Types Of Flounder Fish: How To Catch Flatfish

For many people, fishing is a very enjoyable pastime. It is an activity that lots of people dedicate themselves to, and it is easy to see why. One of the best things about fishing is that there are a lot of different types of fish that you can try to catch. 

One type of fish that many people enjoy fishing for is flounder. Flounder are commonly seen in different environments all over the world.

What Are Flatfish

This means that no matter where you live, there is a good chance that you will be able to catch a flounder within a short distance of your home. 

But what are some of the most common types of flounder out there? And more importantly, how do you catch these flat fish? In this guide, we’ll be answering these questions, and more, so keep on reading!

What is a Flounder Fish?

First things first, let’s take a look at what a flounder fish is. In short, a flounder fish is a name that is given to a large group of fish that have one thing in common, and that is that they are flat.

Flounder fish are fish that all belong to the flatfish species, and this is why the name “flounder” is given to so many different types of fish. 

Due to their flat bodies, flounder fish tend to reside at the bottom of the body of water that they live in. The majority of flounders will be found in oceans, living exclusively at the bottom.

However, flounder will also sometimes be found in estuaries as these can be entered from the ocean. No matter what body of water a flounder fish ends up in, it will always reside at the bottom.

If you fish to eat, then flounder fish are well-known for their mild flavor, flaky flesh, and soft texture. They can be cooked in a number of ways, and that is why people love flounder.

No matter whether you are fishing to cook your catch, or simply fishing to see what you catch, it can be very exciting to catch a flounder due to the fact that they mainly reside deep in the water. 

Types of Flounder Fish

Now that we know exactly what a flounder fish is, let’s take a look at some types of flounder fish that you might catch. 


First up, we have the flounder. As we have mentioned, “flounder” is a term given to a number of different flat fish. However, within the “flounder” category, there are some fish that are traditionally known as flounders.

Some types of flounder include summer flounder, winter flounder, peacock flounder, and arrowtooth flounder. There are lots of different types of flounder all over the world, these are just a handful of examples.


Next up, we have turbot. Turbot is a type of flat fish that is on the larger side. They come in a variety of colors and patterns depending on where they exist, and they are found all over the world. Traditionally, turbot would have been found in the Northeast Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea.


Another very common type of flat fish that is part of the flounder group is plaice. Plaice comes in 4 different varieties: American, Alaskan, European, and scale-eye.

These 4 types of plaice look quite different to one another, and as their names suggest, they are found in different parts of the world.


Sole is a slightly different type of flounder fish as it actually belongs to multiple different families of fish. Some types of sole are part of the flounder family, such as lemon sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and English sole too. 

Common Dab

Alternatively, when you are fishing for flounder, you might end up catching the common dab. As the name suggests, the common dab is fairly common, and it is also fairly easy to catch as it tends to live in shallow waters.

In particular, you might encounter a common dab in shallow seas around Northern Europe, and in the North Sea.

Pacific Halibut

The final type of flounder fish that we want to talk about is the pacific halibut. Halibut is a type of fish that sometimes comes under the flounder family.

This type of flat fish is massive, and it is one that many people aim to catch. This type of fish is Native to the North Pacific, and it tends to be fished by sport, subsistence, and commercial fishermen. 

How To Catch Flounder Fish

Now we’ve had a good look at the different types of flounder fish, let’s have a look at how you can catch one. Flounder may be one of the easiest fish to catch, but if you don’t understand the basics, you’re not going to have much success. 

Flounder fish

Here are some simple steps to follow and top tips that will give you the best chance possible!

Look In The Right Places

To give yourself the best chance of catching flounder, you need to start by looking for them in the right place. As we mentioned earlier, flounder are bottom feeding fish that reside deep in the water.

The most common place to find flounder is at the seabed. However, it is common to also find them in estuaries or places with large build ups of seaweed.

Find The Best Fishing Spot

Most people prefer to fish for the flounder from the shoreline, but you can also fish from a pier. Fishing from a pier gives you a better viewpoint and puts you that little further out to sea.

This small change from the shoreline could be all it takes to increase your chances.

Ideally, you should be within 10 meters of where you hope to fish. That means you can easily fish from the shore and still have plenty of success. In terms of specific states to try your luck, Texas, Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina have plenty of water ways known to be home to large numbers of flounder.

Fish At The Right Time Of Year

It is important to try and fish for flounder when their numbers are at their highest. In the United States, flounder usually migrate offshore between late fall and the winter months ahead of the spawning season.

Therefore, the best time of year to fish for flounder is between spring and fall.

It is during this time of year that flounder move along the shores and into estuaries. If you’re a beginner looking to catch your first flounder, this is the best time to try and catch one.

The Best Baits To Use

Flounder aren’t too fussy, but if you want the best chance of luring one in, you should aim to use a bait they’re sure to enjoy.

The best baits you can use to catch flounder include lugworm, fish strips, shellfish, and ragworm. Experienced anglers also have great success using mackerel, plichard, shrimp, herring, and sandeels. 

You can also use artificial baits to catch flounder. Flounder spoons are generally considered to be the best artificial bait to use. 

For even more success, try using flounder spoons with a small amount of the other baits we mentioned.

Fishing Method

When it comes to picking a fishing method, you have a number of great options to choose from. 

Here are two of the best methods for catching flounder.

Hook and Line

The hook and line method is one of the best methods you can use if you’re fishing for smaller flounder. It involves setting your fishing line into the water with a number of baited hooks. 

You can attract the flounder to your hook by using one of the baits we looked at above.

The only downside to the hook and line method is that your line could get tangled in vegetation. You may wish to use this method only when fishing from a pier, as you’ll have a clearer view of any seaweed. 

Ground Bait

You can use the ground bait method alongside the hook and line method. For this method, you need to grind up your bait and throw it out into the water, without a line.

If you can aim to throw the bait where you know the flounder lies, even better. Doing this will attract the flounder, drawing it closer to the surface. 

When this is done, you can cast your line out amongst the ground bait. This should increase your chances of getting a bite.

We do advise researching the area before following this method as you could end up attracting other fish instead.

Some locations might have strict rules for this fishing practice too.


Above all else, you have to have patience when trying to catch a flounder. Success isn’t always guaranteed but by setting up correctly and waiting patiently, you’re in a much better place to get a bite. 

It might take a while to develop the right technique or find the fish, but when you do, the wait will be worth it.


In short, “flounder” is a term given to a family of flat fish. There are lots of different types of fish that are part of the flatfish family, including plaice, turbot, sole, and more.

In this guide, we have taken a look at these, and also at how to catch flounder fish. So, if you want to find out more, check out the guide above! 

Thank you for reading!

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