Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips How to Catch Flounders?
How to Catch Flounders?
"We've been fishing all summer and not catching many flounder!
 What's up!"?
 I've been hearing this from a couple people and some other 
anglers are doing quite well. On the whole, I think flounder
fishing has been definitely slower this summer, mainly due to 
the weather and the wind more than the fact that the
flounder are not there. When fishing is more difficult, it is
 even more important to fish the tides and fish the "good
days" when the conditions are best.
 "What is the best tide?"
 In the bay, it is best to fish three hours before high tide
 and one or two hours after high tide. The mistake a lot of
people make is to look at the tide table and go right at high
 tide. When the angler does this, he misses three hours of
the best fishing. When you have an early tide it will usually
 mean your chances of catching fish is better than if it is
in the   afternoon.  Boat traffic is less; and if the wind is
 going to come up, hopefully, (cross your fingers) it won't
happen until later in the day.
 If you look at the tide chart and it says high tide is at 7 A.M.
 on one particular day, you want to add two hours to
the tide chart.  Now you know high tide in the bay will be at 9 A.M.
 This means you need to get your stuff all ready the
night before and be out there fishing at 6 A.M.
 Decide where you are going to fish and work that area. If you move
 around too much, you can waste good fishing time
trying here and over there. Good anglers know when the tide is good
 for which area. Many a fish is caught in the main
east channel near B.J.'s South Restaurant just north of the Route
 50 Bridge, but it is only fishable for a few hours
each tide. You generally only get a good drift maybe an hour and 
a half before high tide and about a half hour after
high tide, and then the tide gets too strong.
Some anglers I know will zip to the area North of the Thorofare 
where the water is not as strong and fish three hours
before high tide. If the fishing is good, of course, they stay
 there. If fishing is not what they want, they will slip
up to the B.J.'s hole when the tide starts to slack up. Another
 words, you are more likely to catch a fish in the
Thorofare when the tide is still coming in strong, then you
 would in the main east channel where it is just moving too
fast! But, you are real likely to catch a nice fish in the main east
 channel during the short window of time when the
tide gets "right."
Anglers that catch flounder regularly tend to be creatures of habit
 that fish the same holes on certain tides that work
for them. The one thing you have to know about flounder is that 
they are "site feeders" and if the water is dirty, you
are not going to catch as many flounder. Flounder need to see
 the bait! Keeping this in mind, good flounder fishermen
know that they need to find the cleanest water to catch the 
fish. If you drive your boat to the Thorofare and it is full
of brown foamy water, you should probably keep on driving towards
 the inlet. Or check out the east side of the bay.
Sometimes the east channel near the Convention Hall channel can
 have cleaner water than the Thorofare, because there are
no marshes on that east side that could be affected by a rain or a blow.
"What affect does wind and rain have on flounder fishing?"
A tremendous effect!  What I believe our major problem this
 summer has been is a majority of South West winds. This
brings us water from way behind Assateague where there are lots
 of farms and marshes. If it rains as well, there is also
"run off" from all the marshes on the west side of the bay that
 dirties up the water tremendously. If you ride offshore
and go out the inlet on an outgoing tide, you can see the line
 of dirty brown water against the pretty green ocean
water. It is an amazing site.
Now, if you get a couple days of light North East or even
 better yet, South East or   East breezes, the clean water from
the ocean comes into our bays and suddenly the water is clear,
 blue/green and anglers start weighing in flounder! It is
always worth going in and watching or listening to the Marine
 Weather to get a true grasp of which way the wind is going
to blow. And also how much the wind is going to blow!  We 
always check out the "Fenwick Island to Chincoteague and Out
20 Miles" report.  For fishermen, this gives you a better 
idea than the weather channel on T.V. that is giving you a
report from Salisbury. (So, if you don't own a computer or 
if you do not go "on-line" regularly, go to Radio Shack and
buy one of those little Marine Weather Radios for about 20 bucks.)
If the weather calls for light and variable 5-10 miles an 
hour from the Southeast, go grab the fishing rods and the
Minnie bucket!  If the weather calls for 20-25 miles an hour
 from the Southwest, you may want to reconsider flounder
fishing. Or find a hole close to home and anchor and fish 
for croaker and spot with worms and squid combos.
(Croaker and spot don't seem to care about the conditions as much as flounder do!)
 "It rained the night before. Will that mess up the flounder fishing?"
 A light rain will never hurt the flounder fishing. In fact, 
it might help it a bit.  A torrential downpour can give you
"run off" that may dirty the water. A lot depends on if we had
 "wind" with that rain.  If there was a lot of rain and a
lot of wind, you can pretty much guess that the bay water will
 be dirty the next day, no matter how pretty the day is.
It usually takes a couple tides to flush the dirty water out 
of the bay. If there is an east wind of some sorts it can
clean up after one tide.
 Always look for clean water. If the Back Bay is dirty after
 a rain, head to the inlet, or the south side of the south
jetty. Remember that the tide in the inlet and south side 
of the south jetty will be earlier than in the back bays. (The
tide behind Assateague is also earlier than the Assawoman Bay by about an hour.)
 "It's partially cloudy this morning but they are calling for a thunderstorm tonight!"
 This is one of those conditions where the flounder can bite really great,
 but when a lot of people don't go fishing.
Anglers are afraid of going out in their boats because a storm
 might come.  If the storms are predicted late, and the
tide is early, you should be OK to go. Just watch the sky 
and be prepared to go home if the weather looks threatening.
 "Fish bite like crazy before a storm" is often true. The 
barometer is falling, the fish sense that bad weather is on
the way, so they "feed."  That same lucky angler that caught
 fish before a storm on Friday, may go to the same place and
tide on Saturday, and come up with an  "empty cooler" because
 the water is now dirty from the storm and the fish have
already "fed heavily."
 If you are on vacation or work a lot, you got to fish when 
you have the chance; and there is always the chance of
catching fish when you are fishing. But if you have the 
luxury of choosing when to go, fish the tides, the good winds,
and look for the cleanest water.
 Good fishing..