• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On March 8, 2019
  • Comments
  •  2

When you think of a little 1 to 2-pound flatfish, the first thing to cross your mind is that the little creature couldn’t possibly put up a fight, but you’d be wrong.

Those chunky flatbacked winter flounder with tiny peanut-sized mouths dish out spirited battles, especially on light tackle outfits which make for some fantastic fun when the New Jersey season opens on March 1st.

Prepare your flounder weapons. 6 to 6-1/2-foot rods are prime, such as the St. Croix Avid series VIS66MF, but if you want even more of a challenge and a ridiculous rod bending fight in shallow water, scale down to super light tackle rods like the St. Croix AVS56ULF. Reels can stay light like a Shimano Sedona in the 2500 to 3500 class range. Spool up with 20-pound Power Pro braid, or if using monofilament, go with 6 to 8-pound Trilene XL.

When flounder hit with their aggressive tap-punch pokes at the bait, set the hook with a quick snap of the rod. With light tackle, chances are the flounder will stick to the bottom quite literally so you will lift the rod with some vigor to pull him off and out of the mud. Be prepared for the flatfish to actually make some head-shaking runs back to the bottom and away from the boat. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve had flounder pull drag off the reel in their attempt to escape the net.

Steady pressure will have the fish come to the surface pretty quickly as you’ll probably be fishing in less than 15 feet of water. Scoop ‘em up with the net and get the baits back down immediately as once you get a chew going, it should last for a good 15 or 20 minutes before it turns off. Keep your baits in line with where the slick is flowing. Drop down a few feet down from the chum pot or a good gameplan is to cast way back into the slick, then every minute take a few slow cranks of the reel to cover ground all the way back to the chumpot. This way, you can find the exact distance the flounder are hanging back in the slick. It’s time. Get your flounder pound on.


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