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Species of the Month – December

European Flounder:

The European Flounder is oval in shape, the upper surface is usually dull brown or olive in colour with reddish spots and brown blotches. This fish can change colour to suit its background, providing it with an effective camouflage. The underside is usually pearly white.

The easiest way to tell the difference between Plaice and Flounder is that the Flounders lateral line features rows of small tubercules, which are easy to feel if you run your finger from tail to head along the line.

The Flounder is a favourite with anglers during December through to April, although they can be caught in smaller numbers throughout the year.

Fishing 3 hours up to high tide and 1 or 2 hours back down, preferably into dark or early morning from venues such as: the sand bar in front of Charmouth Carpark and heritage centre, the North wall or Victoria piers and inside the harbour at Lyme Regis, along with Axmouth and West Bay harbours will all give you a great chance of targeting them.

Top Baits are Ragworm or Lugworm tipped with either Squid or Mackerel. Peeler crab and shellfish are also top baits.

Keep rigs simple. A basic running ledger or a 2hook flapper rig with long shank, Aberdeen style hooks size 1 up to 2/0 are perfect. Whether coloured beads as an attractor is beneficial is debatable but adding a small floating bead to give “lift” and in turn more movement to your bait works really well. Using a plain lead weight also allows you to move the rig and bait a few turns of the reel every so often, to also give movement to the bait.

Distance casting from these marks isn’t necessary as flounder are more than happy to feed in just a few inches of water.

A flounder/Bass rod, or the longer continental ledger rods are the perfect choice, or you could use a heavier spinning rod as larger casting weights are not usually needed.