A Few Tips For Fall Flounder Fishing

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The fall flounder run is not here yet but it is getting close.

During the month of November anglers cannot retain flounder in Texas. But there is still good action to be had in the next couple of weeks.

Here are a few tips to help you score.

Timing: Timing is important with fall flounder fishing but it is often misunderstood by anglers. Cold fronts push out flounder as the strong north winds move vast amounts of water out of the system. The best fishing is the day before the front hits when strong sound winds blow. At this time the barometric pressure is falling. The day after a front hits, it is high and the fishing is slow. Typically, it picks up again two days after the front.

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Outgoing tides are good to fish but incoming ones should not be overlooked. I always prefer incoming tides up until fall but in recent years have found even during the migration to  It may contradict conventional wisdom but when I look at the times that produced the absolute best catches (other than when the marshes first purge) it was always on an incoming tide.

Basic Rigging and Hookset: The basic flounder-fishing rig is called the “Carolina Rig” or “Fish Finder”. It consists of an egg weight rigged above a swivel attached to a leader, which usually measures 12-18 inches and finished off with a hook. Anglers drag this slowly on the bottom and wait for the flounder to strike and then they wait. Most anglers wait at least 10 seconds but some weight as long as 20 to give the flounder a chance to swallow the bait. Live mud minnows and finger mullet are the most popular.

Live Shrimp: A few years ago  however I watched a man absolutely smoke me using large live shrimp on a modified free line rig. He had a wide gap hook with a 1/8-oz split shot rigged above it and he pitched into the current toward a point allowing the current to push it into the key bite zone. The flounder hammered it! Since then I have used live shrimp several times (including jumbo shrimp) and caught many flounder including big ones. The key to this seems to be the rig. The flounder do not seem to want the shrimp if it is on a heavy Carolina rig but cannot resist the free-swimming action of this setup.

Chester Moore

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