Finding Flounder Gigging Success in the “Off-Season”
We are in what is considered the flounder gigging off-season by most. Most people prefer not to gig flounder in the cold weather while others are simply unable to find flounder this time of the year. Regardless of the time of the year, we’ve done some research that we hope will help you locate flounder on your next run.
Understanding Their Behavior
When the water temperature starts to drop, flounder activity goes way up. Accordingly, prime time for flounder gigging is usually in the fall once the cold fronts start rolling in. As the water cools off, the flounder start their “run” and fill the water ways on their way out to deeper waters to spawn. The flounder will spawn in water temperatures ranging from 53-66 degrees Fahrenheit at depths of 60-160 feet. When the eggs are laid, they will float in the water column and hatch about 72-75 hours later.
Where to go?
Flounder are going to rally along the shorelines, at the mouths of bayous, cuts, coves, and along drop offs in depth. The preferred bottom is eel grass beds and wharf pilings due to the protection they offer. In the summer time, they will be found on sandy and muddy bottoms of bays, harbors, and along the open coastline in temperatures ranging from 62 to 66 degrees F. Most of the larger flounder prefer deeper waters.
The key to finding flounder in the winter off-season months in your area is going to be the ability to find some warmer pockets of water. Most depth finders and GPS monitors on today’s boats have the ability to measure water temperature. Make sure your thermometer is working properly and make a run through the bay during the daytime to mark down any warmer pockets of water you come across. Make a note on these locations and visit them come nighttime to try to find some winter flounder. Once March rolls around, flounder gigging will continue business as usual due to the warming waters until the run which starts in late October, early November.
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