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Massachusetts

Saltwater Fishing

Species Profile - Winter Flounder

Winter Flounder

The winter flounder (black back) provides good fishing during the cold weather months. They are very accessible and provide the angler with thick fillets to take home.

Location: Whole coast, tidal streams, shallow bays, estuaries.

Season: May-February

Baits and Lures: Sandworms, bloodworms, clams, strips of squid.

Methods and Tackle: Chum pot (crushed clams), still-fishing from boats, piers, jetties, bridges, breakwaters; light tackle

Mass. Saltwater Fishing Derby Minimum Weight: Adult 3 lb.
Junior 2 lb.

Looking for a good species to target with the family? From Cape Cod Bay North to the New Hampshire border, winter flounder are swimming in inshore coastal waters waiting for you to drop a piece of worm or clam for them to bite.

Once prevalent in all of Massachusetts coastal waters, winter flounder are now accessible for recreational anglers mostly North of Cape Cod in the inshore waters of the Gulf of Maine. As all flounder do, winter flounder live completely on the bottom of the ocean foraging for small invertebrates and fish with small toothless mouths.

Winter flounder fishing in Massachusetts generally begins in May and continues through September and sometimes into October. Anglers can target fish from shore, jetties and piers, but those fishing from boats at the mouths of estuaries and harbors often have the most success. Light to medium tackle rods are best, with no more than 20lb test line (Monofilament or braid), 1-2 oz sinkers and long shank flounder hooks work best (they have very small mouths). Bait is best, winter flounder are not known to go after lures. The best baits to use include blood worms, seaworms and clams. Chumming is a popular tactic for winter flounder fishing and may improve your success.