The minimum basic flounder gigging equipment that you'll need on your first gigging adventure is an actual gig.
There are quite a few approaches to gigging and not all of the gear or equipment that you'll need for one is necessary for the other.
Different ways of gigging:
- At night
Below we'll concentrate on working from a boat and the bare minumum amount of equipment for flounder gigging that you'll need to get started.
Flounder Gigging Equipment
- Gig Pole
- Gigging lights
- Flat bottom boat
- Live well/storage bin
- Safety equipment
- Fishing license
- Bug spray
1. Gigging Pole
The first gigging poles are probably thousands of years old and made out of wood. Splitting a stick at the end into three prongs and using that to catch fish is an ancient method.
Modern gigging poles however are usually made from metal and feature three prongs. Stainless steel is your best choice.
If you are on a budget you can purchase a spear fishing head and mount it onto an aluminum pole or wooden stick if necessary.
2. Gigging Light
The most productive time for gigging is on a still summers night. Locating the flounder using a light that reflects off of their eyes is crucial to your success.
You have a number of options here. Install permanent underwater lights into the hull of your boat. Mount some lights onto the guard rail as discussed below or use a hand held lamp of head lamp.
Personally I favor a mix of all of them. Permanent underwater lights are not absolutely necessary. Mounting them high up on a guard rail is perfectly fine especially if you happen to have a high powered hand held lamp or head lamp.
3. Flat Bottom Boat
Choosing the correct type of boat for gigging is very important. Given the nature of gigging and where you will be doing it a flat bottomed boat with a shallow draft is the only real option.
A standard Jon boat or any decent small flat bottomed stiff is perfectly suitable for entering the shallows.
Ideally you have an electric trolling motor as they are easy to control and will run fairly silently when compared to your normal outboard motor.
A popular modification is to install some thin aluminum or stainless steel guard rails that allow you to mount some lights on and angle them downwards. They also have the added bonus of letting you lean out across them as you are gigging.
Most boats that are used for gig fishing will tend to have fairly low sides so the added rails really can make life a lot easier.
4. Live Well or Storage Bin
You'll need somewhere to store your catch away from flies and other insects. A lot of small fishing boats can come with a live well as part of the equipment list.
Unfortunately flounder are a flat fish and their shape can make them a little awkward to get into a standard live well.
If you use a plastic bucket with the lit cut open to just a few inches wider than your gig you can use the lip of the lid to slide the flounder from the gig as you pull the gig back out of the bucket.
Another lid can then be placed on top of this to eal it.
5. Fish finder with GPS
A fish finder is not only good for reading the depth and navigation but it is also useful for two things firstly safety and then the ability to mark a good fishing spot for future reference.
Gigging at night can become disorientating especially if you are constantly focusing on the bottom right in front of you.
Before you know it you can be several miles along especially if using a trolling motor. Using a gps you can set specific alarms if you have moved more than a certain distance.
Once you have found a good spot it is usually a good idea to mark it on your fish finder for future reference. Being able to find a spot again after being in there in the dark late at night os not always easy.
All you need to do is mark the spot and you'll have no trouble finding it again.
6. Safety Equipment
Just because you are gigging in shallow waters does not mean you can become complacent about your personal safety out on the water.
You can drown in six inches of water if you are some how knocked out so never take a risk even in the shallows where you think you are perfectly "safe".
A PFD(personal flotation device) for every person on board is absolutely crucial.
The boat itself should have all of the necessary onboard safety equipment that is required by the lay in your state.
Even if you have a small boat you should still have at a minimum flares, first aid kit, cellular phone and GPS.
You should also be very familiar with the tides and the area you intend on fishing in.
7. Fishing License
Depending on where you are fishing a license is almost always a legal requirement.
Gigging is no different.
Make sure you have an up to date fishing license for your state and that it is suitable for salt water fishing i.e it has a salt water stamp on it.
Keep it with you at all times and in a safe and dry place. I like to keep all my valuables like car keys and wallet in a water tight plastic box that floats. This is where I also keep my license.
8. Bug Spray
Bug spray is something that is commonly forgotten. Bugs love to swarm around vegetation and water and when you are gigging you will be in close to the shallows not always but quite often close to vegetation and small trees like mangroves.
I don't know about you but mosquitoes seem to love my blood and if there are any around I always seem to be the main item on the menu.
A decent insect repellent can help to massively restrict any bites or stings that you potentially may get.
Personally I won't go fishing without it.