Irish Sport Fishing – Fishing in Ireland
Looking back over past Irish Specimen Fish reports it’s clear to see that the best time to catch big flounders is during the winter months, generally from October through to December. The estuaries that were filled with smaller fish throughout the spring and summer start to produce the really big slabs during these months. Fish travel up and down these channels with the tide, foraging amongst the rocks and weed for food, and they become fat as they gorge themselves in preparation for spawning in the spring.
The best bait by a mile is fresh crab, but unfortunately it is not easy to obtain during these months. Flounder fishing is not difficult – there is no distance casting required, no special rigs, no rush, no tricks and no rules! It is often the case that an inexperienced junior angler will catch more fish/ bigger fish than others. In normal angling circumstances a more natural bait presentation is generally desired, but I have often found the opposite when flounder fishing. Finesse is not always the way to go, and a bait that is presented in an unnatural way may actually catch the attention of an inquisitive fish.
I recently met up with Joe Byrne (Courtown Angling Centre), Martin Howlin (Nationwide Baits), and John Regan for a session to see if we could catch a decent fish or two. We agreed on €5 a man for whoever landed the biggest flounder. The weather was kind to us, and all the fish we caught were in great condition. Martin waited until the last cast to land the best fish of the session, and with it he took the cash!
Flounders will be deeply hooked more often than not. Therefore it is important to ensure you use a fine wire, long shanked hook. Have a forceps and a disgorger to hand, and take the time to remove the hook gently. If the hook cannot be seen in the fish’s mouth it may be better to cut the line as close to the hook as possible before returning it.