Winter Flounder

Commonly found along the northwest Atlantic coastline, winter flounders can be caught year round. Anglers have several methods to choose from when targeting these fish, including bottom fishing, chumming, drift fishing, saltwater jigging, still fishing and surf casting. It is possible to catch winter flounders using lures, but live baits are the best option.

Winter Flounder

Region: Northeast
Habitat:Ocean, Estuary

How to identify Winter Flounder

Winter flounders are flatfish with dark backs. Their hefty, oval-shaped bodies have eyes located on the right side. They have a horizontal lateral line that stands out against the dark green or black coloring on their bodies. The coloring on their underside is white, while their dorsal and anal fins are tinged with yellow, pink, or red.

Where to catch Winter Flounder

These fish are commonly found in the northwest Atlantic coastline waters from the state of Georgia to Labrador in Canada. Winter flounder aren’t usually found south of the Delaware Bay. The winter flounder is the prevailing flounder found in shallow waters that run from Massachusetts Bay up to Newfoundland.

During cold winter months, Winter Flouder migrate inshore into shallow coastal waters. As temperatures warm and summer arrives, Winter Flounder moe offshore into deeper, cooler waters.

Range: Northeast
Winter Flounder Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Winter Flounder:

How to catch Winter Flounder

Anglers can pursue winter flounders year-round in various locations. Their seasonal migration, which takes place from September through November, is the best time to catch these fish. Winter flounders tend to stay in shallow waters in the spring and move to deeper ocean water in the winter. The best methods for catching these fish are bottom fishing, chumming, drift fishing, saltwater jigging, still fishing and surf casting. Bait works best for these fish, especially worms and clams. Winter flounders are known to nibble at the bait, so it is advisable to use equipment that allows the angler to feel the difference between a nibble and a bite.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Winter Flounder:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Winter Flounder

Live bait, including finger mullet, minnow, mummichogs, bloodworms, and grass shrimp are effective catching Winter Flounder. Small pieces of mussel or clam are also effective bait. Lures will work for catching Winter Flounder, although natural baits are preferred.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Winter Flounder: