Fishing for winter flounder can be just as productive as the spring and summer months as long as your timing and location is just right. Winter is spawning season for flounder, and you may have to go offshore to catch them during this time. But you can also catch flounder while they are still in the inlets, and this is a much easier approach to locating fish.
Winter flounder fishing often requires you to anchor down. The first step is to anchor the boat slightly upcurrent of your chosen spot and send down the chum basket. Next send down your flounder rigs and wait. Every so often, give the chum basket a shake. If you don’t get a bite within 15 or 20 minutes, try another spot. Of course, some spots produce better on certain stages of the tide, but this can only be learned through experience.
Drifting works best in situations where the fish are scattered over a large area. The drift must be slow, and it sometimes pays to drop anchor and work a specific spot once you get a bite.
The flounder’s bite is subtle, and requires an “educated” touch. When you feel the telltale nibble, lower the rod to let the fish eat, then set the hook with a fast, firm upward stroke.
Offshore fishing for winter flounder may have you out at least 15 to 25 miles from the shore. Do your best to find water temperatures above 55 degrees, as temperatures in the 58-60 degree range produce the best results. Live bait is often the preferred choice by anglers, but some flounder lures are well known for landing big numbers.