Flounder in the Flats

flounder-in-hilton-headFound this flounder amongst a school of redfish in one of the mudflats on Hilton Head’s Skull Creek. When you’re casting to reds and you hook a flounder, you’ll feel the difference immediately. A redfish usually darts off in one direction or the other, shakes his head, and make sudden, unpredictable changes in course. The flounder fight is more of a steady pull, and you’ll feel more of the up and down depth change as these flat fish swim on laying their side. It can sometimes feel like you’re just dragging a clump of oysters through the water, but they tug back.

You can tell the species as a Summer Flounder (a.k.a. “Fluke) because it’s “left-handed”, that is, it has the eyes on the left side of the head, and sits with that side up. I should have gotten a pic of the bottom of the fish for those of you who’ve never caught one… they’re white! Quite a contrast to the mottled brown top side of the fish. The coolest thing about the brown side is that it changes shades, providing near-perfect camouflage for the flounder, whether he’s hiding in sand, mud, or shells.

Fishing inshore, we typically see flounder in situations like this where they are more a surprise catch while fishing for reds or trout, and a welcome surprise they are!