Flounder fishing can be a great species to catch, because they only require a basic light weight rod setup.
Flounder come into the shallows at dark. While not common in a lot of areas, they are easy to fish for and are a fantastic eating fish.
The flounder is a flatfish with both eyes on the same side. They are in the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Flounder are found in open beaches, saltwater bays and estuaries across Australia.
The most commonly found species are the Greenback Flounder, Large Tooth, and Snout Nose flounder.
The best rods when fishing for flounder are lightweight rods, with tackle that keep the bait at the bottom of the sea floor. Running a small ball or bean sinkers with bait work well. Bouncing soft plastic lures also work to attract flounder.
Flounder fish can grow to a length of 55 cm. Their ability to blend and camouflage with the sea floor is uncanny. Flounder can change the colour of their body to match the sand that they are hidden beneath, which can make it difficult to spot them.
How To Fish For Flounder In Australia
Flounder are not too difficult to catch, but can move very quickly if they feel under attack or threatened.
Flounder have a small mouth, so they rarely swallow bait whole, and their first bite will feel like a little nudge. This is why it’s essential to use a light tackle and a small hook, when fishing for flounder.
Besides having a well-set-up light fishing rod for catching flounder, there are a few other things to consider when fishing for flounder. These include finding the best bait to use and fishing at the right time of day.
What Is The Best Bait For Flounder Fishing?
The best baits are:
- Pistol Shrimp (Nippers)
- Small Crabs
Find The Best Location
Flounder are found in the shallow waters below the sandy surface at night. Flounder are also found in firm mud and silt areas.
In the northern part of Australia, flounder can be found from Oslow in Western Australia to Hervey Bay in Queensland. Victoria and Southern Australia are home to species like the greenback flounder. Tasmania has the long nose snout flounder, while in Western Australia, you can find the small tooth flounder.
Some locations to fish for flounder are:
- Swan River
- Wilson Inlet
- Port Phillip Bay
- Portarlington Jetty
Fish At The Right Time Of Day
The ideal time to fish for flounder is at dawn, sundown, or at night. Flounder will be more active during this time.
Fishing for flounder should also be done during low tide. Flounder can be fished throughout the year, but the best months to fish for flounder are April, May, September, and October depending on where you live in Oz.
Some fishermen have reported that fishing for flounder on dark cloudy nights or when there is a full moon is also productive.
Restrictions On Fishing For Flounder In Australia
According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, you are permitted to catch flounder 25cm in length and are limited to catching 20 in a bag. The bag limit is the quantity of flounder you are legally allowed to catch daily.
In some states in Australia, the number of flounder you are allowed to fish for may differ slightly from the guidelines. Therefore, it’s best to check your current state’s limits on fishing for flounder to comply with their fishing regulations.
At the time of writing, the size limit in the different states are:
- Victoria – 23 cm
- NSW – 25 cm
- QLD – U/K
- Tasmania – 25 cm
- WA – 25 cm
- SA – No size limit
Flounder can be confused with sole and halibut.
Flounder can also be speared at night-time by wading in the shallows with a prawn light and hand spear.
Sometimes flounder can be exceptionally well camouflaged, making it a bit challenging to find them. Avoid fishing / spearing for flounder on windy days; it’s almost impossible to see flounder when it’s windy.
At dusk founder can also be spearfished for around sandy beaches.
I remember wading in the shallows and towing behind an old tyre inner tube with a basket in it for the catch. The car battery for the prawn light was also carried or floated on the inner tube. Thankfully these days the lights are better, brighter and lighter.
Flounder is a sweet and tender-tasting fish and a popular fish to catch in Australia.
Flounder are experts at blending into their environment, much like a stingray burying itself in the bottom of the sand. Although they are relatively easy to catch, their camouflaging abilities make them hard to spot.
An important point to consider when fishing for flounder in Australia is the restrictions on the size of flounder you can fish and how many you are permitted to catch. This should be taken into consideration before fishing for flounder.
Author: Ted Jones.
Resources And Extra Information:
Saltwater Fishing Spots. Maps Around Victoria’s Coastline. By Lance Wedlick.
The Australian Fisherman’s Companion. Harold, Vaughn.
Land Based Fishing Guide Port Phillip Bay. Justin Felix.
Fishing The Saphire Coast – NSW. Merimbula, Tathra, Eden. By Kaj (Bushy) Busch.
Victorian Recreation Fishing Guide.
Fishing Geelong And The Bellarine Peninsula. By Geoff Wilson.
Sea Fishes Of Southern Australia. Barry Hutchins, Roger Swainston.
Fishing Narooma & Bermagui. By Michael Knight.
Fishing Guide To Geelong – Corio Bay & The Bellarine Peninsula. By Geoff Wilson.
Guide To Sea Fishes Of Australia. A Comprehensive Reference For Divers & Fisherman. Rudie H, Kutter.