Experienced anglers work flounder jigs off the bottom in shallow water, especially in the surf behind breaking waves where this delicious, flat fish hides in the sand. A jig is essentially a weighted hook tied with feathers or horse hair that ripples like a bait fish in distress when twitched. Bouncing a jig off the sandy bottom creates a disturbance that can attract flounder and their closely-related cousin, the fluke. Both fish burrow into the sand, leaving the two eyes on one side of their head exposed to watch for passing food.
Items you will need
- Rod and reel spooled with line
- Jigs in assorted colors
Tie a jig to the end of your line and clip the excess line with a pocketknife close to the knot.
Cast the jig into the surface immediately behind breaking waves, which churn up food where flounder lie in wait. If fishing from a pier, drop the jig directly into the water behind the break line.
Reel up slack in your line after the jig lands on the bottom. Let the lure sit for a few seconds.
Pull up sharply on the rod tip to twitch the jig, which jerks upwards in the water, then slowly flutters down to the bottom. Reel in the slack each time you twitch the rod tip so the line is taut and ready when a flounder erupts from the sand to attack.
Reel in and cast the jig behind a different break in the wave pattern if you are unsuccessful after 20 minutes to one-half hour. The flounder may be feeding behind another wave break.
Hold the rod steady when you feel a strike and resist the temptation to set the hook just yet. Flounder are cautious predators and will spit a lure if they suspect trouble. Give your fish several seconds to inhale the jig, then pull the rod tip up sharply. Enjoy the fight.
Tips & Warnings
- Cut a squid strip one-half inch wide and three to four inches long, then bait the hook on your jig with the widest tip of the squid. This long-lasting bait adds an enticing fluttering motion as well as scent to the water that can attract flounder if fishing with jigs isn't producing results.
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