People were catching flounder long before jigging for them came into vogue, and old -school tactics still work like a charm on them in this day and age. Whether you enjoy fishing with bait or you want to set out an extra line and sit it in a rod holder while you work a more active rod, here’s how to do it the traditionalist way.

flounder fishing with bait
Yes, flounder do still enjoy munching on squid ‘n minnow sandwiches.
  • Rig up with a Fluke Killer, Spin-N-Glo, or a similar rig. Cut squid strips about half an inch wide and three or four inches long, and slide one onto the hook. Then take a large bull minnow and add it to the hook as well, going in through the lower jaw and out through the upper jaw.
  • Drift your squid/minnow sandwich along the edges of channels and shoals. If you get a bite pay attention to depth and focus on similar depth ranges.
  • When you get a bite DO NOT set the hook right away. When taking a bait flounder will grab the tail end first and you’ll usually feel a nibble-nibble-nibble. Set the hook now, and you’ll just rip the bait off. Wait until you feel the slow thump-thump-thump of the fish swimming off, and you’ll then be able to get a solid hook-set.

To learn more about flounder fishing be sure to see:

  1. Hampton Halibut: Flounder in the Shallows - Get Hampton correspondent Chuck Harrison's take on fishing for flounder near the mouth of the Chesapeake. He goes into detail about rigs and tactics, plus includes a section on area hotspots.
  2. Light Tackle Flounder Fishing - Think of this one as the diametric opposite of old-school flounder fishing. It takes a look at targeting flounder in the shallows with jigs and light tackle, particularly during the spring season.
  3. Chesapeake Doormats: Catching Flounder in the Bay - For a focuse on flounder fishing up the Bay, this is the one to check out.
  4. How to Fish for Flounder in DelMarVa Bays and Inlets - Our coastal correspondent John Unkart chimes in on this one. Unkart has live and fished along the coastal Mid-Atlantic for decades, and focuses on the tackle and tactics he's found effective. 
  5. Deepwater Doormats: 5 Tips for Catching Flounder at Ocean Reef Sites - Before you head out through the inlet in search of oceanic flounder give this article a read. Flounder fishing at the wrecks and reefs is fantastic at times, and these tips will help ensure success.