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Saltwater Fishing: Flounder

Flounder

Paralichthys lethostigma

AKA:  Southern flounder, flatfish, halibut, plie, southern fluke

Distinguishing Markings:

Flounder have flat bodies with both eyes facing up.  They are light to dark olive brown, marked with diffused dark blotches and spots on its back, undersides are white.

 

Size: 

Commonly 2 to 3 pounds, up to 12 pounds or more

 

Distribution:

Northern Atlantic and waters along the East Coast of the United States and Canada, and the Pacific Ocean.

 

Habitat:

An aggressive bottom feeder.  Using their fins, they bury themselves to hide in the sand or mud bottom and wait to ambush prey.  Can be found in running tidal water in small cuts, rocky shallow areas during warm months.

 

Food Preference:

Baitfish, shrimps, crab

 

Spawning:

Both males and females become sexually mature at the age of 3.  Reproduction takes place in the fall, as soon as the fish begin migrating to wintering grounds.  Peak spawning activity occurs from early September through early November in water temperatures of 53 to 66 degrees F and at depths of 60 to 160 feet.  The center of spawning activity occurs off the coasts of New York and New Jersey with less concentrated activity occurring in southern New England waters.

 

Fishing Tips:

Can be taken on rod and reel and by gigging.  Use shrimps, pogies, crab pieces as hook baits. Best months for gigging are October and November.

 

See Also: