Two For the Spring – Flounder and Sheepshead Make Their Return

Many Texas fishermen associate the fall with migrating flounder and their reentry into the bays in the spring is often overlooked. This is usually because speckled trout fishing takes center stage about this time of year, so it’s easy to lose sight of flounder during one of the best times of the year to pursue them.

Flounder can be caught on live bait, dead bait, artificial, flies and plastic baits but sometimes it can be frustrating in attempting to actually get a hookup. Often the flounder will bite a lure and tenaciously hang on to it, even though not hooked, all the way to the boat. Just as you prepare to slide him into the net, the flounder releases the lure. Being quick with the net can sometimes allow you to beat him at this game. One thing to remember if a flounder pulls this trick on you is that he has likely just settled to the bottom very close to where you last saw it. Sometimes the flounder will eagerly hit again if you toss the lure out and drag it back through the area.

The same holds true if you feel the quick light taps of a flounder bite on your lure, but it doesn’t take it. If you stop the lure and wait a few seconds, he might decide he’s killed the prey and come back for a second pickup. If there’s no activity, a cast back to the same area might let you get a second bite at the apple.

Another fish making its presence at passes and in the bays in the spring is the sheepshead. This is a one time event each year to see them in such concentrated numbers. Not only do the majority of fishermen overlook sheepshead, many apparently either think they are not edible, or at least, too much trouble to clean. While the latter may be somewhat true, they are certainly edible and quite tasty.

So, if by mistake, one makes its way onto your hook this spring, instead of the flounder or red you were hoping for, don’t be afraid to take it home and fry some up with the other catch. I think you will be surprised.

Flounder and sheepshead can both be caught around piers, but that’s most likely going to be the preferred habitat of sheepshead. Sheepshead also like to feed around oyster reefs and structure such as jetties and groins. Look for flounder at passes between lakes and bays, along the Intracoastal and other channels, and along coastal marsh that is drained by tidal currents.

Source by Gary Ralston