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Cape Cod The Flounders

Talk about “wierd fish”. One of the queerest is the flounder! It is flat, literally as flat as a pancake. It’s delicious eating, too. And it is marked so dark on its upper side and whitish on its lower, that it can actually blend right into the shadows, and change color like a chameleon. But this isn’t what makes it so strange.

As a baby, a flounder has a symmetrical head with an eye on each side. During this time, it swims around like the other fish. But soon some inherited lassitude overcomes the little flounder’s frame. It descends to the bottom of the water, and there begins to tip over onto one side or the other. As it does, the eye on the lower side starts moving slowly forward. Around it moves, across the head to the other side, and finally it lines up beside the other eye! This happens when young flounder is no more than an inch or two long.

A flounder can wriggle into the sand and completely hide itself. Like its eyes, the mouth of the flounder is not in the middle of its face, but over to one side. That is so that when the flounder is lying comfortably in the bottom sand it can eat without difficulty. The flounder, who loves to eat, has developed gluttony in comfort to the degree that the old Roman banqueters did.

On Cape Cod there are basically two kinds of flounders: The “summer flounder” or fluke, and the “winter flounder” or blackback.

summer flounder or fluke
The summer flounder (fluke) is a left handed flatfish flatfish because its eyes are on the upper left surface of the head and it’s mouth opens on the left side when looking at it “head on”. The fluke also has very sharp teeth, which you will find out when trying to remove a hook from it’s jaw. The current world record fluke was is 22 pounds and it was caught off New York. Large fluke are referred to as “doormats”. On Cape, the best live bait for fluke is “chubs” (mummichogs, killifish, killies). These can be caught by using a minnow trap in just about any “marsh creek” using a crushed crab or crushed shellfish like a mussel as bait. If you can’t get chubs, fluke will bite those plastic worms with the curly tail or even trout spinners. Once you catch the first one, you can use a strip of meat from the bottom or white side of the fluke as bait. This is the second best bait you can use.

winter flounder or blackback
Winter flounder or blackbacks are right hand flatfish, with their eyes and mouth opening on the right hand side of the head. There mouths much smaller than the fluke’s, only have tiny teeth, so there is no problem removing hooks from them. The best bait for blackbacks is seaworms. Use only a small piece of a seaworm (like an inch long). Winter flounder tend to nibble at the bait so using too big a piece will often lead to your bait being “robbed” and the fish getting away.

(1 comment) What do you think about The Flounders? Leave a comment

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 05/11/06
Categories: FishingNature
Keywords: fish, fishing, nature, saltwater fishing


Comments:

—I like flounder but is it also considered as cod fish ?????

Posted by jim iacoonis from moundsville wv on 02/20/10 at 01:35 PM | #

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