Winter Flounder Fishing

Follow these tips and tricks to put more winter black backs in the fish box.


Visit the Reports Section for up to the minute local fishing reports.

BY EDWARD MURPHY 02/04/2018
Winter flounder

Tackle you should use while flounder fishing

A light tackle saltwater rod and reel combo is recommended. Most flounder in the north east are 1 to 2 lbs with a 3 lber a solid fish. A 10-15 lb class rod in 6'6"-7' is the way to go, I personally use a 7' rod as I like to move my rig around in different spots when fishing gets tough. For a reel again go with light tackle, a shimano calcutta 200 or a penn 9m was always my dads favorite. Recently I started using a spinning reel combo, a shimano stradic 2500 paired with a gloomis 8-15lb EX6 spooled up with 10 lb suffix braid. The reason for the switch was I found that casting back into the chum slick and slowly bouncing my rig to the boat produced solid flounder action and alot more fun. As for the flounder rig I only use size 6 gamakatsu octopus hooks rigged with 20# seaguar flourocarbon. Tandem two hook design with sinker snap. Yes I use flourocarbon, Yes I believe it produces more fish even in dirty water, why? I dont know, all I know is it makes a difference to me and the amount of flounder in the fish box.



Bloodworms

Bait used for flounder fishing

Bloodworms are my number one choice, but they work hand and hand with other baits. Fresh shucked bank mussels and fresh shucked clam belly " the snotty dark meat of the clam " one of those two will go on my top hook, hanging off slightly. The blood worm should be used whole or cut in half if very large, thread the bloodworm onto the hook allowing to hang off. The baits are to hang off so that they create a flutter action when you slow lift your rod, exciting the flounder to strike. Chum is an absolute must, if you dont want to chum, dont go flounder fishing. Chum should be ground clam bellies and fresh mussels, as for the chum I like to use the quart size chum logs. I use two chum pots, one in the front of the boat and one in the back of the boat. Every 10-15 minutes I will break 4-6 fresh mussels over the side of the boat, all I do is step on them to crush the shell. I do this so that mostly jut the scent is being released and the meat is still contained inside the crushed shell. Remember we want to chum not feed the flounder. Another way which is a bit excessive is to use an old blender and blend mussels into a paste. Take that paste and mix with water to make mussel scent logs to fit in your chum cage. The ratio I use is 25% paste to 75% water.



How to double anchor

Anchoring for flounder

When anchoring for flounder you want to keep your boat as still as possible and prevent any swinging. Double anchoring prevents most swinging as long as its not too windy, if you get a bad cross wind no matter how many anchors you have out is going to stop the swing. A good tactic when fishing for flounder is to bounce your sinker on the bottom 20 or so times and wait as still as possible for two minutes, then very very slowly lift your rod tip to attract a strike.|



Filleting Flounder

Filleting Flounder or any flat fish for that matter.

1: Start off with making an incision down the spine in the center of the fish from the head to the tail. Make sure you cut down to the back bone.

2: Using the tip of your knife run the blade along the back bone towards the outter edge of the fish. With some practice you can use the whole blade of the knife to make a one cut motion from head to tail.

3: Repeat on all four quarters, you will end up with four fillets per fish.

4: Removing the skin just like you would any other fish, start off on the narrower end and pull your blade along between the skin and the meat slightly keeping the blade at an angle downward towards the skin.



Cooking Flounder

Cooking Winter Flounder

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
¼ teaspoon dried dill
5 (4-ounce) flounder fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh chopped parsley


INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and dill.
Rinse flounder fillets and pat dry. Place in baking dish and season with desired amount of salt and pepper.
Evenly drizzle butter mixture over flounder fillets. Top with lemon slices, if desired.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, then broil on high for 3-4 minutes. Fish is cooked when it flakes easily with a fork.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.