Flounder and the 10-Second Rule (photos, video)

On the way home from flounder fishing this afternoon I called a friend of mine to give him a report.

I told him it was a pretty tough day with high barometric pressure (makes fish not want to bite) and I smelled like a combination of flounder, mullet and Berkley Gulp!

As soon as I walked in my wife says, “You smell!”

Understatement of the century.

Now onto the reason for the blog.

We often talk about the 10-second rule for flounder feeding but no one gets into why. Well, that is except me. Not surprising from the guy who wrote Flounder Fundamentals, Flounder Fever and founded Flounder Revolution (R) and Flatfish University (TM), eh?

I was fortunate to get to observe and video flounder feeding with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute’s (UTMSI) Jeff Kaiser and saw something that made everything click.

Typically a flounder hits a big live bait like a mullet or mud minnow with a “thump” and then you feel tiny bumps. Most anglers wait 10-20 seconds because of tradition but there is a good reason to do it.

The flounder hit the Spanish sardines fed them at the UTMSI lab, grab them any way they can and then take the time to turn the bait into a vertical, head first position so they can engulf it.

The flounder has a very wide mouth but their gullet is not so wide so they have to be able to position the bait in such a way that it can pass through to the stomach.

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This 19-inch flounder’s mouth stretches out to more than three inches but narrows quickly in the throat area.
(Photo by Chester Moore, Jr.)

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The point where the fish would pass from the head into the stomach is the width of my yardstick which is about 1.5 inches.
(Photo by Chester Moore, Jr.)

When you feel a flounder hit and then feel those tiny ticks, it is because the fish grabbed the bait and then is trying to move it into a position so it can be swallowed.

Now when you are fishing with live bait, have confidence in the sit and wait technique.

Chester Moore
Executive Editor: Texas Fish & Game
Founder: Flounder Revolution (R), Flatfish University (TM)

(Click here to see amazing footage of why the 10-second rule works. For the first time ever, it has been proven.)