Commonly referred to as flounder!
Flounder are an odd looking species of fish that are generally caught whilst targeting other estuarine species such as flathead. They are a flat, featureless fish that camouflage well against most sea floors and will often shoot up from the bottom after an offering right at an anglers feet. Flounder are born with an eye on each side of the body that with time moves around to the top side of the fish next to the other. Flounder grow to over 300kg overseas and are referred to as giant Halibut.
Flounder can be located from as far south as the Albany region and north to Exmouth throughout Western Australia and are also found in N.S.W. and Queensland.
Very little is still known about flounder growth rates here in Australia. Most average sized flounder encountered in Australian waters average around 30 – 40cm in length.
Flounder prefer areas of mixed sand, weed and rock with good numbers of small bait fish present and access to deeper water near by. Shallow estuary systems with water depths from 0.5 – 10 meters are best suited to flounder.
Flounder can be easily recognised by their round, flat appearance and brown, mottled colouration. They have small sharp teeth designed for holding onto small bait fish and prawns. Flounder are easy to handle and have no spines present.
Great fish to pan fry and eat simply.
Flounder are poor sport fish that are only powerful over a very short distance in shallow water.
Ultra light and light graphite spin rods 6’6” – 7’ in length that will cope with gel spun and braided lines rated from 1 – 4kg are ideally suited to targeting most flounder species and when coupled with quality spin reels in the 1000 – 2500 class make excellent outfits for throwing both baits and lures for flathead. Larger outfits spooled with heavier 10 – 12lb nylon line can also be used when targeting larger fish around heavy cover but will struggle to cast small hard bodied and soft plastic lures good distances. Fluoro carbon leaders with breaking strains of 10 – 15lb should also be joined to mainlines via an improved albrite knot and not only prevent the fish from seeing your brightly coloured main line but also help from being chaffed of on rough underwater structures and teeth.
Fresh or live river prawns, blood worms and small bait fish such as boney herring and mullet as well as small fresh mullies are an ideal bait option for chasing flounder and should be fished on a pattern and size of hook that’s suit’s the bait. Example – blood worm fished on long shank or bait holder pattern of hook similar in size to the bait. Hard bodied, sub surface and soft plastic lures from 50mm – 120mm in length will also temp flathead into striking with this exciting new style of fishing really taking off amongst all anglers from beginners to the pro’s over the last few years.
Try using small lead head jigs such as marabou jigs for flounder in shallow water and remember to watch out for flounder strikes right at your feet!
Rising or full tides are best suited for targeting flounder around most areas although some deep water locations will also produce good numbers of fish during low and falling tides. Full moon phases are also preferable for flounder with much higher tidal movements better suited to this species.