, Port Arthur, Texas

April 13, 2013

Chester Moore column: Flounder fishing in the rivers

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR —    Flounder fishing in both the Neches and Sabine Rivers has been very good in the last couple of weeks.

    In fact it has inspired me to dedicate the majority of my flounder activities at least through summer in the river systems, mainly the Sabine near my home.

    Over the years I have taken some notes on flounder in the rivers and would like to share them with you this week as there some subtle and a couple of major differences in habits between the rivers and bay dwelling populations.

    #Mobility-Through tagging studies it has been found that flounder tend to stay in a general area once they move in from the Gulf. In fact, a flounder Capt. Skip James and I tagged in April 1996 in Bridge Bayou was caught several months later 100 yards away in the same bayou.

    I have found flounder in the rivers are far more mobile, moving with concentrations of baitfish. If you hit flounder in a spot one day and return the next and do not find them, simply start searching out the shad which are the key. It is not abnormal to find them half a mile or more away the next day.

    Of course some spots always hold fish because they always hold bait but do not get caught up on hot spots. Focus on the movement of shad.

    #Depth-I caught a nice flounder in the Sabine River last Wednesday fishing a drop-shot rig which is one popular with bass fishermen fishing deeper water. There were baitfish holding on a ledge in 14 feet of water and I lowered down the drop shot to see what I might be able to catch there. It ended up being a flounder and was not the only one we caught in the same area in two days of fishing.

    Flounder will feed in deep water but tend to concentrate around depth changes, so look for drop-offs and give the drop-shot rig a try. If you do not know what they look like do an Internet search. There are tons of references.

    #Seasonality –The bite does not seem to slow as much in the summer as do the flounder in the bays.

    I believe this is due to more stable, slightly cooler water conditions that provide more dissolved oxygen which in turns keeps the fish feeding more aggressively. Think about that if you get in the mood flounder during the dog days of Summer.

    The great thing about targeting flounder in the rivers is that you can fish in virtually any wind and for many of us it means fishing closer to home and saving a few bucks in gas (a precious commodity these days).

    Fire me an email at and let me know how you do in your river flounder quests. I would love to hear from you.

    Also if you are on Twitter, follow me @flexfishing. I am putting all of my updates on the pursuit of big fish there and will update numerous times daily.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at . You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI and watch his wildlife series online at . Follow him Twitter @flexfishing.)