Spring Flounder Tips
By Rich Johnson
officially opens her doors this month and before you know it the waterways will be full of
life with boaters and fishermen using their spare time to relax on the tri-state
areas waters. For fishermen I have a news flash! Flounder fishing is not as
depressing as some writers would make you believe it to be! There can be some decent
action if you know how to approach your quarry, tease their appetite and figure out a
winter flatties temperature range.
POUND THE BOTTOM. Flounder are a curious fish by
nature, always investigating a source of disturbance or puff of mud on the lookout for an
easy meal. Ever wonder why a fisherman might be poking the mud flats with a long pole or
painters extension handle? Smart anglers feed a flounders curiosity by poking
and disrupting the mud bottom, releasing all sorts of tasty morsels into the current, thus
attracting flounder from down tide.
methods of reaching the same result could be using an old fashioned sash weight from a
window. This 5-pound lead weight tied to a line or rope can be used to pound the bottom as we call it. While
fishing for flounder, every few minutes pound the bottom and you can see the results
almost immediately. A plumbers plunger added to a long pole is also a prime way of
pounding up flounder when fishing the flats. Since mussels are one of the favorite items
of the spring flounders menu, the use of these pounding techniques when
fishing mussel beds is a great idea too!
THE MENU. Spring flounder can be a little fussy
when it comes to feeding at the dinner bell. The normal perception has been bloodworms on
the South Shore of Long Island and sandworms on the North Shore and in Connecticut. One
thing for sure
flounder fishing is never predictable. If you could predict what
flounder want for dinner, you would be a Lotto winner every week.
The one best
piece of advice I could pass along to readers would be; take along a variety of baits when
you go flounder fishing! Dont be cheap when it comes to bait. For a normal day on
the water, I would take along a dozen each of blood & sandworms, a package of clams
and a bushel of mussels. The mussels can be cracked and tossed over the side for a natural
chum line and used on the hook along with the other baits.
intend on using mussels, gently steam them with salt the night before and allow to cool in
the refrigerator over night. This will make them tough and enable them to stay on the hook
much longer. However, to be a successful spring flounder fishermen, you have to spread the
CHUMMING. Chumming has become an integral part of
flounder fishing over the last 20 years. Many old timers have used this technique much
longer than this, but its the novice fisherman who has primarily benefited from
chumming over the last decade or so. Chumming is the method in which a controlled release
of scent and bait into the water attracts and teases the targeted species appetite,
increasing their desire to feed while lowering their inhibition.
popular chum is either clam or mussel chum and a combination chum of both will also work.
Most chum purchased has been ground without the shells, packaged into quart or half gallon
containers and then frozen. When you purchase this chum from your tackle dealer, it is
then placed in a chum pot and lowered over the side while still frozen to slowly thaw,
releasing the scent and bits of bait into the current which in turn attract flounder.
Some of the
sharper flounder fishermen will seed
an area first. Using a large five-gallon chum pot and an equal size container of clam
chum, place the chum in the pot, lower over the side and leave it in your favorite
flounder hole for several tides and sometimes days. This will attract flounder from both
up and down tide as the change of tide disperses scent & bait in all directions. When
you come back to the spot, most of the areas flounder will be near or at the chum
pot looking for an easy meal.
ZONE. Flounder, like every other animal or fish on the planet, has its own comfort
zone. Knowing what it is can help you in the for tasty flounder fillets. Most flounder
will become active once water temperatures pass 42 degrees or so. As the temperatures
rise, so does their activity and feeding response. On bright sunny days, look to fish the
mud flats on high tides, particularly where the mud is dark.
holds more heat longer and more importantly, flounder looking to catch some
rays. As the tide drops, slowly move off the flats with the tide and the
moving flounder. Remember, spring flounder fishing on flats can take place in a very
shallow water. Ive caught flounder in as little as two or three-foot of water. Once
the tide has completely dropped out, fish the normal holes where the temperature is more
their liking. Following some of these tips should and will improve your spring flounder
catch. Till then, Ill see you on the water.