Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flounder Pounder

After catching a keeper flounder at McNab and enjoying the incomparable flavor of a fresh caught grilled whole flatty, I began to do a little research to determine how I could target the next one and intentionally catch it instead of stumbling along hoping for success.

There are lots of resources available that give good advice on how to locate and catch flounder. I have Chester Moore's book Flounder Fever, and an account on several forums including TKF that provide lots of local information.

I recently bought some lures called Flounder Pounders and went to the manufacturers website for a little more info.

This innovative bait combines a heavy jig, a cheater hook and a unique tube design. The website also has some good information on how to target flounder.

I finished the workday at 4PM after working from home and Tracy and I headed to Matagorda for supper and an evening paddle.

The tide was out and the water level so low that the oyster reefs were exposed. This usually means no fish especially near the front of the channel but with some low expectations we launched to take advantage of the remaining daylight.

Most of the heat was out of the sun and the evening rays made for some great light in which to shoot my favorite paddler. Notice the new addition to the Magic - a rod holder!

I had two rods rigged. One had the MirrOminnow a slim version of the MirrOdine. This lure is a shallow suspending hard bait that runs in 12"-18" of water - perfect for this type of environment. The second rod was rigged with a Flounder Pounder and as you can see above, it found what I was looking for. This flatty will have to grow up a little more but it showed me that the lure is effective if fished correctly.

We eventually made it down to the famous corner where we had been successful once before and after no success with the MirrOminnow, I went back to the 'pounder. This bait is fished right on the bottom so I was getting frequent snags on the submerged oyster reefs. On one retrieve, I thought I had snagged the bottom again when the "bottom" started pulling back! I couldn't tell if I was hung up and the fish plucked the bait off the reef or if I just hooked a tough fish that didn't want to move at first. The 19" red above was hugging the bottom and while it was making some short runs, I was thinking I had a huge flounder until I finally got his head up.

Hey - I've got dreams too! I've been visualizing catching flounder all week and after all I was using a specific flounder bait right?

We fished until just before dark. I managed to pick up one more red on the Flounder Pounder and this one was long enough to make it to the ice chest.

Thanks once again to Tracy for the great photography. These pictures are much better than the arm's length versions I was used to taking.

You may be feeling bad for Tracy as I haven't mentioned her catch yet. The paddle at McNab was a little disappointing. I had rigged her up with a 2" white gulp shrimp under a popping cork and all she managed was one silver perch (aka yellowtail). I think the "low and slow" advice that Paul had given us last Saturday proved out as all the fish I caught were on the 'pounder fished tight to the bottom.

Not to be deterred, Tracy earlier had suggested that we make the short drive to Palacios to see what was happening on the pier. We were able to listen to the Braves game on the way and the wind seemed to be dying down too.

There were several sand trout popping bait on the surface of Tres Palacios Bay when we arrived and we caught our share with the double shad rigs.

Later in the evening, I tied on the MirrOdine and Tracy and I caught some nice specks. None were quite big enough to string up but they were fun to catch and gave us some confidence in the 'Dine.

Here is the happy fisher-girl with a 14" speck and the MirrOdine.

The yellow mouth and snaggle tooth are unique to the saltwater trout. They have big appetites and will take a large bait as well as the tiny glass minnows we see them eating at night.

Fishing at night is an experience that everyone should try at least once - especially when daytime temps get up over 95 degrees! We enjoyed the cooler breeze coming in off the water and the great fishing action until X o'clock.

I'd better not say what time we came in... We might get in trouble with the kids.


Paul Batchelder said...

Looks like the Pounder was working...As always you guys seem to do good work in the spotlight!

Bawana said...

Don't stay up so late! You know you need you beauty sleep.