Floundering is a fishing method that has low startup costs, with the only equipment being a gig, a light and a stringer.
Of course, the key to comfort and consistent success is having the right equipment.
Capt. Ronnie Daniels subscribes to the “pack light” philosophy, and keeps his equipment simple and efficient. He uses a floundering light he makes, an inexpensive dual-prong gig, a plastic-coated steel stringer, a head lamp and a wading belt.
His flounder light is a 210-lumen diving light attached to a pole constructed out of PVC (see flounder light sidebar).
Daniels uses an aluminum shaft, two-prong barbless gig. He goes barbless because it’s easier to get fish off.
A two-prong gig is a better choice than a single-prong model for three reasons:
• A two-prong will hold the fish better than a single prong but doesn’t tear up the meat.
• Two-prongs are better than one prong to prevent larger flounder from spinning.
• If you hit one a little off center with a single prong, the fish are more likely to be able to tear off and get away.
Wooden-handled gigs tend to splinter and are more apt to break where the gig connects to the handle, so Daniels recommends aluminum.
Daniels doesn’t use a floating basket because the water in which he flounders is too shallow. He recommends using a plastic-coated steel cable because it is extremely difficult to string a flounder on a nylon or rope stringer due to the flounders’ teeth.
He recommends a stringer made by Speedeaux Custom Rods that has a hook made of ¼-inch aluminum stock. The larger hook is strong enough and provides enough leverage to force up through a flounders lower jaw. The hook, with a somewhat blunt tip, also is safer and less likely to puncture your waders or stick in your waist.
Hooking flounder, or any fish, through the lower jaw allows them to lay flatter on the stringer so they don’t take up too much room. The fish will also stay alive longer, increasing the freshness or your catch.
When floundering with more than one person, two-way radios are very beneficial. Parties of three or more tend to spread out and head in opposite directions. Having two-way radios allows for that extra safety, as well as communicating how the floundering is going.
Daniels uses a wading belt whenever he goes, and keeps extra batteries, a bottle of water and bug spray in his belt. He highly recommends carrying bug spray because of the high concentration of mosquitoes during the summer months.
Floundering involves a lot of walking across sand, silt and varying bottom contours ,so purchase a good pair of wading boots or water shoes. Tennis shoes don’t work well because they tend to fill up with sand and will end up hurting your feet. They’re also more apt to come off in you get into any type of soggy bottom.