Gigging for flounder in the Coastal Bend
There’s a lot to like about flounder-gigging in the Coastal Bend. You’re out after dark when coastal waters are quiet, you get to hunt for food in a way our ancestors did eons ago, you observe a diversity of marine species in shallow water, and a successful outing will land you some delectable table fare.
For novices, flounder gigging involves spearing a fish as opposed to reeling it in. You can gig flounder by wading in shallow water or from a boat. For the former, expect to drop at least $150 for a gig and pole, a high-intensity light, and a pair of wading boots or pants. Also, you’ll need a Texas saltwater fishing license. That runs between $17 and $63, depending on your age and residency.
The flounder is a flatfish that can grow to 25 inches and longer and favors the bottoms of coastal bays. It camouflages itself to surprise the shrimp and crabs it feeds on.
You can catch flounder almost year-round in Texas waters. The exception is from Nov. 1-Dec. 14, when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department closes fishing during breeding and migration times. To protect the species from overfishing, TPWD imposes bag and size limits on your catch.
If you’re thinking about taking a stab at flounder gigging, you need not go it alone. Book a trip with a guide service. The guides provide the equipment you’ll need, and you can rely on advice and expertise from people who spend almost every evening in Coastal Bend waters in search of fish. (They’ll also clean your catch.)
Guided trips usually leave the marina at sunset (always check when reserving) and return to shore within three to six hours, depending on how quickly you’re catching fish. The guide services below use flat-bottomed boats, each with a four-passenger capacity.
Captain Rick Hammond has been guiding flounder trips in the Coastal Bend since 2002. NightStalker has been featured on Texas Boys Outdoors.
Featured on Netflix’s "Meateater" series, Captain Dave Dupnik has over two decades of experience leading flounder giggers to underwater bounty.
The fun doesn’t end when you return to shore. If you caught your limit (or close to it), a sumptuous meal awaits, as you’ll have some of the tastiest fish to come out of Coastal Bend. Bon appétit!
For more information on fishing in the Coastal Bend, check out these stories:
- Catch fantastic fish on a charter boat
- Fishing Laguna Madre
- Crab fishing with chicken necks
- Red snapper fishing
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