If you’re looking to add some variety to your fish collection, flounders are a great choice. So first and foremost, what is flounder fish, what does flounder look like, and what are the types of flounder fish?
A flounder is basically a bottom-dwelling fish featuring a compressed body and both eyes on the same side of the head. The demersal fish is typically found at ocean bottoms and estuaries in many parts of the world.
There are many different species of flounder fish that are popular among anglers, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses that will affect how easily you can catch them.
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Different Types of Flounder Fish
Knowing which types of flounder you’re trying to catch can help when deciding what bait to use. Different types of flounder live in different environments, but some are more likely to bite based on their location or habitat.
For example, Atlantic and Pacific varieties may look similar but live vastly different lives; an ocean-dwelling Atlantic flounder might take interest in your baited hook, while a Pacific variety might find it tasteless and move on.
By giving an overview of each type of flounder (or flatfish) you can learn about their characteristics and where they prefer to live.
The southern flounder is a fairly common type of flounder fish that can be found in tropical waters around Florida and other parts of coastal America. Southern flounders live at depths below 130 feet, but they’re also known to swim up as shallow as 20 feet when they want to breed.
They are particularly plentiful near shore during springtime and summer, and they often prefer rocky bottoms or sandy surfaces that have been disturbed by boat traffic.
When people eat flounder fish (which is often), it’s usually southern flounders, specifically those caught in the Gulf Coast region, or Virginia.
This type of flounder is white and has a silver streak running down its back, which is how it got its name.
Sticks and other debris tend to get stuck on their eyes so they swim around with their eyes closed most of the time. Also, when threatened, they roll up into a ball-like shape that helps protect them from danger.
Some fishermen wouldn’t want to catch these types of flounder fish because they aren’t particularly good to eat; however, if you’re looking for something pretty and unique, you should try your luck at catching one!
The flounder is a type of fish known for its ability to change colors to match its environment. This one can be found in waters along both coasts. So how big do flounders get? Well, this type of flounder ranges from 3 to 12 inches long.
Some places allow you to catch them year-round but check with your local fishing regulations for more information on whether it’s safe to take these fish home. If so, either use them for bait or fry them up as an early summer meal.
With a name like a windowpane, you might assume that these flounders have square, see-through skin. In reality, they have no transparent qualities at all (although they are delicious).
The windowpane flounder is olive green on top and silver on its bottom. It’s often caught in estuaries.
The winter flounder is a popular food fish with a mild flavor and firm texture. These flatfish can live for 20 years and are mostly found in coastal waters. While they prefer to swim near sand or mud bottoms, they can survive in both saltwater and freshwater environments.
For commercial fishing purposes, it’s actually illegal to harvest winter flounders in Maine’s inland waters during a five-month period from May through September, when these bottom-dwelling creatures migrate back into brackish water regions to spawn.
Still, there’s no real danger of overfishing because winter flounders are considered quite resilient and tend to be abundant along our Atlantic coastlines.
Great Lakes Flounder
The average Great Lakes flounder weighs about 5 ounces and has approximately 7 flakes on its body (the other type of flounder, called southern flounders, have more than 15).
This type of flounder is very edible, but it can be difficult to catch because it tends to bury itself under rocks and sand while not feeding or moving around too much. Bait that works well for catching a Great Lakes Flounder includes nightcrawlers or June bugs.
Colorado River Delta Flounder
The Colorado River Delta flounder can be found in waters from Alaska to San Diego, California. It’s an omnivore and feeds on small crustaceans, fish eggs, other invertebrates, algae, and detritus (dead organic matter).
The main way to tell a Colorado River Delta flounder apart from other types of flounders is by its beard or snout. This beard consists of cartilage and extends around two-thirds of its length. Despite their similar appearances, flathead and delta flounders are not related at all.
In fact, they come from different families and have entirely different habitats. Generally speaking, however, they can be caught together with some frequency.
Pacific Coast Flounder
The Pacific Coast flounder is a type of flatfish that’s found in saltwater. They live off a variety of coastal areas, such as Japan and New Zealand, where they inhabit ocean depths ranging from 45 feet to 3,280 feet. The Pacific Coast flounder lives on fish and mollusks.
Flounders are incredibly popular with seafood consumers, both commercially and in restaurants. They’re also great at cleaning up oil spills because they eat polluted organisms floating in waterways.
Gulf Coast Flounder
The Gulf Coast flounder is an unusual fish, to say the least. When these guys are young, they are flat on both sides—and even their eyes face sideways.
It’s only as they grow that they begin to flatten out from head to tail and develop their iconic brownish-grey coloration. Also called summer flounder, these guys typically grow up to be a couple of feet long and weigh between four and ten pounds.
They are native to Florida and Texas along with parts of Mexico, but can also be found around much of North America as bycatch in fishing nets or as bait for other anglers.
There are many different types of flounder fish you can catch. We hope that we have been able to help you by providing information about them and which ones are easier to catch, as well as where they might be found and when they migrate in large schools to more shallow waters.
As a general rule, real flounder fish should be cooked quickly at high temperatures. It’s best to avoid recipes that call for slow cooking or soaking in lemon juice or wine because they aren’t great options when trying to preserve their taste and texture.