How To: Flounder Fishing in Cape Cod Bay

Flounder Fishing in Cape Cod Bay

Cape Cod Bay is home to a variety of different species of fish from striped bass to sea bass and tautog to flounder, which makes the bay a very desirable fishing area for newcomers and locals alike.

Launching out of Sesuit Harbor, located in Dennis, Massachusetts, Capt. Rob Lowell and girlfriend, Jessica Brown, of Cape Cod Offshore Charters, share their passion for flounder fishing with the Salty Cape Crew.

“The flounder fishing is pretty good this time of year,” Capt. Lowell said. “Cape Cod Bay has a lot to offer right now.”

While setting up their drift right off of Barnstable Harbor, Capt. Lowell also takes out his weapon of choice; sea clams on double rigs.

“We’ve got a decent sized flounder here,” Brown said as she lifted a 19″ Winter Flounder into the boat.

The size limit for these fish is 12″, making them more than bigger enough for the box.

“It’s [the rig] basically a two hook rig, they have a long J hook with a very small curve at the end,” Capt. Lowell said. “It’s perfect for these flounder because they have really small mouths.”

The bait of choice today, and every day really, are clams. Not just regular clams, but sea clams. And because they normally come from Cape Cod, they’re much cheaper when bought in our local bait shop. When cutting you bait, choose an area of the clam that will stay on the hook relatively easily and cut them into small strips. A tiny piece of bait will be plenty for a flounder because they have such small mouths. A trick to keeping the bait on the hook a bit longer, hook it at least three or four times.

“They have a really good sense of smell, they’ll come to you,” Capt. Lowell said as he dropped his rig into the water.

Begin by dropping the rig straight down to the bottom, preferably weighted with a three to four ounce sinker on it. Once on the bottom, leave it there without bouncing it too much. Small movements here and there are OK but for the most part, keep them stationary. Not being able to feel the bite is quite often with these fish. Similar to any bottom fish, they are known to be bait stealers. Check your rig every so often to make sure your bait is secure.

If there is any weight on the line, a flounder is probably nibbling away. Make sure to set the hook hard. If the line is simply reeled up when that weight is felt, the flounder will come off every time.