The flounder population is higher than any time since the early 1990s, and anglers all along the Texas coast are discovering (and rediscovering) this tasty, sporty flat fish.

Here are some of the best Texas coast flounder hotspots, and how to catch them.

For the land bound do-it-yourself angler, the Galveston area offers incredible opportunities, beginning with the surf. The rock jetties along the beach are highly underrated in terms of flounder opportunities. They line the surf along much of the island and are a magnet for flatfish.

The best rig for jetty fishing this area is a Paradise Popper X-Treme rigged with a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 1/8-ounce jighead baited with large live shrimp or finger mullet. Pop it along the edge of the rocks and watch the cork closely. Flounder don’t always strike like a redfish or trout and yank the cork down. Sometimes the cork just stops its drift, or slowly begins moving sideways.

“Sometimes they pull the cork right under, but they also have a habit of slowly swimming off with it or just barely pulling it down, especially if the jig is very close to the bottom,” said veteran Texas flounder expert Captain Skip James. “If you get a strike like that, reel down and wait until you feel a heavy pressure, then set the hook hard.”

Anglers fishing the jetties should stay on the rocks due to the powerful undertow in the area. The wade fishing is excellent at other areas around the island, however, especially in relation to piers. Plus, big schools of flounder bunch up within 100 yards of the shore on a high tide. The same popping cork rig will work while wade fishing, but a Carolina rig scores better on deeper fish.

“Take a mullet or shrimp on a Carolina rig and work it around pier pilings and in the guts between the sandbars,” James said. “Don’t expect to catch them everywhere, but when you do find one in the surf there are usually more close by.”

Just 30 miles away is another do-it-yourself bank fishing hotspot called Rollover Pass. This narrow man-made opening links the Gulf to East Galveston Bay through the Bolivar Peninsula, and at times offers phenomenal flatfish action. This is deep, flowing water so Carolina rigs are best, although a drop-shot style rig right along the retaining wall also produces fish. Time your fishing to coincide with the first two hours of incoming and outgoing tides to produce the best action.

An underrated flounder-fishing destination is the Port Aransas/Aransas Pass area, which is great for anglers with bay boats. With close access to the Gulf and hundreds of square miles of shallow bays and seagrass flats, it is full of flounder, especially now that more-restrictive regulations are in place.

“That area is heavily pressured by commercial flounder fishermen who gig, but new regulations have cut their take in half, and there has been a tremendous flounder comeback,” James said.

The channel from the ferry landing to the Aransas Pass Jetties is the best location because of the sloping shorelines and constant influx of baitfish. Look for glass minnows and shrimp near eddies, sunken barges and sandy shorelines that drop quickly to deeper water.

Pink soft plastic swimbaits tipped with a small piece of dead shrimp and rigged on a 1/8 or ¼-oz jighead can be deadly effective when fished slowly and worked during tidal movements.

“The thing to keep in mind about this area is that it holds some of the state’s biggest flounders, so rig up with heavy braided line and always set the hook hard. You have a really good shot at catching the flounder of a lifetime there,” James said.

Perhaps the ultimate summer flounder hotspot is the north end of Sabine Lake and the Sabine River itself. Daniel Stark of Killer Instinct Outdoors fishes the area often.

“The last couple of years we have been catching more flounder, including some really nice ones, than we have ever caught,” he said. “ We’re fishing the extreme north end of the lake and the southern tier of the river in the brackish zone.”

Stark says the hottest areas are from the Port of Orange south to Middle Pass. The most effective rig is a drop shot rigged with a Paradise Popper X-Treme as a strike indicator. Key is to use just enough weight on the bottom of the rig to keep the live shrimp in the strike zone.

The primary prey for flounder in this area is menhaden, but shrimp is also a factor and paying strict attention to their movements is crucial.

“We follow Flatfish University’s teachings pretty closely,” he said, “and according to their research flounder in the rivers north of the bay are more mobile than those in it, and these fish follow the baitfish. You always have fish piled up in certain areas but large contingents of them will move where the bait moves. Menhaden is key so check every area you see baitfish activity even if the area look questionable. Chances are flounder will be there.”

The best thing about this area is the relative lack of pressure in conjunction with miles of viable hot spots that are fishable even when the winds are blowing upwards of 25 miles per hour.

“That area is really perfect for anyone who wants to catch solid numbers of flounder, and they don’t need a giant boat. We do it out of a 16-foot skiff most of the time and many anglers use flat-bottom aluminum boats. It’s the best spot we know of that produces flounder in pretty much any condition,” Stark said.