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May 19, 2014

10 Tips to Catch Flounder

Follow these tips from veteran flounder pros around the country to speed up time between strikes.

8. Flippin' Out

Flippin' is a technique that allows anglers to fish heavy cover. While normally used for fresh water bass, some inshore fishermen have found that flippin' is a great way to target flounder in hard-to-reach spots."Flippin' for flounder is essentially the same as flip-pin' for bass," says Ray Thomas, a respected Mandarin, Florida, taxidermist and dedicated flounder fisherman. "I prefer a seven-foot spinning outfit for this work, and use it almost like a fly rod at close range. I pull line through the rod guides with my left hand as I'm raising the lure and line from the water with the rod. I'll flip the lure out, then jig it around the boat, because I anchor near good flounder structure such as pilings, bulkheads and jetties. These places are full of barnacles, and it's easy to get cut off. But when you keep your casts short by flippin', you can work these hot spots quickly without getting hung up."

10 Tips for More and Bigger Flounder

9. The Drift and Bump

Guide Larry Miniard, of Ponte Vedra, Florida, says the best way to locate flounder and learn a fishing area at the same time is to drift or "bump troll."

"The first time I fish a new area for flounder, I like to have the current or tide push my boat along so I can cover a lot of water at a pretty good clip," he explains. "I'll find a likely area, such as a jetty edge, rolling bottom or set of old pilings, and run upcurrent. Then I'll turn the boat broadside to the flow and simply drift along.

"Using bottom-bumping live-bait rigs or jigs is deadly, and I use my electric motor to hold the boat in position. Done right, I can cover a lot of water in a hurry, especially if there are three or four anglers onboard. It's a superb way to investigate a creek or small river, because you can just about cover the entire width of the waterway in one drift."

When the current and/or wind is not favorable for drifting, Larry "bump trolls" by using his electric motor or outboard to push him along, covering water until he locates fish.

10. Keep It Moving

Guide Kirk Stansel of Hackberry, Louisiana, says that a great way to catch more flounder is to always keep your bait moving. This will help you locate any rocks and pilings on the bottom, plus it presents the bait in a natural way.

"Flounder usually wait for a bait to come to them." Kirk explains. "So it's important to keep your bait moving."

Kirk also has a trick for catching flounder around line-cutting structure. "Many times when a flounder hits a bait in a really tough tangle of pilings or rocks, it's possible to gently lead the fish away from the cover before setting the hook. When a flounder wants a bait, you almost can't pull it away from him. So when it strikes a bait in a tricky spot, such as under a dock, just slowly reel in line and lead the fish to a place where it can be played without the risk of a cut-off."