The Flounder – So Much More Than Just A Flat Fish

Talking to my fishing buddy Paul Lobley recently, I got myself into trouble for referring to the flounder as just a plain old Dab. “They are so much more than just a flatfish” said Paul, they are a fish that nearly every angler in the UK has caught at one time or another and they are more often the first species that we all remember catching as children. As we grow older and introduce our own children to sea angling they are also the first fish we think of to target in the quest to present our kids with their first ever catch. After a 30 minute lecture from Paul I saw his point and had to agree that the flounder is truly a fascinating sea fish.

flounder fishing

Above : Jay Kilpatrick With His First Ever Flounder – Whitby 2007

Catching Flounders

flounder fishing with peeler crabFlounders are available throughout the fishing season within UK waters. However they are at their most abundant from mid spring through until late summer. The onset of warmer weather  sees the flounder arrive on mass for a summer feeding frenzy. Flounders can be caught anywhere with flat shallow beaches and scars favoured spots. Although they can be caught at any time, by far the most prolific period for flounder fishing is within the first 3 hours of an incoming tide.

Cast Short To Find The Flounders. Peeler Crab And Ragworm Make The Best Baits

Unlike most other species, flounders are caught at exceptionally short range. A cast of over 10 yards on an incoming tide is often to far. As the tide starts to flood in the flounder will be right up at the waters edge in search of food picked up by the incoming tide, and it is into the first 10 yards of water that you must plop your baited trace.

flounder fishing on a beachWhen it comes to bait, as with all UK fish species the flounder finds the peeler crab almost irresistible, especially when it is in season. One small peeler or half (or even quarter) of a larger crab mounted on a size 1 hook will do the job. However if you cant lay your hands on peeler don’t be put off as the flounder will also take most other baits including : ragworm, lugworm, mackerel strips, mussels, fish and shellfish baits. Flounder are also attracted by bright and colourful objects so don’t be afraid to place lots of colourful beads and sequins just above your hook.

Flounder Fishing Summarised

In summary flounders are amongst the easiest of all sea fish to catch. You will find them on every beach and scar in the country. To catch them just choose a shallow area with an incoming tide. Cast short with a small bait and you wont be disappointed. Using bright coloured attractors just above your hook will increase your catch rates.