What's hot: I have received numerous reports of doormat-sized flounder being caught just off the beaches where rock and bridge rubble have been placed. Public fishing piers along our beaches are also reporting flounder catches.
Techniques: Flounder tend to strike hard at bait, and once they know they are hooked, they fight. Sandy-bottom areas near rocks or rubble are the best areas to try. A good bottom reader on your boat will help you find these small rocky areas just off the swim buoys along our beaches.
Tip: Use small, soft, plastic-body jigs, no more than a quarter-ounce lead and bounce along the bottom, puffing up the sand. The artificial baits can be scented with sprays or a pinch of fresh shrimp on the hook. If using live shrimp, a 1/0 hook with enough weight to get it to the bottom will also work. The best bait for flounder is fiddler crab.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 518-7637.