We anglers come up with all sorts of inventive ways to catch fish. New lures, new techniques, new rods and reels – the list goes on and on. But in some cases it’s mighty tough to beat the tried and true old school methods of catching a fish. Case in point: flounder fishing the old-fashioned way.
Sure, flounder will hit all kinds of offerings. But the simple and ancient bucktail is, to this day, an utter killer on flatfish. You can use it plain, or dress it up with goodies like a live minnow, a shrimp tail, a strip of squid, or a soft plastic trailer. You can cast it out and retrieve it by bouncing along bottom, you can drift it along an edge or reef, or you can slowly troll one along. Versatile? You betcha – few lures can match the versatility of a bucktail.
If you’re going to target flounder with a bucktail, there are really only three decisions you need to make (other than where and when to go fishing, of course). The first and often most critical is weight. Whichever tactic you apply to present the offering, you won’t catch many flounder if it isn’t close to the bottom. And most of the time, that means using a bucktail of sufficient weight. Second, consider color. All of the usual rules apply in this case, so choose a color that matches the hatch and matches the water color. Finally comes the trailer, be it bait or artificial. Any of those we mentioned will work just fine, but do remember that when a trailer is natural you’ll usually want to jig the bucktail with a bit less aggression than you will when it’s dressed with an artificial item which requires a lot of movement to appear alive.
Is flounder fishing with a bucktail as effective as jigging with one of those new-fangled lures? Usually – and quite often, it’s even more effective.