There is nothing quite as delicious as a freshly caught flounder fish or fluke fish as some parts of the country call these fantastic saltwater fish species.
Docks and piers are a terrific canvas to setup a plan to target the flounder or fluke. With so many residential docks & commercial piers on our shorelines there is no shortage of terrain to cover.
You will want to time your flounder fishing around incoming or outgoing tide times, basically whenever water is moving to allow for you to create a natural presentation of the bait getting caught in the tide, almost like a tide buffet line. Flounder LOVE to ambush small baitfish caught in the tide’s current. Position yourself near the dock so that you can cast upstream and let the current slowly drift downstream to create a scenario the flounder is commonly looking for to ambush bait. Slightly bumping or making sure the bait moves along is fine but you want to try to match the speed of the tide movement as much as possible.
When it comes to targeting flounder fish or fluke fish, the primary weapon of choice is live bait such as finger mullet, mud minnow, or a very, very realistic artificial bait that looks like these tasty morsels. Shrimp is also a great bait if none of the other choices are available, especially if you are night fishing around the docks. You’ll want to rig the bait on a jighead, weight dependent on the amount of tide movement.
We’d recommend starting with a 3/16-ounce jig head. Our best suggestion is to stop by your local tackle shop, tell them the time you are fishing (to guess how much water is moving) and that you are targeting flounder and they’ll be able to help you decide on an appropriate jig head. Click here to find a local tackle shop.
Run your jighead through the bottom of the baits mouth, through the lips or through the nose (not as sturdy but will allow better movement if the bait is still alive) and straight thru the top between the eyes & nostrils. If the bait is still alive, this will keep the fish alive by not piercing his brain. We’d recommend a 20lb. fluorocarbon leader attached to your braid fishing line. This beefed up leader will help with abrasion resistance and breakoffs if you hook into an especially big flounder who decides to slam the line into a crusty, barnacle laden piling or rocks typically found around docks & piers. See the photo below for a rigging example.
You want to avoid swivels when you join the leader to the braid fishing line to decrease your chance of the rig getting caught on a piling while making the most lifelike presentation you can. We’ve had fantastic luck with “Crazy” Alberto Knee’s knot. This is a modified albright knot and resembles a chinese finger trap. It works great even when the shock leader is much heavier than the fishing line.
As you cruise the docks, finding small bait is key as it’s a pretty sure bet the flounder are underneath hoping to ambush the little baitfish. Look for pods of tiny baitfish or glass minnows especially, these are irresistible for your flounder fish or fluke fish.
If drifting your jig head the length of the dock is not feasible due to it’s orientation to the tide or you have minimal tide movement, don’t despair. Make short casts to the pilings and especially between the pilings and slowly drag your jighead and bait combo thru. Remember, all fish like structure so you’ll want to concentrate where you are seeing those tiny fish. Make sure you let your bait sink to the bottom before you retrieve…too often we see newer anglers are so excited they made a great cast they immediately reel and do not allow the bait to reach the bottom where the flounder are hiding out.
Give it a shot and let us know how you do! Remember to #SkiffLife on social media so we can feature you!
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