It has been two years but flounder have again become an option around Tampa Bay. If you know where to go for the underutilized species, you can have excellent flounder action. They’re easy to catch but challenging. I call it flounder frustration: You will lose 70 percent of the fish you get interested in your lure. Flounder grip lures without getting hooked. They have very hard mouths. There are two schools of thought: set the hook hard or don’t set the hook at all. I belong to the second theory of thought. I catch a lot of flounder that are not hooked. I finesse them to me and get them in my boat before they open their mouths and the hook comes out. Flounder are a species that feeds in ambush mode. They’re disguised to look like the sand bottom, therefore they’re always on sand bottom, usually in depths of 4 feet or more. Hugging the bottom, your approach should be to move lures painfully slow. Five-inch plastic tails are a good choice. As soon as you have it going slow, go slower. When it feels like you have snagged the bottom, that’s a flounder. Raise the rod tip high and start moving the fish toward you. Flounder are among the best to eat. Legal size is 12 inches. I don’t keep one unless it’s 14 inches.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.