THE BLOSSOMS coming out on the forsythia around the Dickster’s home are a sure bet that it won’t be long before our much anticipated runs of flounder and other saltwater migrating fish will begin. This is in reality the beginning of our fishing season, not some kind of number on the calendar!
The best bets for early-season flounder catching are the outlets where shallow saltwater tides have been warmed up. The outgoing tides are a magnet for these fish that migrate in the spring.
Flounder are kind of fun to examine when you catch ’em. They are colored with a camo pattern that gives them plenty of safety from both flying and swimming predators as it mimics their surroundings and makes it harder for both winged and swimming critters that enjoy a feed of flounders as we do!
One of the growing ways of catching a bagful of flounders is spear fishing. That can be done with a limited amount of gear but the serious skin divers go full pack with skin diving suits and face masks that allow them to swim along the surface and launch their spears.
We don’t promote this kind of fishing as we see it as killing, not fishing, but we sure can’t hold grudges against those who do it because it’s like condemning us for shooting ducks with a gun, rather than catching them in a net!
If you’ve never examined a flounder in hand, it’s kind of a treat to see that they are dark colored on their back and light colored on their bellies. This is camouflage so that predators have a hard time of seeing them from below and above. And it kind of shakes me up when we’re searching the bottom of a sandy shallow area to see if there are any flounder to have what looks like a chunk of bottom take flight when we spook a flounder!
We broke into the flounder-catching ranks when we were in our bike years. We would dig a can of worms (yup, you don’t have to use seaworms) or if we had 50 cents and could purchase a dozen, we would, as they are definitely superior flounder bait.
Back then the saltwater bait dealers were mostly fish stores and they were often very generous with their count when selling us kids our bait! (Thank you, wherever you are, Garland Patch! He’s gotta be in fish market heaven!)
We’d bike down to Portsmouth’s South End, buy a cup of seaworms from “Patchie” and fish off the docks right behind his store.
It seems that we never had the proper means to carry the fish that we caught so we strung them on a thin cut branch from the surrounding lilac bushes (when no one was watching!)
My dad had worked in fish-cutting houses in his youth and because of that he was adamant about him not dressing our fish! So with him looking over my shoulder and scolding me at every mistake we made, we eventually learned how to create a fairly good resemblance of flounder fillets!
Luckily my mom loved to eat flounder fillets so there was no problem getting them cooked and she taught me how to make a simple batch of tartar sauce, which we loved to eat our fish with.
Those were the days my friends! We thought they’d never end!
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and get out there and get you some!