Every year, the large flounder we call them doormat5s move out of the rivers and creeks and migrate to offshore wrecks and reefs. Biologists tell me it is for temperature regulation. In the winter, water temperatures can fluctuate and get really cold. Offshore in deeper water, the temperatures moderate and are less susceptible to large changes.
I followed a local angler around this week, watching as he looked for flounder. The name on the side of his boat was Flounder Fishing Fool. His methods, similar to a lot of flounder angling methods, helped me find some doormats as well!
We fished the outgoing tide in the inlet, looking for pilings and docks where the water ran under and around the structure. On the back side of the larger pilings, a small eddy forms, and the flounder will position themselves on the bottom in that eddie. They usually wait for passing baitfish and grab an easy meal. This time of year, however, they will be on the move along with the baitfish. Moving form piling to piling is not as necessary as it is in the summer months.
We anchored in an area where two features were prominent. First, the tide was running under a good sized dock to our right. Second, a small point along the shore to our left was causing a large eddy of slack water. I could just picture several large doormats making this eddy a stopping place on their way out the inlet.
I was right, and without moving again, we caught seven fish that were over five pounds, and eight more that were from one to four pounds each. We fished the same spot, casting a live finger mullet or mud minnow up into the eddy. Out baits only sat for a minute or two before a flounder picked one up and moved off into the current with it. It was obvious that we were catching moving fish, because we threw to the same spot each time.
We even caught a few on a plastic grub. Im not much of an artificial bait person when it comes to flounder I want eatinfish in the box, and live bait almost guarantees some good fish.
Every fall finds numerous anglers fishing the edges of the inlets up and down the Atlantic coast. You can see them on the outgoing tide, pitching live baits under docks and around pilings and jetties. Its a sure sign that fall has arrived and that the flounder are on the move.