SMALLER IS BETTER FOR FLOUNDER
“I am not going to tell you!”That was Sam Michele’s blunt response to “Are the flounder doing it at Cameron yet?”It is his contention, and rightfully so, that every November the Texas limit is reduced to two fish and Texans flood across the Causeway to take advantage of the more liberal Louisiana limits. “When the migration (fish not fishermen) is in full swing it is not unusual to see the same guys making two trips a day over here,” added Michele. If you have ever attempted to fish the Cameron ferry area in November or December you already know what he is complaining about.Many years ago it was only boat fishermen that crowded the shallow flats to take advantage of the aggressive bite.Today, they have to cast around wade fishermen standing less than a cast away.In a word….it is ridiculous! Ironically enough, the only person I knew more disappointed than 14-incheswas Don Hubbard.His logical contention was that it was just like ranching.“How can you expect the herd to grow if you are only culling the females?” In this instance, however, the Fish and Game Department proved us wrong.I still don’t understand how it has worked, but we are now catching not only more, but larger flounder as well. Part of the program involves biting the bullet and settling for only two fish over the next month, but the change has made a positive difference. Those anglers not satisfied with weathering the two fish limit period make up for it by launching and fishing Louisiana waters.You can do the same thing right here on Sabine, but the bite can’t touch what happens at the Ferry.This is no well-kept secret.If you don’t already know about it you aren’t a devoted flounder fisherman. Gulp or live bait are the two preferred baits over there, but we still catch a lot of nice flounder on Sabine with artificial lures as well. This time of the year, smaller is better for duping flatfish and the occasional slot red that crashes the party.When fishing a swim bait like the Usual Suspect we fish the three inch version rather than the bulkier four inch model.We seldom fish a plastic tail longer than three inches and a two inch twin tail tipped with a small piece of shrimp is even better. This is the one time of the year that I never forget to add a dab of scent to my plastics. I have used everything from garlic to WD-40 and I am convinced that nothing works better than menhaden.It makes a difference with both the trout and redfish as well. My choice of rod and reel is a 7 foot medium action rod with a 2500 0r 3000 series spinning reel.I cannot wear out my Shimano Stradics and the drags are as smooth today as they were on day one.Day one was a long time ago for all four reels! I use braid for everything but topwaters, but it was absolutely made for fishing flounder.Because of its small diameter I use 20 pound test with a foot or two of monofilament leader. I believe the clearer leader makes the line harder to see, but more importantly it is easier to tie an effective loop knot with the stiffer mono. Braid’s “no stretch” factor also upgrades the sensitivity factor so that you detect virtually every bite regardless of how light.When you decide to set the hook it happens instantly.Braid is much more expensive than mono or fluorocarbon, but it wears better for a much longer period of time. You can also cut the price in half by reversing it on the reel and using the first fifty yards of line that never sees daylight.It will initially feel like brand new line, because it still is brand new line. Have you ever noticed that regardless of when or where you fish you are always looking into the sun and casting against the wind?The spinning combination won’t help you with the sun, but it is far more forgiving than a baitcaster when casting into the wind……..especially when you are fishing one-eighth ounce lures. The best part of catching flounder is eating them.Try a few of these tips and you will be doing just that in the very near future!