I couldn't agree more on fishing "bad" weather. You don't need to go out in Gail force winds but once you explore in some fouls conditions you can find spots that are sheltered during certain winds. Winds from the NW go to spot X. Winds from the NE go spot Z and hide etc. Certain features of those spots will block certain winds. You just need to figure it out with time on the water.Back Bay flounder fishing is simply the best. Sometimes it doesn't get much respect with all the wave runners and pontoons cruising around but it has it all over any other place to flounder fish. Over the years I was always amazed at how some looked at back bay fishing. A few of the charter boats captains refer to the intercoastal as "the creek" When I would empty my cooler they would just stare and say "You caught them back here?" To many of them the intercoastal is a little scary especially if they have to travel any distance through it. Shallower waters are a bad neighborhood to boats drawing more water. Can't blame them for that because struts, shafts, props and bottom don't play well together. Stop paying attention for even a minute can result in a call to TowBoat or even worse, a long wait for the next tide.
These are some of the reasons the back bay has it over all other places to flounder fish. Weather. If you back bay fish then you already know how many more days of fishing you get because the weather has to be real bad to shut you out. Some of my best trips were when you probably couldn't find a boat out on the ocean or on the Delaware Bay. You can always find a place to tuck in and fish so the land blocks out the weather.
Preperation. I see it here at the dock. boat owner decides to run to one of the reefs for the day. Going to run some fuel for that trip so time to grab a crew to split the cost. As a back bay fisherman I'm always amazed at the tackle required for some of these trips. Weights up to 16 ounces.I don't think I have a rod that could work that kind of weight for flounder. Some rods that look like they taped guides to a pool cue. So the crew arrives with multiple coolers, tackle bags or boxes and an assortment of rods. Suddenly that 25 foot boat looks a whole lot smaller and the owner is smiling, saying that at least they should have fun.
Time. This you can not dispute. For back bay you don't have to set a day aside for your trip. You don't have to round up a crew and it won't hurt your wallet. If you want you can go our for even an hour if that's all the time you have. I know guys who jump in their boat before sunrise and fish for an hour or two before they head off to work. I don't hear many back bay guys figuring out the number of keepers divided into the number of trips and the cost and is it worthwhile to even have a boat. A guy at our dock has a 25 foot parker and a 17 foot carolina skiff. The parker has a 250 on it and the skiff has a 60. Each trip in the skiff he brings a small can of gas to replace what he will use that trip. He will either fish alone or one other guy and always seems to return with a smile even if he didn't catch much. No long ride out and back and maybe two gallons of fuel. Ready to go back out that evening or the next morning. Also has two commercial crab pots that he places out when he starts the trip then collects them when he is done. flounder stuffed with crab meat for dinner.
Bare Bones. You can fish old school in the back much easier than the ocean or Delaware Bay. You don't need an assortment of electronics to do well in the back. It's more a visual sport back here. Set up your drift using landmarks. That point of land lined up with that tower and drop your line. Need to find the reef. A bridge is a reef and you don't have to stare into a screen to find it. Look at those sod banks. Some of them have thirty feet of water just a few feet off. That's a thirty foot vertical reef and it will always hold fish. Weed beds, points of land, structure including commercial pots, feeder creeks and an unlimited supply of food like shiners, grass shrimp and small crabs keep the back bays target rich. Your best chance of catching the flounder, striper, blue and weakie grand slam is right here in the back bays. It is the best playground in the entire state.
Nothing against the ocean or Delaware Bay for flounder fishing. Lots of big fish come from them but since I wasn't schooled out there it's just not for me. Besides great fishing I also enjoy the visual aspect nature provides with so many different species of birds in their natural breeding grounds. One image I will never forget was fishing with my father when I was about ten years old. A large white Heron was stalking the mud flat about thirty feet from where we were drifting. I watched it strike and come up with a good size fiddler crab and that was neat but to watch it swallow and be able to follow that poor crab all the way down then narrow neck was incredible. As a ten year old that was better than any Godzilla movie I ever saw. Just can't beat the back bays.
The secret. Get out as early as you can no matter what tide. always said that my best tides for fishing the back bays were the last of the incoming and first of the outgoing but no matter what. My favorite time is as early as possible and that means leaving the dock when you need your nav lights on. I want to be done and back before the people I worry about in the back are even out of bed.