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Backwater Flounder Fishing

A flounder bite is different from any other backwater fish like redfish or speckled trout, and sometimes it requires a little more patience when targeting this fish. Most times, a flounder bite is not neccesarily a hard bite, in fact, it might not even feel like a bite at all. There will also be sometimes where it feels like your retrieve just stops with no thump. When this occurs, you either snagged something on bottom, or a flounder has grabbed the tail of your Z-Man bait. Usually if  you try to set the hook immediately, you will most likely get nothing. However, If you count to 10 and then try to set the hook, you can be rewarded with a flounder, again it is all about patience. 

Flounder are the ultimate ambushers. They bury themselves on the water's bottom in sand, and will hang tight to stumps or position themselves under piers. The common element for a flounder's location is the presence of bait. They need clearer water, and in most cases, moving water. They are like the crazy uncle that hides behind the door and scares you when you pass. But instead of scaring you, they want to eat you. Flounder also tend to move to shallower water in late evening / night and then slide down into deeper water during the day. Considering this information, you can target their locations and determine the correct Z-Man product to entice them.

For flounder fishing, I prefer to go weedless. It will minimize snags, but sometimes doesn't completely eliminate them. For thicker baits, such as a Razor ShadZ or Diezel MinnowZ, I use a 4/0 keel weighted hook. For a MinnowZ and Scented PaddlerZ, a 3/0 keel weighted hook works great. The key in selecting the correctly sized hook is the hook needs to be flush with the plastic when rigged, but able to be quickly exposed when the flounder bites. For the keel weight, a 1/8 oz. works well in shallower waters. Increased weight should be considered for deeper water. A good leader is needed because it will come in contact with all the aforementioned structure. Most of the time, I upsize my leader 1 step to my main line. For example, when using 15 lb. braid, I use a 20 lb. leader. When flounder fishing, I might upsize my leader more. Not for the increased pull strength, but for the increased leader thickness to offset the nicks that will occur.

Z-Man Razor ShadZ

Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ 

Now that you know where to find the flounder and how to rig your bait, the correct presentation is the next step. Again, these guys are ambushers. I like a slower retrieve while dragging the bait across the bottom surface. It's easier to find and catch someone if they're walking slowly and waving their hands instead of running by in a blur. You want to make sure you are dragging the bait slow enough to make it easy to grab, but also fast enough to engage the action of the tail or paddle of the selected bait. Another great tip which I use is to add scent to your baits.  A couple of years ago, I had a client that wanted to target flounder. He became frustrated when he wasn't hooking anything and I was certain that I was on the fish. I grabbed an extra rod and cast in the direction where a sandy beach was adjoined by marsh grass. The bottom allowed the flounder to bury itself and wait. The marsh grass provided an excellent location for bait to hide and dart in and out. Talking the client through the process, I felt the line stop on my retrieval. I handed the rod to him so he could feel the tension on the line, he counted to ten, set the hook and had dinner. Again, remember patience is key. 

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