Here on Cape Cod, when fishermen think about flatfish, the first species most think about are fluke. Fluke are also known as summer flounder, and they definitely reign supreme in the flatfish world here in New England.
However, for me personally, winter flounder are my favorite flatfish to catch. Winter flounder are predominantly found in cooler waters, hence their name. What they lack in size and allure, they make up for in fighting ability and table fare!
In this article I'll share with you my simple approach to flounder fishing in the waters surrounding Cape Cod, including:
Flounder Fishing Gear
When targeting winter flounder it is important to have the right setup. For flounder fishing, it's as easy as hook, line, and sinker. You do not need a heavy duty or intricate setup.
I generally fish with a light or medium light rod paired with a small conventional or spinning reel. I prefer conventional because of its better ability to stay in contact with the bottom.
Next, depending on how swift the current is moving, you’ll want between 3-6 ounces of lead on a sliding swivel. Flounder tend to be attracted to the color yellow so I always use a snelled hook with a yellow bead.
Flounder Fishing Bait
Winter flounder are bottom feeders and they feed on all sorts of prey. The bait that I find works best are sea worms. Other baits such as clam strips, bellies, and fish strips can be effective, but sea worms are my first choice.
It is important to rig your worm or clam strip in a way that presents a flickering tail. Just like a grub style soft plastic tail creates action, so does the fluttering motion of the worm tail or clam strip as it bounces up and down off the bottom.
This creates a predatory response from the flounder, making it want to eat your bait.