Friday, May 11, 2012
Best Baits For Flounder Fishing
Choosing the correct bait for flounder fishing can make or break a trip. The best baits for catching summer flounder (fluke) vary by location, season, and other factors.
In the Mid Atlantic states, top flounder baits typically include live minnows, frozen squid, frozen silversides, strip baits, saltwater baitfish, shrimp, soft-shelled crabs, peeler crabs, and other baits.
Most coastal tackle shops offer a variety of live and frozen baits for catching flounder. Live minnows such as mummichogs, killifish, and sheepshead minnows are among the most popular baits in many locations.
Most tackle shops and suppliers also stock frozen baits, including squid, silversides, finger mullet, and spearing. Many of these baits have a specific season or area where they are most effective.
In some areas, specialized baits are used to catch flounder. This is especially true in locations where trophy-class flounder are known to congregate.
In some areas, tackle shops or marinas offer larger live baits such as spot, pinfish, or other small fish species. Fish suitable for use as live bait can also be caught with cast nets or sabiki rigs.
Large strip baits are another popular bait for catching trophy sized flounder. Strip baits are usually cut from croakers, spot, bluefish, or other fresh caught fish.
Although less common, anglers sometimes make bait strips from shark belly, mahi mahi, false albacore, mackerel, or other light-colored fish parts.
When targeting large flounder, size, texture and color matters when it comes to cutting strip baits. Fish species such as croaker work exceptionally well as because of their large size, silvery color and firm meat.
For species with softer flesh, such as bluefish, strip baits can be prepared in advance and toughened with a liberal coating of kosher salt. Ideal strip baits should be shaped like a trolling spoon and trimmed to a uniform thickness.
In southern areas, shrimp is popular for catching flounder. Shrimp has long been a popular flounder bait in North Carolina, where native shrimp are abundant.
Live shrimp are usually fished under a popping cork. Dead shrimp baits can be fished on traditional 2 hook flounder rigs, Carolina rigs, or threaded onto jig heads.
In recent years, the use of shrimp as a flounder bait has increased as anglers are finding shrimp in the stomachs of flounder as far north as Maryland.