DoorGunner

Summer Flounder, Fluke, = Flat.

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We are about three months away from the arrival of the Summer Flounder in the back bays of South Jersey depending on how the weather and water temps play out. Then all we have to do is sit around and see what the state gives us. 

 

Figured this would be a good time to start posting some hopefully helpful information about Summer Flounder fishing that has managed to stay between my ears after all these years. This is in no way saying that what I post is the right way to catch Summer Flounder or the only way. These posts are just a way of passing on some hard earned information that I have accumulated over the years and are proven winners for me. I will refer often to what I have learned from observing Summer Flounder in aquariums that I had off and on over the past 35 years. Catching baby Summer Flounder about an inch and a half long and keeping them until they were up to fourteen inches long. 

 

Almost all of my Summer Flounder fishing has been in the back bays of South Jersey beginning before I can even remember with the greatest Summer Flounder fisherman I have ever know. My DAD. Big man with big hands and the most sensitive touch I have ever seen when a reel was in his hands. I couldn't even begin to post this without giving the man credit for teaching and instilling in me the magic of fishing. We targeted other species but something just seemed to click when we were hitting the bottom for Summer Flounder. He was serious and when we fished we had lunch and a thermos of cold milk and that was it. He was like a machine and although we banged heads constantly over school and stupid things I always seemed to do, we were best friends when we crossed the bridge from Philly into Jersey. Just wanted to say Thanks Dad for never giving up on me. Now onto Summer Flounder.

 

Flounder are in their own world the ultimate predator. Can't figure out why nature hasn't evolved more fish like them. Maybe because every once in a while she likes to create something that is far superior to others in it's species that more than one or two could tip the balance of nature. It's like a garden can only support one species of praying mantis. They outgun everything else and another species like it would just mess things up. Like the mantis the Summer Flounder outguns everything else and truly owns the bottom on which it lives. 

When you look at the big four of our back bays, (Summer Flounder, Bluefish, Weakfish and Stripers) only the flounder are flat. This is a great advantage for a few reasons. The other three are all torpedo shaped and move through the water presenting a rather large mass when attacking a target. A Summer Flounder on the other hand moves almost effortlessly like a frisbee under water and no matter how large they become they still look like a frisbee presenting very little mass to alarm a target. While the other three need to swim around most of the time Flounder just lay on the bottom expending very little energy and constantly watching everything around them including behind them. With their elevated eyes they can see 360 degrees so nothing surprises them. Now add in their ability to cammo and blend in perfectly with the bottom and you can see just how far the other three are behind the flounder in mastering their domain. 

Still a lot of snow and ice down here but it felt good posing this thread. Gets the old brain back into the game. Tons of stuff I will keep adding but the hardest part was just sitting down and starting it. Catch you guys tomorrow.     

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9 hours ago, DoorGunner said:

We are about three months away from the arrival of the Summer Flounder in the back bays of South Jersey depending on how the weather and water temps play out. Then all we have to do is sit around and see what the state gives us. 

 

Figured this would be a good time to start posting some hopefully helpful information about Summer Flounder fishing that has managed to stay between my ears after all these years. This is in no way saying that what I post is the right way to catch Summer Flounder or the only way. These posts are just a way of passing on some hard earned information that I have accumulated over the years and are proven winners for me. I will refer often to what I have learned from observing Summer Flounder in aquariums that I had off and on over the past 35 years. Catching baby Summer Flounder about an inch and a half long and keeping them until they were up to fourteen inches long. 

 

Almost all of my Summer Flounder fishing has been in the back bays of South Jersey beginning before I can even remember with the greatest Summer Flounder fisherman I have ever know. My DAD. Big man with big hands and the most sensitive touch I have ever seen when a reel was in his hands. I couldn't even begin to post this without giving the man credit for teaching and instilling in me the magic of fishing. We targeted other species but something just seemed to click when we were hitting the bottom for Summer Flounder. He was serious and when we fished we had lunch and a thermos of cold milk and that was it. He was like a machine and although we banged heads constantly over school and stupid things I always seemed to do, we were best friends when we crossed the bridge from Philly into Jersey. Just wanted to say Thanks Dad for never giving up on me. Now onto Summer Flounder.

 

Flounder are in their own world the ultimate predator. Can't figure out why nature hasn't evolved more fish like them. Maybe because every once in a while she likes to create something that is far superior to others in it's species that more than one or two could tip the balance of nature. It's like a garden can only support one species of praying mantis. They outgun everything else and another species like it would just mess things up. Like the mantis the Summer Flounder outguns everything else and truly owns the bottom on which it lives. 

When you look at the big four of our back bays, (Summer Flounder, Bluefish, Weakfish and Stripers) only the flounder are flat. This is a great advantage for a few reasons. The other three are all torpedo shaped and move through the water presenting a rather large mass when attacking a target. A Summer Flounder on the other hand moves almost effortlessly like a frisbee under water and no matter how large they become they still look like a frisbee presenting very little mass to alarm a target. While the other three need to swim around most of the time Flounder just lay on the bottom expending very little energy and constantly watching everything around them including behind them. With their elevated eyes they can see 360 degrees so nothing surprises them. Now add in their ability to cammo and blend in perfectly with the bottom and you can see just how far the other three are behind the flounder in mastering their domain. 

Still a lot of snow and ice down here but it felt good posing this thread. Gets the old brain back into the game. Tons of stuff I will keep adding but the hardest part was just sitting down and starting it. Catch you guys tomorrow.     

 

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9 mins ago, MarkG said:

I think you mean they can see about 180˚, no?

360. Eyes are on a swivel and in the aquarium I tried to sneak up on them from behind and never could. Had a this long thin clear plastic tube that I used to push food towards starfish and other slow moving critters. Would come in from behind and at a low angle right  towards the middle of any of the flounders tails. They saw it every time and they don't seem to miss anything. If a potential target like a small crab or grass shrimp came towards a flounder from behind it would simply roll it's long side fins and turn to greet it's next meal. Those aquariums taught me more about Summer Flounder than I could have ever learned short of sitting on the bottom. I'm no biologist so I can't say anything I post is totally correct but I have been catching and observing Summer Flounder for over 60 years and I'm still learning. 

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This thread got me thinking how much I want to try to target fluke from the shore. I've only ever caught them from a boat aside from one small one this fall by accident. He hit an sp minnow in about 8' of water. So he clearly came up off the bottom about 5+ feet to get it.

Edited by chitala383

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2 hours ago, DoorGunner said:

360. Eyes are on a swivel and in the aquarium I tried to sneak up on them from behind and never could. Had a this long thin clear plastic tube that I used to push food towards starfish and other slow moving critters. Would come in from behind and at a low angle right  towards the middle of any of the flounders tails. They saw it every time and they don't seem to miss anything. If a potential target like a small crab or grass shrimp came towards a flounder from behind it would simply roll it's long side fins and turn to greet it's next meal. Those aquariums taught me more about Summer Flounder than I could have ever learned short of sitting on the bottom. I'm no biologist so I can't say anything I post is totally correct but I have been catching and observing Summer Flounder for over 60 years and I'm still learning. 

360˚[full circle] would mean they could see underneath themselves...?

You are still describing 180˚, understand? it's a semi circle. I'm not questioning the sneaking up behind part, etc.. I believe that to be true.:p

 

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2 hours ago, MarkG said:

360˚[full circle] would mean they could see underneath themselves...?

You are still describing 180˚, understand? it's a semi circle. I'm not questioning the sneaking up behind part, etc.. I believe that to be true.:p

 

Full circle yes, full globe no. 360 is the correct term. If it was 180 that would mean they can only see from the point their eyes are in a straight line then one direction in front. IDK if that makes sense. Look at one from a top view. They can see a full circle around them from where their eyes are. That's 360. Pretend it's 2 dimensional. What's underneath them is irrelevant.

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Look forward to this thread every year, appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge . 

 

On on a side note, my 19 year old daughter stopped by last weekend wearing her no bones cammo hat....I asked her about it and she said "remember when you took me to that bait shop in wild wood , that nice guy that worked there taught you how to tie a knot and then he let me pick out my own hat " 

 

She was 9 years old then, I was just divorced and spending some quality time with my baby girl......Fred made her day that afternoon, I just wanted to say thanks again Fred .... oh and thanks for showing me how to snell a hook and tie a dropper loop.:clap:

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

I always head into the fluke season testing new rigs and baits. Will be coming up with something in the next few months.

I do the same, I only logged 9 trips in the backwater in the beginning of the season last year.... I did REAL well with 1/4 and 3/8 oz shad darts tipped with small strips of salted herring.  I trimmed the hair to the very end of the hook also. I think it was the slender profile that mimicked spearing along with the flash and scent of the herring. 

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2 hours ago, chitala383 said:

Full circle yes, full globe no. 360 is the correct term. If it was 180 that would mean they can only see from the point their eyes are in a straight line then one direction in front. IDK if that makes sense. Look at one from a top view. They can see a full circle around them from where their eyes are. That's 360. Pretend it's 2 dimensional. What's underneath them is irrelevant.

I see ur point and have to agree. I wasn't thinking' one/two dimensional in that way. 

Omni/global was where i was coming' from. 

 

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The best lesson to be learned from this: the family that fishes together never forgets the joy of the quality time spent. Just hope  they pass this love down to their children. The rewards are priceless. With that said where did I put my float rig?  learned a lot from guys like Fred, Joe Rodia, and Louis Bachman aka Dr Lou Dr of reelolgy. Knowledge I could not find anywhere else.

 

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7 mins ago, george6308 said:

The best lesson to be learned from this: the family that fishes together never forgets the joy of the quality time spent. Just hope  they pass this love down to their children. The rewards are priceless. With that said where did I put my float rig?  learned a lot from guys like Fred, Joe Rodia, and Louis Bachman aka Dr Lou Dr of reelolgy. Knowledge I could not find anywhere else.

 

I have caught a lot of fish on Fred's float rig, .... drifting the townsends inlet reef in August I finally hooked up with an  inshore nj  cobia..... I had it re rigged with a 4/0 and a live spot, about 4' to the bobber stop.... chucked it out while drifting for flounder off the bow and we saw em cruise through and a solid 48" fish broke off from the pack of 3 and crushed the spot.....  fought him for 5 minutes before it wrapped me around a fish pot buoy and broke me off.... Big fish don't break your line they break your heart ,took 5 years to get that bite .

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