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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After talking to a buddy about the swimming speeds of fish like sails and wahoo, we got to wondering about the speeds of some of the less glamorous species. Does anyone know how fast a flounder can swim?
 

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Summer flounder travel every year to continental shelf But they don't swim all the way as they get into the currents and glide
An interesting tagging note is the majority of summer flounder that I have tagged and are out a year or more are re-caught NORTH of where originally caught
They are quite fast for short burst
 

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Scott.........I returned a tag on a fluke I caught two years ago. It traveled from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel to Cape May in a period of 10 weeks. This is a distance of about 100 miles. The math works out to about 1.5 miles per day. I am sure they can cover more territory then that. Tagging studies with stripers have found them to cover 17 or more miles in a day. Fish often use the currents to aid their migrations.
 

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Originally posted by BUCKTAIL WILLIE:
Summer flounder travel every year to continental shelf But they don't swim all the way as they get into the currents and glide
An interesting tagging note is the majority of summer flounder that I have tagged and are out a year or more are re-caught NORTH of where originally caught
They are quite fast for short burst
Hey Willie, I'm sure you read the same thing that I did, but in case you didn't...

The scientists think that summer flounder live most of their lives on a predominanly east-west axis, but that they tend to move north, over time, as they get older. This is why most of the truly big fluke are caught north of Atlantic City; they might be in South Jersey waters (near where you and I fish) as juveniles, and end up in North Jersey and New York waters as doormats.

I'm not sold on the science of this yet, but it would explain why there are so many more fish, especially shorts, in Jersey, and the ones they catch farther north are bigger...

[ 02-06-2006, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: Belmo ]
 

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My biggest flounder to date was a 31" doormat that unfortunately never met the scale, we didn't have one around. That fish was a big old lazy pig, she was just hanging onto the bait and until I set the hook she didn't go nuts or anything. She took a little bit of drag but not too much. They just aren't really known to do that.

Doesn anyone know what a 31" fluke would weigh between? I regret never weighing her in!
 

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Scott.........Fishing in deep water, the fluke do just as you said. They lay on the bottom, arch their backs when they see prey, shoot up after it, then return to the bottom. No need to make horizontal runs in this environment. Fishing in shallower water reveals different scenarios. I have caught fluke in the back waters of Wildwood that you would swear is a bluefish running you all over the place. In the backwaters, fluke are hunting smaller more agile baits, and hunt in a different way. Last year I caught two fluke over 18 inches right behind my boat in the marina. They ran all over the place. Fish instinctively change tactics when hunting in different areas.
 

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I have also read reports that fluke migrate at least one estuary north each each year after the winter migration to the continental shelf. There wasn't an explaination but they did have tracking data to support the report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is why most of the truly big fluke are caught north of Atlantic City
I can see this to an extent, but there are big flounder south of us. See state records:

Delaware: 17lbs 15oz
Virginia: 17lbs 8oz.
North Carolina: 20lbs 8oz.

New Jersey?s state record flounder was caught off of Cape May (19lbs 12oz).

I couldn?t go any further than NC because the southern flounder takes over in South Carolina.
 

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BELMO--you are right BUT that is a recent thing as early 90's -00 there was a good population of large summer flounder in Cape May County Waters
Late 80's population south of us was smaller and as they moved north we had bigger fish.
I think if we watch Delaware /Maryland catches we can predict size of fish we may see following year. At least that is what tagging data I have reviewed looks like
Following that theory,it is my belief we will see an increase in size of fish available this year IF a block of cold water off coast does not pop up like it has for past 2 years in April/May
 

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Excellent... another chance to post my flukezilla pix :cool:

These little girls were caught side-by-side simultaneously... Craig and I both thought we got hung on the reef when we hooked up....



If you have ever seen a fluke chase down a fly in clear, skinny water, you will think they are superfast...
 

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I caught a 9lb'er 2 yrs ago in 18" of water in Rehobeth Bay. Actually saw it come up off of the bottom ,out of the sand, and chase down and hit a Yozuri crystal minnow I was casting. It was moving pretty quick when it hit. Put up a great fight. Last year I caught a 30 1/2 ", 11 lb flatty on a crystal minnow in about 4 ft of water. It actually came up and fought on top like a blue. A lot of times when I catch them on bait they seem to just come right to the boat without much fight but as soon as they see the boat they make that last ditch effort to escape or they just let loose of the bait and slowly sink into the depths as someone else stated.
 

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I've caught a Ton of flounder, literally and have had them fight all kinds of ways. They swim very well, the fight all depends on their mood I guess. The bigger ones can tug hard and take drag the entire fight, or come up easy, until they see the boat, then freak out. I had one on over 12 lbs. that came up easy, then after seeing the boat screamed drag back to the bottom 3 consecutive times until finally I got impatient and broke him off on the 3rd run :rolleyes: I've landed a bunch of 8-10 lbrs. that have done the same thing. I've had plenty of smaller fluke come up away from the baot, fighting like bluefish on top, flapping around so much it was almost impossible to net them. The coolest thing is jigging them on the reef sites, allways reel your rigs in slowly, I've had more than a couple fluke follow the jigs right on up from the 60-85ft. depths and strike 6 ft. from the boat! Fluke will lie on the high profile parts of wrecks, not just on the sand bottom around them, never burn your rigs up to the surface when fishing the reef sites on those slow drift day's!

[ 02-08-2006, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: CaptG ]
 
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