Flounder Spawning in the Channel? “Rolling” Like Gar?

Out of all the fish I have pursued none get tunnel vision so to speak over prey items like flounder. When they are locked on tiny menhaden (shad) they often refuse other offerings and feed with enough enthusiasm to leap for joy.

Six years ago, my father Chester Moore, Sr. and I not only observing flying flatfish but also saw them “rolling”.

We would see mud boils all over the particular cut we were fishing and occasionally see a glimpse of brown or a shrimp jumping. Upon closer examination we were able to verify they were flounder feeding on shrimp in an unusual way.

They would rocket from the bottom, sweep through the shrimp and roll back down in a clockwise direction. We saw this dozens of times in the course of a week and each time the strikes were conducted in exact fashion. You had to be close to verify they were flounder and we had that opportunity many times.

An even stranger phenomenon was also recently discovered.

I watched several small male flounder gathered around big females in the channel at Sabine Pass. This was the last week of November and there were several egg-laden females with males right on them.

Were these fish spawning in the channel?

We know they spawn in the Gulf but is it possible that a remnant actually spawns in our deep man-made channels?

These fish were in three feet of water on the edge of a 30-foot drop-off. Perhaps they were simply staging together to run but the females looked as if they were about to burst.

Even more intriguing was the fact the males would seemingly defend the area around her like a bass does on a bed. I would pitch a 2.5-inch Sassy Shad from Mr. Twister toward them and the males would hit the lure, swim away with it and drop it. It was really weird and it still has me wondering what is going on.

Something I noticed a lot during that particular day and the next day was that I would get lots of short strikes on the lures I was fishing. I have a feeling there were lots of small male flounder out there around big females. If I run into that again, I plan to break out some live bait and see if I can get the big female with them to hit.

Chester Moore, Jr.

TFG Editorial: