Flounder gigging 101

Gigging flounder in shallow water is an excellent way to fill your cooler with tasty fillets. (Photo courtesy Andrew Folse)

Late summer and fall bring an assortment of fishing opportunities, from the redfish spawn to the flounder run. Most anglers look forward to the time when flounder migrate from the marshes to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.

There are multiple ways to put flukes in the cooler, including gigging, which is typically done at night and involves impaling the fish with a pronged spear.

Once speared, the flounder more than likely cannot be released. Do not spear what you do not intend to keep.

Where to gig?

Multiple great spots to gig flounder are found along Louisiana’s coastline, from Venice to Cameron. Look for channels and around passes. They will be plentiful in these areas in late summer and fall as they migrate to deeper water.

Andrew Folse gigs for flounder in south Louisiana. (Photo courtesy Andrew Folse)

A few good locations include the many channels around Venice, the Grand Isle beaches around the state park side of the island, Sabine Lake and the Cameron ship channel. 

It is better to gig in clear water so you avoid stingrays. Also, do not so deep that you can’t see the bottom, unless your destination is a sandbar. If you do, it’s a good practice to do the stingray shuffle, to avoid any potential injuries.

Once you find the flounder, you will typically find the fish at the same depth. This will fluctuate from night to night, however. 

Gear needed

The setup will vary, based on whether you are wading or boat-bound.

When wading, most anglers attach a rope at the end of the spear with a float at the end. Think of a surf-fishing stringer, except modified for the gig. Do not attach the stringer to your body at any point. There is a possibility that a shark or a dolphin may steal your flounder, and you don’t want to be dragged off.

If you are boat-bound, make sure you have several good lights to shine into the water. You will be able to visit more locations and find the flounder more quickly. However, you will need to turn the motor off and use a push pole to get to the shallower spots. This may end up being a two-man job.

Points to remember

Wear closed-toed shoes with hard bottoms. Flounder gigging typically happens at night, and if you are not gigging from a boat, you will be walking. In Louisiana, there are areas that have reported flesh-eating bacteria cases and, not only that, an unintended injury could ruin the trip.

Make sure to pay attention to tidal charts. You do not want to get caught out on a sandbar, if you venture into the Gulf on a quickly rising tide.

Most important, bring an extra light and make sure your phone is fully charged. The GPS will help you get back to your boat or vehicle, and if your light goes out, the extra one will end up saving the night.

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Dora Lambert
About Dora Lambert 19 Articles
Dora Lambert is an avid multi-species angler, fish tagging conservationist and outdoors writer.

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