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Flounder (Platchthys flesus) are known for their unusual flat shape. They are also quite easy to catch. Read more about this distinctive freshwater fish.

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Finer lines and small hooks will boost your chances of catching a flounder.
Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

Appearance: the most distinguishing feature of the flounder compared to other freshwater fish is their flat shape. As larvae, flounder are shaped like a typical fish with an eye on each side of the body. As they mature (about 50 days after hatching) the whole shape of the fish changes and one eye migrates around along with the head until both eyes appear on top of one side and the fish settles on its side on the sea bed.

The eyeless side of the Flounder is pale, often white with some blotching. The top side of fish is a dark green, yellowy brown colour with noticeable tubercles (hard nodules).

British record: 5lb 11oz 8dms (British Record Committee 2015)

Lateral line scale count: 80-90 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fish's body)

Lifespan: Up to 15 years

We like flounder because: they are flat!

How to catch a flounder

They are quite common within the UK and quite easy to catch. Basic swim-feeder tactics holding small baits hard on the bottom are key. These generally small fish will happily eat worms and maggots. Hooks and line should reflect the fish you're trying to target, so finer lines and small hooks will boost your chances of catching a flounder.

Where to catch a flounder

Most estuaries of major rivers, such as the River Severn and River Dee.


Find a place to fish

Enter a town or postcode into our fishery search tool to find good local fishing spots

Last Edited: 24 December 2020

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