By Brandon Rowan
WHERE TO FIND THEM
A: UPPER BAY
Flounder from upper Galveston Bay begin to exit areas like Clear Lake, Dickinson Bay and Moses Lake. Fish the shorelines outside these back lakes as flounder migrate towards the Gulf.
B: JONES BAY
Marsh dwelling flounder will exit through Highland Bayou and into Jones Bay. Fish marsh drains, shorelines and structure.
C: WEST BAY
Flounder exit the numerous coves and marshes and either head west to San Luis Pass or east to the Galveston Ship Channel. Fish the bayou mouths, marsh drains and shorelines as flounder make their exodus.
Flounder congregate near the structure and wells around Bolivar as they head to the pass.
E: TEXAS CITY DIKE
Flounder will hug the rocks and shorelines of this 5-mile-long levee during their migration. This is a great location for shore-bound anglers.
F: GALVESTON SHIP CHANNEL
During the peak of the flounder fun, fish stack up as they funnel through the channel. Any given shoreline or structure can hold flounder in the GSC.
G: GALVESTON JETTIES
This is your last shot at a saddle blanket before they enter the Gulf of Mexico. Fish big mullet and heavy jigs along the rocks during the outgoing tide.
HOW TO CATCH THEM
Flounder are ambush predators, concealing themselves on the bay floor and striking when opportunity presents itself. There a couple telltale signs of a flounder strike. The most recognizable is the satisfying “thump” of a bite during your retrieve. Sometimes, the bite is more subtle and all of sudden you notice a dead weight on your line. And other times, a fish might strike viciously and move.
The most important aspect of flounder fishing is patience!! Flounder often bite first to kill and wait before swallowing. Wait anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds before attempting to set the hook. Flounder have bony mouths and require a stout hookset. The no-stretch qualities of braided line are perfect for hooking flounder.
BAITS AND LURES
Berkley Gulp baits are some of the best scented plastics for flounder, but any soft plastic on a quality jighead can get the job done. Scent is important and helps flounder hold on to the bait longer. Apply Pro-Cure gels to your unscented plastics, like Down South Lures, Chicken Boy Lures or Flounder Pounders. You can also tip your jighead with a small piece of shrimp tail section.
Popular lures colors include pearl, pearl/chartreuse, strawberry/white, chicken on a chain, pink, chartreuse, new penny and many more.
It’s hard to go wrong with the real thing. The most popular live baits are finger mullet, live shrimp and mud minnows. Fish these on the bottom with a carolina rig: swivel, weight (1/4 oz. to 1 oz. depending on water depth), a live bait or kahle hook and a 18” length of 15-20 lb mono or fluoro.