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If you have never been Flounder gigging you are missing out on some really great fun. I started a couple of years ago by going with a friend that has been doing it for over 20 years now. If the idea of combining some hunting skills with your fishing skills, having the water all to yourself, and getting a cooler full of fresh flounder sounds good to you then read on…
First make sure flounder gigging is legal where you live. I live in south Florida and we can gig up to 12 per person here with a minimum length of 12”.
What you will need:
Although you can gig flounder while wadding in the shallows with a spotlight I use my boat so I can get to the sandbars in the middle of channels. I have a 19’ center console with a nice flat area in the bow to stand. A trolling motor works great but you can use a push pole also.
I purchased 2 12 volt pole lights from Boaters World and removed the 12 volt bulbs and replaced them with 200 watt bulbs that I got at Lowe’s. I then cut off the 12 volt battery clamps and replaced them with 110 electrical plugs.
I purchased a small 1000 watt Honda generator off of Craigslist for $300 and it works great for the boat. It is quiet and very fuel efficient. If a generator is not in the budget right now you can use a battery with the 12 volt lights.
I found my gigs at Dicks sporting goods for around $50 each but you can order them online or you can make your own if you want to.
I have my lights mounted in the bow of my boat with the generator right behind them. I have a total of 900 watts of light and it works great. We stand shoulder to shoulder in the bow working the trolling motor in the shallows looking for the flounder. It is very hard to spot them at first. I guess the best way to describe it is to look for “something different” in the sand. The flounder like to bury themselves for ambush of baitfish and they are very good at it!
When you do see a flounder, be calm, put your gig in the water slowly and aim for his head if possible. Then just give it a quick stick and hold the gig down on the fish for a few seconds until he calms down a bit then left him into the boat.
If you stick a really big flounder you might want your friend to gig him also to provide more leverage on a big fish.
I have found that high tide works best for me but just keep trying in your area to see what works best there.
You will see many other species of marine life at night in the shallows. We see Redfish, mullet, black drum, sharks, crabs, shrimp, and sheeps head almost every night we go.
Thanks for reading!
Please practice catch and release whenever possible and remember the large fish don’t taste any better than smaller ones. Take a picture and let the big ones go back to catch again later.