Flounder are a unique species of fish, having both eyes on the same side of the body and lying on the ocean floor on its other side. With its mouth shaped in a way that doesn’t seem conducive to the way it lives, it’s an odd fish, but no less tasty, and no less of a desirable target for many reasons.
Keeping your bait on the bottom makes sense when fishing for flounder. They prefer to lie in wait, ambushing their prey while expending little energy, so many anglers overlook the virtues of using corks when fishing for flounder, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try, said Capt. Addison Rupert of Lowcountry Outdoor Adventures in Mt. Pleasant (843-557-3476).
“Especially at high tide, I like to use corks when flounder fishing. You still want the bait on the bottom, but you don’t want it buried. The cork just keeps it skimming the ocean floor, so it’s in the strike zone, but not buried in the mud. I like to put just enough weight on the line to have it skim the bottom,” said Rupert.
Rupert said anglers need to make sure their line between the cork and hook is long enough to fish this way.
“If the water is 4 feet deep, you need your leader longer than that, because the current, the wind, or the boat movement is going to pull the bait off the bottom if it’s just long enough to reach. Even if it’s calm water, you want another foot or two so that the bait can get on the bottom. Just don’t use more than enough weight to get the bait down. One-ounce is typically too much, but it depends on the tide and current. If I can use just one or two split shot, that’s all I’ll use,” he said.
The cork also alerts anglers when a flounder has the bait, another virtue, especially since flounder are such finicky eaters. Many anglers struggle with when to set the hook, but having a cork as a strike indicator can certainly help with that.