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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pretty soon summer flounder will start moving into our back bays. It's a good thing. Not long after we will be out looking for them. Also a good thing. So what can we do to cut down on the looking part? Just do a few things extra and watch the payout.

Flounder are great fish to start our season. They play well with others. Compare flounder to some of our other favorite species like weakies and stripers. Weakies and stripers both have huge stomachs that when filled will shut down the need to feed. In comparison flounder have small stomachs and that requires a more regular feeding cycle. If they aren't biting in one area go back a little later and you may find them cooperating. Fish have very strong stomach acids because then need to digest a lot of bone so it doesn't take long for flounder to digest and hunger up again.

Flounder aren't like most game fish we target. They don't have to swim around and chase their target. They are the sniper, bush wackers of the back bays. On a good day a flounder probably doesn't have to move much to get it's fill of grass shrimp. They wait patiently and soon a shrimp will get a little too close. So how do we get the advantage on something that thrives on not moving much? We need to start the party.

The bottom of our back bays is like a mine field. Move around and something will go off and eat you. All the little critters down there know this and will hide as much as possible. So to get the party started we need to get the little critters dancing. Most of us have our favorite spots in the back where we have done well over the years. Now think back and you can probably remember times when little or nothing happened in our favorite spots. Truth is the fish were there but they just weren't on the feed. We can see this easily when you do pull in a flounder. When they aren't aggressive flounder will come into the boat with a lot of dirt in the slime on the white side. This indicates that they were hunkered down in the mud and not moving. If the food they feed on isn't moving then chances are that neither are the flounder. When this happens it's up to us to get things moving.

CHUM. You can thaw out a container of bunker or clam chum or even use cans of cat food. Mix it with some water and when you get to your favorite spot toss some out so it flows through your spot with the tide. You don't need big pieces because you aren't chumming for flounder. You are chumming for their targets. As soon as the scent and these small pieces reach the bottom the grass shrimp, little crabs and anything else the flounder feed on will become active and then the party starts. It's amazing how much a little chum will do to get the flounder very active.

When you finish for the day and clean your catch don't toss away the scraps. Cut them up into small pieces and freeze to mix in with the chum for your next trip. With cool water in the spring we sometimes need to give the fish a little nudge to get them moving. Some cheap chum can turn the tide on sluggish fish.
 

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That's good insight from a fisherman and a scholar. A person who just doesn't fish, but observes.��
 

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Pretty soon summer flounder will start moving into our back bays. It's a good thing. Not long after we will be out looking for them. Also a good thing. So what can we do to cut down on the looking part? Just do a few things extra and watch the payout.

Flounder are great fish to start our season. They play well with others. Compare flounder to some of our other favorite species like weakies and stripers. Weakies and stripers both have huge stomachs that when filled will shut down the need to feed. In comparison flounder have small stomachs and that requires a more regular feeding cycle. If they aren't biting in one area go back a little later and you may find them cooperating. Fish have very strong stomach acids because then need to digest a lot of bone so it doesn't take long for flounder to digest and hunger up again.

Flounder aren't like most game fish we target. They don't have to swim around and chase their target. They are the sniper, bush wackers of the back bays. On a good day a flounder probably doesn't have to move much to get it's fill of grass shrimp. They wait patiently and soon a shrimp will get a little too close. So how do we get the advantage on something that thrives on not moving much? We need to start the party.

The bottom of our back bays is like a mine field. Move around and something will go off and eat you. All the little critters down there know this and will hide as much as possible. So to get the party started we need to get the little critters dancing. Most of us have our favorite spots in the back where we have done well over the years. Now think back and you can probably remember times when little or nothing happened in our favorite spots. Truth is the fish were there but they just weren't on the feed. We can see this easily when you do pull in a flounder. When they aren't aggressive flounder will come into the boat with a lot of dirt in the slime on the white side. This indicates that they were hunkered down in the mud and not moving. If the food they feed on isn't moving then chances are that neither are the flounder. When this happens it's up to us to get things moving.

CHUM. You can thaw out a container of bunker or clam chum or even use cans of cat food. Mix it with some water and when you get to your favorite spot toss some out so it flows through your spot with the tide. You don't need big pieces because you aren't chumming for flounder. You are chumming for their targets. As soon as the scent and these small pieces reach the bottom the grass shrimp, little crabs and anything else the flounder feed on will become active and then the party starts. It's amazing how much a little chum will do to get the flounder very active.

When you finish for the day and clean your catch don't toss away the scraps. Cut them up into small pieces and freeze to mix in with the chum for your next trip. With cool water in the spring we sometimes need to give the fish a little nudge to get them moving. Some cheap chum can turn the tide on sluggish fish.
Great info there!
 

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It's great info indeed and my main problem with chunking's threads on flounder is REMEMBERING the great tips before I'm actually out on the water wondering why nuthin's working :D
 

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Another tip,is to add boiled white rice to your chum mixture.It will absorb some of the chum juices and extend your amount of chum.MMMMM,fresh flounder fillets.
 

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Nice post. Got me thinking...............
 

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Great info, Can't wait for the season to start to try them out.
Thanks
 

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thank you for taking the time to share!!!! Preciate
 

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Pretty soon summer flounder will start moving into our back bays. It's a good thing. Not long after we will be out looking for them. Also a good thing. So what can we do to cut down on the looking part? Just do a few things extra and watch the payout.

Flounder are great fish to start our season. They play well with others. Compare flounder to some of our other favorite species like weakies and stripers. Weakies and stripers both have huge stomachs that when filled will shut down the need to feed. In comparison flounder have small stomachs and that requires a more regular feeding cycle. If they aren't biting in one area go back a little later and you may find them cooperating. Fish have very strong stomach acids because then need to digest a lot of bone so it doesn't take long for flounder to digest and hunger up again.

Flounder aren't like most game fish we target. They don't have to swim around and chase their target. They are the sniper, bush wackers of the back bays. On a good day a flounder probably doesn't have to move much to get it's fill of grass shrimp. They wait patiently and soon a shrimp will get a little too close. So how do we get the advantage on something that thrives on not moving much? We need to start the party.

The bottom of our back bays is like a mine field. Move around and something will go off and eat you. All the little critters down there know this and will hide as much as possible. So to get the party started we need to get the little critters dancing. Most of us have our favorite spots in the back where we have done well over the years. Now think back and you can probably remember times when little or nothing happened in our favorite spots. Truth is the fish were there but they just weren't on the feed. We can see this easily when you do pull in a flounder. When they aren't aggressive flounder will come into the boat with a lot of dirt in the slime on the white side. This indicates that they were hunkered down in the mud and not moving. If the food they feed on isn't moving then chances are that neither are the flounder. When this happens it's up to us to get things moving.

CHUM. You can thaw out a container of bunker or clam chum or even use cans of cat food. Mix it with some water and when you get to your favorite spot toss some out so it flows through your spot with the tide. You don't need big pieces because you aren't chumming for flounder. You are chumming for their targets. As soon as the scent and these small pieces reach the bottom the grass shrimp, little crabs and anything else the flounder feed on will become active and then the party starts. It's amazing how much a little chum will do to get the flounder very active.

When you finish for the day and clean your catch don't toss away the scraps. Cut them up into small pieces and freeze to mix in with the chum for your next trip. With cool water in the spring we sometimes need to give the fish a little nudge to get them moving. Some cheap chum can turn the tide on sluggish fish.
Really great information here! I always enjoy your posts and usually learn something. When does Jersey Cape start running again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Really great information here! I always enjoy your posts and usually learn something. When does Jersey Cape start running again?
Starts first week of June. Two new shows already done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Early spring baits. Plenty to pick from. Every shop sells many good early season summer flounder baits. From packaged artificial to live minnows with frozen shiners and squid strips filling out the list. Two of the more popular strip baits are bluefish and mackerel. They both work but they are also my least favorite. I have customers come in wanting bluefish or mackerel fillets to strip out. I dislike them for two reasons. Now don't jump on me because I know they work but they are a mess to work with. Both have very small scales and very loose thin skin and soft mushy flesh. Doesn't take long before you have a mess on your hook or a bait with a big hook hole in it that will just fall off the first time something nudges it. Aggravating to reel in and see your strip with pieces of flesh just peeling off the skin. Some come in and say that they want to match the hatch meaning that blues are in the back bays so they want bluefish strips to match. Works in August when the baby snappers are in but not matching anything in the spring. Our spring run blues are usually around two pounds or more. It's The blues that may be feeding on the flounder and not the other way around.

My favorite strip bait is herring strips but they can be difficult to find at times. Truth is we toss back some of the best strip baits later in the summer. Croakers and spots make excellent strip baits and hold up much better than blues or macks. We just need to remember to pack them up for the following spring. Same goes for all the other fish we clean during the summer and fall. We clean fish like stripers and weakies then just toss the scraps over the cleaning board. Big beautiful belly flaps that when salted make excellent strip baits. Most of us are guilty of leaving the best shot for our next trip at the cleaning board with chum pieces and strip baits for the gulls to fight over. Take it home.

I didn't mention flounder belly for strip baits because they just don't work for me. I slow the boat down running the motor and fish verticle. I have salted flounder strips down for my own use and always have the same problem. They like squid are very flexible and when verticle jigging they almost always seem to double over and the end hangs up on the hook. They are both excellent baits but just not for me. Just didn't want to leave them out of this post. Don't forget those pain in the arse sand sharks. Skin is tough and also make great strip baits. Also bring an assortment of shades meaning white and dark strips. Seabass and tog belly flaps along with the dark side of the flounder are great for the dark strips. Early morning before the sun rises and also after the sun has set I found that flounder tend to move on the darker strips. You would think that the whiter brighter strip would work better but try the darker and see if it doesn't make a difference.

Everything we bring back to the cleaning board has the potential to become top quality strip baits. All you need is a little salt to toughen them up and a good pair of scissors to cut a clean shaped strip. Now you control what length rather than a company the precuts bait for you. Sometimes a big bait is the special of the day. Other times it's a shot compact strip that gets the flounders attention.
 

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As usual,great info. Thanks for sharing!!:thumbsup:
 

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?? I've found that Makeral strips work better than Herring or Blue fish strips. To a point that the strip is hard to get off the hook(much harder than Herring to get off) if you want to change it to a more fresher and oilier new strip. Perhaps your leaving too much meat on the strip....this will cause the the strip to curl and or after a while it just doesn't 'show' right as the meat (if too much on the strip) will start to 'stick-out' from the strip,disrupting the 'steam-line' effect that you want with strip baits. The key is to only leave no more than an 1/8 " of meat still attached to the skin...even less meat if you can..any thicker is than 1/8 " is when you have prolems. Also dont make real long,just enough to get that stream-lined flutter effect. Combined with a small strip of squid i found this to be deadly.
 

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Whats the best way to salt the strips? layer of strips, salt, layer of strips, salt etc etc? Does it matter what kind of salt? table salt or kosher? I have always saved the belly strips of flounder for bait but never salted them, and I never thought about all the bait I throw to the gulls.....
 

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would b good idea to mention if using any kinda strip as FLOUNDER, AND OR WEAKFISH THAT U REMEMBER THE QUOATA FOR EACH SPECIES? SAY FLOUNDER MUST COME FROM A LEGAL FISH THAT U HAVE ON BOARD ALREADY N COUNTS TOWARDS CREEL N WEAKFISH IS JUST ONE FISH..I KNOW GUYS WHO GOT IN A LITTLE TROUBLE HAVIN SOME LEFT OVER FROM DAY BEFORE.? JUST SAYING
 
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