Few fishermen will argue that flounder prefer to feed in the lower third of the water column. Their body shape suggests that they spend most of their time along the bottom. As a result, lures and baits should stay on or near the bottom to capture a flounder’s attention. When using live bait, the choice of terminal tackle can make a big different in presentation. 

J Baisch of Fishfull Thinking Guide Service in Murrells Inlet, S.C., switches between Carolina rigs and jigheads depending on the type of live bait he’s fishing. 

“I use jigheads mostly during the spring because I like to use mud minnows that time of year,” Baisch said. “The escape route for a mud minnow is to bury in the mud or stay on the bottom. I like to use the jighead to control the livelihood of the minnow.”

For most of the spring, mud minnows are the go-to bait because there aren’t many other live baits to choose from inshore, but as the water warms, finger mullet begin to become more available and Baisch will switch to a Carolina rig. The escape route for a mullet is to go to the surface, and Baisch likes to allow mullet some tether room just off the bottom, but not too much. 

“Mullet broadcast nice when they are 12 inches off the bottom. I like to keep them on a leash, a short leash,” he said.