Flounder boats give you the ability to cover a lot of water and pretty much float over any type of bottom no matter how muddy it may be. The best choice for a flounder gigging boat is a flat bottomed boat with a shallow draft.
Flounder Gigging Boat Setup
Take a small flat bottomed stiff or Jon boat and add a few gigging necessities and you can have your a pretty good flounder gigging boat setup.
Below we’ll list the bare minimum that you’ll need to get started.
A standard v-shaped boat will not be the best option for gigging.
The only choice here is for a flat bottomed both with a shallow draft.
How shallow a draft do you need?
Well that depends on the type of waters you will be fishing and just how deep it needs to be.
Bare in mind that the draft will be very different once fully loaded with potentially 3-4 people, several gig poles, fuel, additional lights, food and drink coolers and all of your other gear.
Having the ability to float in as little as 4 or 5 inches of water is what you should be aiming for.
The larger commercial type flounder boats will have a custom built front platform, extra guard rails, electric trolling motor, a host of electronics and some will even have an air motor mounted on a rear arch so as to reduce the amount of disturbance the boat makes in the water.
All of these things add weight.
So, if you are just looking for a small flounder gigging boat for your self and a few buddies then it’s always best to try and keep the weight down so that you can take advantage of a shallower draft.
Length wise anywhere from 16 feet and up. Just be careful that you may need to travel out into the deeper waters to access whatever bay or flats that you are looking to gig over. So be careful that your boat is sea-worthy in roughly sea’s.
Also Read: Flounder Jigging
Lights are crucial when out at night. You’ll find it is much easier t find the flounder at night when using a light compared to during the day. The refection from their eyes makes it much easier to spot them.
Flounder lights these days will almost always be LED’s. Older style 12v lights are just too hard on your battery. Especially if you are out for hours on end.
Depending on your boat there are a number of different options as to where to place you lights.
At minimum you’ll need on two on the bow one on each side. A strong handheld lamp and then I always wear a high powered adjustable LED head lamp.
The head lamp gives you great hands free control right before you go for the flounder.
Your main motor needs to be matched to the size and displacement of you boat for flounder gigging.
A additional motor is always a good option. An electronic trolling motor with a foot control pedal can make life much easier.
You can also mount an air motor on the back so to minimize the amount of underwater noise that you create but this is more a luxury than a necessity and is only really suitable on larger skiffs.
Adding on additional guard rails make is much easier to lean over and strike the flounder with your gig. The give you something to balance on and are a added safety measure.
They are also used for either lashing or mounting lights onto. The lights can be angled down and finding a good mounting bracket to fix to the rails can be far superior to any underwater mounted lights.
Although a fish finder with a GPS is not an absolute must to have onboard it will make your life a whole lot easier.
Even a handheld GPS is still worthwhile but with the fish finder you get builtin depth sounder and access to a huge amount of maps and mapping functionalities depending on the brand and model.
With fish finders you can spend a little for a basic unit up to a few hundred dollars or splash out on a unit with all the bells and whistles which can run into the thousands.
Having the ability to accurately gauge the depth of the bottom is crucial.
Safety Equipment on your flounder boat should not be an after thought.
A lot of fishermen make the mistake of coming complacent about where they are fishing. Just because you are moving over shallow waters all the time does not mean that you cannot get into trouble.
Drowning is nothing to take likely on any type of water. You can drown in six inches of water.
Don’t take risks with your personal safety or the other people you may have on board especially if they are inexperienced at being out on the water.
Personal flotation devices(PFD’s) should be warn by all people aboard your gigging boat. Modern PFD’s are super light weight and will not get in your way no matter what you think.
A first aid kit should always be on board and should be stored in a place where it can be accessed in an emergency.
Emergency flares should also be stored in a cool airtight location.
These items are all basic seamanship and should not be ever forgotten.
A fully working radio that allows you to receive weather updates for the coast is also another crucial item.