Flounder Taking Up The Slack
Last updated 5/4/2021 at 5:11pm
It comes as no surprise that it coincides with the opening of the Game Reserve, but nonetheless, the flounder catching is currently getting most of the attention. The size of the fish has been above average and the numbers are there as well.
It can be a little frustrating to rush straight to one of the narrow bayous leading into the Reserve only to discover that an armada set their alarm clocks a little earlier.On an outgoing tide, the mouth of
the bayou can be as productive as the bayou itself, but make no mistake about it…..most flounder addicts know the prime spots in the main channel.
Fortunately, more especially when the bite is as good as it is right now, there are other options that can be as productive as these bayous, if not better. In fact, I would conservatively estimate that eighty percent of the local flounder enthusiasts never bother to fish the Reserve.
In order to save words without getting bogged down on the best tide change, salinity and time of the year we’ll accept that the flounder are here now and discuss what we can do to catch them.Keith Lake is a choice spot that you will have to carefully explore in order to best exploit. The Pass requires little scouting, but the back lakes require navigating a lot of shallow shell.
Hands down, the lion’s share of flounder advocates anchor on the breaks bordering the ship channel or Intracoastal. It has been my experience that the flounder that hang on these breaks are larger on average and there is always a spot to fish no matter how late you sleep in.
We do well enough fishing both small tails tipped with shrimp or covered with a scent as well as Gulp curly tails rigged on a lead head heavy enough to deal with the tide. As a rule, we anchor shallow (5 to 8 feet) and cast out to the break. It is imperative that your jig be heavy enough
to stay in contact with the shell for the entire cast.
On more than one occasion we have also done well casting toward the bank and fishing the shallow shell. A large percentage of the anglers that fish this type of water rely on finger mullet or mud minnows rigged on a Carolina rig.
In the event that you don’t have access to a boat, I know of no other area more promising than the rocks that make up the north revetment wall on Pleasure Island.Most days you would swear that the only place to fish are the pipes leading into the spoil areas, but that isn’t the case at all. I wouldn’t pass them up if I was the first one there, but expect a crowd before you are done!
There are numerous spots along the wall where small piles of rocks lie within a cast of the shore in eight to ten feet of water. While live shrimp or finger mullet get first call around the pipes, most of the more successful fishermen get it done with small Swim Baits or jigs when fishing the submerged granite.
The only drawback is the footing so be extra careful when selecting your spot.When fishing plastics do not be surprised if trout and redfish crash your party.
Mainly because the technique is so akin to bass fishing, but I prefer to take my chances working the flooded grass on the east shoreline of the lake with three-inch Swim Baits, four-inch Sea Shads or quarter ounce spinnerbaits.
I don’t fool nearly as many flounder with the spinnerbait, but a redfish prowling the same stretch of shoreline cannot resist the flash and vibration of the blade. For years I relied strictly on the small plastics tipped with a piece of shrimp, but my go-to lure today is the three inch Usual Suspect Swim Bait.
It, too, will attract both redfish and trout, but it is a great choice for covering more water at a slower pace and you can even allow it to sink to the bottom to interest more flounder. There are a variety of
colors that work well, but I have a lot of confidence in Bunker Shad and Soldier Shad.
When the grass is flooded, I keep my bait closer to the shore, but it is not unusual to find those same fish ten feet off the grass on a low tide. The sensitivity of braided line is an advantage as well.
Give it a try as there are lots of places to get it done, even on the windiest of days. It won’t be this user-friendly a month from now!