait (crab, worm, squid etc) and attractors (beads, sequins and spoons) until you find what works for that river. The combination will work next time.
Use enough lead to almost hold the bottom. The moving weight will attract fish and allow you to cover a much larger range of water.
By now you should know my thoughts on balancing your tackle to your target species. There are some great flounder rods out there on the market, I use the Odessa Flattie and I am impressed with it when I require heavier sinkers. For alot of my fishing and friends I know a carp rod or spinning rod will be perfect with 10lb main line. This simple light tackle wil cast a light lead along way and you will have proper contact with your end gear, improving bite detection and sport.
Lure fishing for Flounder
This is somthing I want to try this year. Flounder are a predatory fish and the early season fish are looking from the bottom up to catch food. They will move a shirt distance quickly to capture a meal. Lure fishing with a salt water fly fishing out fit or a light spinning rod with a small delta eel caould produce you some unusual sport and a challange. Sea trout fishermen catch flounder as a by product of thier effort. I have seen one programme on TV (the name escapes me) where a fly fisherman was pestered so much by flounder he felt like giving up! Rember, late season they tend to bottom feed more so you are less likely to catch one on a lure.
I would love to hear from you if you have had sucess lure fishing for flounder, either on fly or plug / spinner
Flounder Rivers / Marks
In Devon the Teign and river Exe are both well known for producing good fish in the season. The Fowey and Camel in Cornwall are another two good rivers to fish. Other marks include Harbours and inlets, my local being Porthleven where good fish are taken regualrly on bottom gear.
If you would like to share some marks please comment below.