Fall Flounder Run - Great Time to Go Gigging
The fall flounder run is literally the best time of the year to go flounder gigging with your flounder gigging gear. It’s so good that some states have closed flounder gigging season during parts of the fall flounder run. To learn more about how this applies to your state, visit flounder gigging regulations near me.
What Triggers the Fall Flounder Run?
The first cool front that causes a drop in water temperature is the catalyst that starts the fall flounder run. The change in temperature varies from one state to the next, but is typically a water temperature change ranging from 5-8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generally speaking, the fall flounder run typically starts in early October and continues through December. October and November are months of abundant flounder while December is known for having some of the biggest flounder you'll see all year. The flounder will make their way back inshore during the Spring Flounder Run, which typically starts in March-April timeframe, which is when we see the water temperatures start warming back up.
Best Spots to go Flounder Gigging
The best flounder gigging spots to use your flounder gigging gear will vary depending on where you’re located but there is only one strategy to the fall flounder run: find the major highways.
Think about the last hurricane your coastal town experienced. Everyone is trying to get out, and where do they go? The major highways. The same concept applies here. The flounder are going to the major highways and areas with water flow.
We like to gig flounder in channels that come off the intracoastal waterway. The intracoastal waterway is the major highway but its pretty deep, the channels that come off the intracoastal make for great shallow spots for flounder to congregate before they head offshore.
Another key ingredient to finding flounder during the fall run is to watch the tidal movement. The best tides for a successful flounder gigging trip can be just about any tide level, you just have to understand how the flounder are going to move within the bay.
Here's some more detailed information on the Best Tides for A Successful Flounder Gigging Trip.
Flounder Gigging from Boat vs. Wading
Regardless of which method you choose, the tactic will remain the same. One thing that won't remain the same is the equipment. A boat setup and a wading setup are very different. Here's an ideal setup for each:
Flounder Gigging from Boat Setup
- 12’ Flounder Gig Pole
- 5 Prong Flounder Gig
- Swamp Eye Submersible with Boat Adapter Pole
- Convenient add-on for measuring fish and water depth: Ruler Wrap for Flounder Gig Pole
Wading and Flounder Gigging Setup
- 6’ Flounder Gig Pole
- 3 Prong Flounder Gig
- Mini Swamp Eye Submersible (attached to 6’ flounder gig pole for wading and gigging setup all in one)
- Convenient Add-on for measuring fish and water depth: Ruler Wrap for Flounder Gig Pole
The difference in these two setups is from a boat you need a flounder gig and gig pole that can reach out and be used as a push pole. So it needs to be very strong.
The 5 prongs allow for more margin for error and allow you to stick bigger fish and have more holding power. The 12’ pole is ideal for pushing your boat around while gigging.
The Swamp Eye Submersible mounted to the boat adapter pole is a great way to illuminate the area in front of your boat. To see different ideas for setting your boat up, we encourage you to check out these mounting methods for Swamp Eye Submersible Lights.
For wading and flounder gigging, you want something that will light up the area but can run on a small deer feeder battery so it’s more portable. A 6’ pole with a 3 prong gig is ideal because you don’t need as much grip compared to gigging from a boat. Here’s a great guide to make your own wading and gigging setup.
When we first started flounder gigging many years ago, one of our first trips was during the fall flounder run and we limited out quick. That was all it took to get us hooked, and we haven’t stopped since.