The flounder fish is abundant and common in Florida. There are plenty of best flounder fishing spots in Florida. Once a flounder has caught on your bait, they do not put much of a fight. Flounders are tasty, and they can be filleted, and they are crunchy and mouthwatering when pan-fried in greasy oil. There is no doubt that flounders are worth the hunt because of their exceptional taste, but they can be a challenge to fillet and debone due to their strange anatomy. Get to know this amazing fish that teem in the waters of Florida state and know the best ways to catch them and where to look for them.
Best flounder fishing spots in Florida–How to catch a flounder fishing Florida
There are two different types of flounder for fishermen to catch in Florida. The first type is the Gulf flounder which is the smaller species. It usually grows to about fourteen inches. The Southern flounder is larger and grows up to twenty inches long.
Southern flounders are also known for their multiple spots. Gulf flounders will only have three spots on them.
Flounders are ambush predator fish that lie and wait; if you find them, they can be rather easy to catch. Their marking will darken or lighten to match their environment, and they will even bury themselves in the sand or mud to further cover themselves and set up their attack.
Most any kind of food that is bounced or reeled a foot above them will be attacked. You just have to find out where they are.
Best flounder fishing spots in Florida–Where is the best flounder fishing in Florida?
The flounder fish can be found all around the brackish and saltwater environments. These are the best flounder fishing spots in Florida.
There are a few small flounder that can be found in freshwaters, but none are known to have caught them in full fresh waters yet. Some good places to look for flounder are inlets, areas around docks, tidal creek, the mouth of rivers, sandy holes and grass flats. Other best flounder fishing spots in Florida are near shore structures like piers, reefs, as well as wrecks.
Inlets are an exceptional best flounder fishing spots in Florida. The flounder fish loves to hide opposite a structure that face the current. These solid structures can either be a bunch of grass or a small rock as long as it gives safety to the fish and is regarded as a good ambush area.
Mostly every inlet in Florida has large granite and boulders made of limestone which protects the sea walls on the sides of it. The nooks and crannies in these areas are best flounder fishing spots in Florida since there will be small fish and crabs to feed on. These areas also serve as a hiding spot.
Flounders know that these areas are good hiding and ambush spots so they will bury their bodies near the boulders waiting for prey. A hungry flounder will find a lure rigged and dropped next to the boulders to be an irresistible meal. A shrimp that has been jigged works well also. The secret is to cast up to the current and let your bait bounce up to the bottom with the tide hopefully near a ravenous flounder.
Best flounder fishing spots in Florida—Top 5 Places
fishing around docks
Docks are one of the best flounder fishing spots in Florida. The flounder fish loves to wait for prey just beneath a dock and beyond the dock pilings. Again, it should be noted that they will be facing the current, so the presentation of your bait should be coming up from the current for winning results. Most docks will have plenty of oysters and barnacles stuck on them. Seagrasses and sponges are also vastly present.
These marine creatures attract countless shrimp, crab and fish which serve as prey for flounder. On a positive note, there will also be snook, redfish, and trout teeming in these areas. Call it a good day if you can fish and catch all these species and a few big flounders.
A shrimp or a split shot that has been adequately presented on bait and dropped between the dock pilings will catch the attention of a ravenous flounder. This is a good spot to drop a scented artificial shrimp or paddle tailed jig to catch a flounder.
tidal creeks and river mouths
Flounder fishermen can have a lucky day when they go fishing in tidal creeks and river mouths that go into the saltwater. The flounder fish will often take up ambush points in the area of the mouth of the river from the shallow edges to the deeper parts.
The location of the flounder will depend on where the fish or shrimp prey are. If they are hunting for finger mullets, these will be on the top area of the water. If they are hunting for croakers, these will be at the mouth’s deepest parts.
Flounders converge on the bottom parts or at the most two feet above the bottom. When you present your bait and lure, you should remember this fact. If the waters only reach two feet, you can use a lure of the topwater type to bait a flounder. If the waters are four to five feet in depth, it would be useless to bait with a topwater lure. Flounder fish will not swim up for bait unless they are truly ravenous.
It is crucial to bounce and pause lures for about ten seconds the reel it a few feet then let it settle. The more patient and slower you are the more chances you will bait a flounder.
There are plenty of grass flats on Florida and the flounder fish love to ambush on sand potholes along these grasses. You can always have plenty of catch when you choose sand potholes environment. This is a best flounder fishing spots in Florida.
It is crucial to drop an appetizingly scented imitation shrimp carefully from up to the current right through the middle spot of the potholes. A scented lure with a wriggling tail also works excellently.
Deeper waters and flounder behavior
If the waters are less than four feet, it is better to use a shrimp bait on popping cork on the midsection of the pothole. Place a small split shot several inches above the shrimp to keep it settled a foot or so on the bottom. The secret is to make a long cast, so the bait is presented to the fish before your presence is sensed.
A striking behavior of flounders is they will often follow your bait around for a long time before finally striking. Most of the time you will get your flounder on the boat or kayak you are in. Sometimes you get them right before your feet if you are wade fishing as long as you don’t make noticeable movements.
The biggest flounders that have ever been caught are usually around a pier which has been demolished by a hurricane. The flounder fish were trying to prey upon mullet when they ventured into the pier’s pilings. The flounder rig used was a simple style set up with a leader that is twenty-four inches in length.
The bait used was a mullet hooked on a J hook. A rig was used at the end of the line and a sinker tied to about eighteen inches high up the line. The bait will have the ability to climb up the water column but not so far high up that it will be out of the flounder’s strike zone.
The secret to getting a flounder is to give them time to make sure that the bait gets into their mouths. They have a habit of grabbing the fish and holding it for a few seconds before engulfing it. It is crucial to wait for a few seconds before setting the hook when a hit is felt.
Lures require a different strategy, however. As soon as you feel a flounder catch, set it up. You will not scare off the flounder if you miss. If you do miss, you can move your lure for a second time, and the flounder might make a go for it.
Structures on the beach and fish bait season
Any structure on the beach will have flounder. If there is a lone rock or coral reef with sand, there will likely be a flounder hiding in the area.
When baitfish become more prolific in Florida waters, flounder becomes more fearless. They can be found just a few feet from the shore in troughs. Many Florida natives are lucky to get all sorts of fish from sardines to minnows. These bait species converge on the beaches during the different seasons of the year.
A ravenous predator fish will not miss fish bait season, and this includes the flounder. Expect them to be around inlets and piers throughout the state of Florida.
Flounders can also be caught offshore near shipwrecks or reefs. This is a best flounder fishing spots in Florida. They can be found in just about any underwater structure.
Flounder can be found in offshore wrecks in thirty feet of water. Fishing for flounder in such depths will require the same rigs, baits, and techniques used in shallower waters. You can use finger mullets, and sinkers that slide free on the line just above the hook.
This kind of technique works well for most live bait fishing methods.
Fun Flounder Fact
Flounder fish begin life just like any other fish with an eye on both sides of its body. The right eyes transfer to the left portion so that it can start its life looking from the bottom up. This process is how a flounder develops, but for flukes, it works the opposite way.
The other eyes of the fluke transfer to the right side of its body. This is one of the features scientists look for when identifying flatfish. They call them either right-sided or left-sided. This will depend on where their bodies are facing up after the migration.
Best Flounder Fishing Spots in Florida–Best flounder baits and fishing lures
If you want to have the best luck with smaller flounder, then use live shrimp and choose dock creek mouths and potholes as best flounder fishing spots in Florida. If you want to catch bigger flounder, go to piers and inlets and use a finger mullet bait. Crabs, white baits and smaller fish will work as well. A rig of the Carolina or Texas type works great in these conditions.
What is the best lure for flounder fishing?
The best flounder lure is different for every flounder fisherman. However, a shrimp or swimming mullet seems to give the best results.
Many fishermen will say that shrimp tipped feather gives fantastic results. The best consideration is: get a lure that can bounce on the bottom and smells attractive to the flounder. If there are plenty of flounder, you will likely get a strike if you have the correct presentation.
A spoon that is weed less also works well for catching flounder, but it is difficult to get a good set of hooks due to their mouths that are sideways. Flounders will hit the spoons, but they tend to miss a lot.
Additional Flounder Fishing Facts
Flounders are one of those fish that can be a challenge to catch if you use the same techniques you use for other fish. Flounders are slow, and you need to be the same with them as well.
One reason some fishermen do not get the best results when fishing for flounder is, they fish too quickly. Fishermen who are good at bass fishing have better chances of catching flounder because they appreciate the slow movement of a Carolina or Texas rig that is used to catch bass.
Florida is a great state for angling adventures, and you can catch all types of fish consistently throughout the year. The many ports, inlets, rivers and piers of Florida are host, especially to the amazing flounder fish. The best flounder fishing spots in Florida can be visited on any weekend, and as long as you have the right gear and proper know-how, you will likely get yourself a fat flounder by the end of the day.