Awhile back I solicited flounder questions and thought it would be fun to do a Q&A. Here is part 1 of the results.
Q: What do you consider a “trophy” flounder to be?
A: Honestly, to me a trophy is whatever the angler considers it to be. It might be a first fish or a 16-incher that is really think and has a gnarly looking head. I know what you are asking and that is what size I consider a trophy flounder to be. I will put it in terms similar to deer hunting. A 20-inch flounder is sort of like shooting a buck that would make the Pope & Young record book. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the represent something like 1/2 of one percent of flounder catches in Texas. They are an impressive fish. Then when you get one 24 inches or better you have a true monster and that would be like one that makes the Boone & Crockett books for deer which many whitetail hunters consider the be all, end all. For me, it is all about having fun and if I catch a monster great. If not, as long as I get that “thump” I am happy.
Q: Where do you think the biggest flounder are in Texas?
A: The Galveston Bay complex without a doubt. Although Sabine holds the state record and has more flounder overall, Galveston still gets the edge on big fish. There is something about the genetics of those Galveston that produces some beasts. I do believe however if gigging had not been so prevalent (along with commercial floundering) in the Aransas area, it would give Galveston a run for the money. I have seen some historic photos of some mammoth fish from that region. Now with restrictions on gigging and commercial harvest we are seeing many more quality fish from Aransas and I am hearing good things about the Port Mansfield area. Things will get interesting here in a few years.
Q: Does your stiff “pool cue” rod setup work as well as you say it does?
A: Since you will not take my word for it, take the words of someone else who has tried it.
Dear Mr. Moore,
I tried out my newly modified (to your specifications) Flounder rod today and it was a rousing success. I caught a total of 9 Flounder, 5 of which were keepers. The hook went right thru the gill plate in most of them. I was able to release the small ones without any obvious damage.
I modified a Berkeley Lightning Rod that I have been using for Flounder for several years. Mine is a bait cast model, rigged with a little Shimano TX 100 reel (not made anymore), with Pline CX premium 12 lb test line.
There is hardly any stretch to it, either.
This is a very light in weight rig, which I like since I am wade fishing. Today I had two 1/8 oz jigs tied in tandem, about 18 inches apart. It all worked well,especially the rod. Thank you so much for the tip and the instructions.
Be reading you,
Troy M. Stewart
Q: Can you catch flounder out of grass beds? Or is it too hard to target them there?
A: It is challenging but there are fish in the grass beds. Using a 1/8 or 1/4-ounce weedless spoon slow-rolled through the grass can produce good catches of flounder, especially if you spray it down with some sort of attractant or dip it in Gulp! juice.
Q: Where do you see the flounder fishing in 10 years?
A: At a level no one has seen since at least the late 1970s. Barring major habitat destruction we are set to see a huge comeback of this fishery and the species finally get the respect it so richly deserves. No one deals with the flounder issue or talks with flounder anglers more than me and I can guarantee you attitudes are changing in a very positive way. The Texas Parks & Wildlife gill net surveys and purse seine pulls are showing the highest numbers since the late 1990s.