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Flounder Fishing

North East Florida is blessed with some of the most consistently beautiful weather in the US. Our clime not only attracts tourist, but hoards of fish year-round. No matter what the season, there is always something worth catching in the waters surrounding North East Florida.

Some larger flounder are showing up around the jetties and must have moved in from offshore. Smaller flatties can be found in the ICW creeks. Drum are still being caught. Whiting catches have picked up, and some large pompano have been caught in the surf and in area inlets.

Flounder when it comes to Florida flatfish

St. Johns River

River Notes: Specializing in Largemouth Bass, Bluegill and Catfish. Saltwater species include redfish, flounder, tarpon, and the brackish water sea trout. Longest river in Florida stretching 310 miles. It is not uncommon to see dolphins in the river east of Jacksonville, manatees in the springtime when the water warms up, alligators, bald eagles, ospreys, stingrays, and many species of fish, both salt and fresh water.When it comes to producing Southern flounder, few places can match what North East Florida and St. Johns river have to offer. The flounder in these waters run big, and they're often plentiful.

The key in catching them, however, lies in knowing where they're lurking and the best tactics to get them to bite.

Flounder rigs use beaded casting sinkers or trolling sinkers. These sinkers are elongated and streamlined, allowing them to be bumped along the bottom with less chance of hanging on structure. The line is tied directly to one end of the sinker and the leader is tied to the other end. A twelve to eighteen-inch leader ties to a kayle or circle hook. These rigs are ideal for dragging a live bait slowly along the bottom in search of flounder. Small mullet, mud minnows and other small live fish are ideal flounder bait with this rig.

Flounder Recipes

Flounders Fish 'n Chips

1 cup vegetable oil

8 ounces fresh white fish*

2 cups flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

Spicy Sauce, recipe follows

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat oil to medium-high heat in large, flat skillet. Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Combine flour and cornmeal together and set aside in large bowl. Combine egg, milk and water in a medium size bowl and whip together. Dip fish into milk mixture and then coat with cornmeal mixture.

Carefully lay fillets in the hot oil from front to back, being careful not to splash. Using tongs to do this is recommended. The oil should just cover the fish. Cook fish until golden brown, this should take about 4 to 7 minutes depending on your stove. To check doneness, break open fillet: it should be white all the way through, with no transparency. Serve with Spicy Sauce and wedge of lemon.

White fish of your choice can be Cod, Flounder, and Haddock.

Flounder Stuffed with Shrimps and Scallops

Ingredients

8 medium scallops

1/2 sticks (2 oz) 50 g butter

2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt dry white wine

4 medium flounder

2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt Béchamel Sauce

4 oz (100 g) peeled cooked prawns

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Squeeze of lemon juice

Chervil or parsley sprigs to garnish

Method

Open the scallops clean and prepare. Slice the white flesh and sauté gently, with the corals, in the butter for 2 minutes, then add the wine and continue to cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes.

Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon, separate the corals and reserve with the white flesh, and keep warm on a heated plate.

Bone the flounder for stuffing or ask your fishmonger to do this.

Into the warmed Béchamel Sauce, stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons of stock from the scallops, and mix in the prawns and white flesh of the scallops.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff this mixture into the cavities of the flounder, arrange on a lightly buttered baking dish and squeeze a little lemon juice all over and dot with butter.

Bake in a moderate oven (180c, 350f, gas 4) for about 20 minutes, until tender.

When the fish is cooked, serve on four warmed plates and garnish with the scallop corals, and sprigs of chervil or parsley.

Serves 4

Grilled Flounder

Information

A mayonnaise-like topping puffs to a golden brown to give this mild-flavored fish a piquant taste.

Ingredients

4 double fillets of flounder

2 eggs, separated

Pinch salt, pepper and dry mustard

250 ml (9 fl oz) peanut oil

60 g (4 tbsps) pickle

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp lemon juice

Dash Tabasco  

Method

Place the egg yolks in a blender, food processor or deep bowl.  

Blend in the salt, pepper and mustard. If blending by hand, use a small whisk.  

if using the machine, pour the oil through the funnel in a thin, steady stream with the machine running. If mixing by hand, add oil a few drops at a time, beating well in between each addition.

When half the oil has been added, the rest may be added in a thin steady stream while beating constantly with a small whisk.

Mix in the relish, parsley, lemon juice and Tabasco . Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the mayonnaise. 

Grill the fish about 2 inches from the heat source for about 6-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. 

Spread the sauce over each fillet and grill for 3-5 minutes longer or until the sauce puffs and browns lightly

When preparing the mayonnaise either by machine or by hand, do not add the oil too quickly or the mayonnaise will curdle. If it does curdle, beat another egg yolk in a bowl and gradually beat in the curdled mixture. This should bring it back together again.

Serves 4

Fillets of Flounder with Prawns and Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 medium to large flounder filleted and skinned

1 lemon

Freshly ground black or white pepper

8 oz (250g) peeled prawns

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, plus three whole sprigs to garnish

3 cup (225 g) button mushrooms

Oil for dry frying

2 3/4 cups (21 fl oz) 600 ml warm fish stock

Dry white wine (optional) or water

2 tablespoons from age Blanc (optional) 

Method

Wash the fish fillets (you should have 4 from each fish) and pat dry with kitchen paper. Flatten them slightly (this will prevent them from shrinking when cooking) with the side of a knife blade and very lightly score them on the side that formerly had the skin on. Cut the lemon in half, use one half for squeezing and slice the other for a garnish. Sprinkle each fillet with a little lemon juice and season with pepper.

Cover half of each fillet with prawns, then sprinkle a little of the chopped tarragon over the other half.

Fold the fillets in half and arrange them in a heavy poaching or frying pan. They should fit neatly in the pan so that the stock will easily cover them.

Now trim and wipe the mushrooms and halve or quarter, depending on their size. Dry fry them briefly in oil brushed pan and then put them between and around the fillets.

Sprinkle the remaining tarragon all over, together with a squeeze or two of lemon juice and a grinding of pepper. 

Pour in just enough warm stock to cover the fillets. Add more stock, or some white wine or water if necessary. 

Bring slowly and gently up to just under simmering point and poach for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the fillets. 

Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cooked fish to a warmed serving dish. Use a perforated spoon to fish out any stray prawns.  

Arrange the mushrooms around the fillets. Keep warm.

Bring the poaching liquid up the boil and reduce by half, or until you have a good quantity of slightly thickened sauce.

Now take it off the heat and whisk in the from age Blanc, if using.

Pour this sauce all over the fish and serve immediately, garnished with slices of lemon and sprigs of tarragon.

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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