While Alabama has plenty of freshwater fishing holes, it only stretches 57 miles across its southern boundary along the Gulf of Mexico. However, the Heart of Dixie packs some excellent saltwater angling into that relatively small space.
While flounder are a popular species amongst anglers along the entire Gulf Coast, Alabama offers some of the best habitats for the flatfish anywhere in the U.S. The abundance of smaller bays and marshes in and near Mobile Bay are particularly rich with flounder, as you’ll see.
And fillets of flounder, as any seafood restaurant connoisseur knows, are simply delicious.
This article covers the best places to catch flounder in Alabama, peppered with excellent tips to make your angling trip smoother.
Flounder in Alabama
These flat, saucer-like fish swim the bottoms of the coastal waters of Alabama in estuaries, near beaches, and river mouths in search of prey such as shrimp, crabs, and a variety of bait fish.
There are two prevalent kinds of flounder that Alabamans might catch. The southern flounder has a less pronounced pattern and is usually larger, and the Gulf flounder is typically smaller and has a much more distinct pattern.
A flounder’s coloration provides camouflage against the bottom of its favorite habitats, allowing it to better ambush prey and hide from predators.
Where to Find Flounder
Anglers usually catch flounder in brackish or saltwater bays, inlets, coves, river mouths, and estuaries.
These flatfish prefer the muddy bottoms of estuaries in marshes but also will hold on sandy bottoms, including near jetties, piers, and wharves on sandy bottoms.
How to Catch Flounder
You can fish for flounder with saltwater tackle, often with a bottom rig or soft plastics and jigs.
For more on how to catch flounder, please read our guide to flounder fishing techniques and tips, which you’ll find linked near the bottom of this article.
Alabama’s Best Flounder Fishing
The mouth to Bayou Heron sits on the southernmost point of the Alabama and Mississippi border and is home to some excellent flounder fishing.
With both summer and Gulf flounder recorded near the bayou’s mouth, anglers can access this location from the launch in Grand Bay or the Mississippi side up by Bayou Heron Road.
This location is a flounder haven for three key reasons.
The first reason is that the water depth at the mouth of Bayou Heron is relatively shallow and is a mixture of sand and silt bottom.
The second is that the mouth of the bayou is sheltered from the Gulf by South Rigolets, Big and Long islands in both states, all of which break up the current before it reaches this flounder hotspot.
The third reason is that brackish bayou water blends with the Gulf’s saltwater, making it a key waypoint for bait fish and shrimp making their way into the marshes or out to the Gulf.
Anglers will find plenty of success mooring on the outermost points of the bayou mouth and casting into the channel or surrounding bay near the shorelines. Bottom rigs baited with crab or shrimp are a safe bet.
If the Gulf current is pushing unusually strong, go into the bayou and follow a few of the cuts into shallower water to see if you can find flounder.
Bayou La Batre
In this article, you’ll notice a pattern of bayou mouths being favorite flounder fishing holes, and La Batre is no different.
West of Mobile Bay, this bayou empties into the Gulf just west of Portersvile Bay.
One of the best flounder locations in the entire state, the bayou mouth is surrounded by a marshy shoreline and a sand beach riddled with artificial structure, making it a favorite of both summer and Gulf flounder.
Anglers can fish the entire shoreline from the bayou mouth to Isle Aux Dames.
The creeks and estuary mouths feeding into the bay provide an influx of baitfish and shelter for flounder during cooler months.
When the Gulf’s current is powerful, anglers can hook around the sandy point to the left of the bayou mouth into a protected pocket called Little Bay to rip into some nice flounder.
These flatfish prefer sandy and silty bottoms with moderate to light currents, and Little Bay provides just that.
Anglers can moor outside the mouths of more than a half dozen creek mouths and cuts to find flounder among redfish, drum, and speckled trout also taking refuge in the small bay. Or you can work the sandbar system around the bayou mouth with solid results.
Because flounder prefer to stay near shore unless it’s spawning season, anglers should stick to the coastal riverine environment. However, anglers also catch a handful of flounder heading south from the bayou out to Isle Aux Herbes and its winding system of creeks.
When angling the channel mouths, fishermen want to stick with bottom rigs such as the drop shot or fishfinder baited with shrimp or crab to hook into a few big flatfish.
Deeper into the creek systems around shallow points or forks, anglers can jig or work soft plastic grubs with a decent chance of success.
Fowl River Bay
To the east of Bayou La Batre, Fowl River Bay makes for some decent flounder fishing, given its estuary-like system of cuts, creeks, and marshy shoreline.
Protected by a marshy lip that juts into the Gulf, this river mouth and bay features a variety of terrain that makes it a favorite of flounder, mainly as the shrimp move into the marsh.
Aside from the variety of small feeder creeks and channels, Fowl River Bay presents anglers with a funnel where the flounder and baitfish channel into a narrow portion of the river before opening into the bay.
The mouth of West Fowl River is a great spot to start fishing for flounder, and anglers should stick to the southernmost shoreline with bottom rigs to target flounder.
The eastern shoreline down to Murder Point is a marshy paradise that’s the perfect place for anglers to work plastics and jigs.
The northern coastline yields excellent results on a rising tide, and the multiple creek systems from the river mouth to Grand Point allow flounder to push into the shallows in search of bait fish.
Anglers targeting flounder should stay close to shoreline and sandbar areas these fish prefer. Your catch will change from flatfish to reds and specks the deeper you go.
Dauphin Island Bay
Shallow water, sand bars, and protection from the Gulf current, what else could a flounder want? Dauphin Island Bay is among the southernmost spots you can drive to and find excellent flounder fishing in Alabama.
A triangle-like bay sheltered from the Gulf by Dauphin Island, Mobile Bay by a several-mile-long sandbar called Little Dauphin Island, and with an entrance by water from Pass Chateague, this shallow water paradise is a hotspot for flatfish.
Anglers catch plenty of big flounder in this small bay, and for a good reason. The northernmost end of the bay features a marshy series of cuts known as Cedar Island, while the southern portion hosts the inhabited series of bays lined with docks and homes.
The best angling occurs along the eastern shoreline, which is miles of marsh and cuts, and in the creek system in Cedar Island.
Pass Chateaugue is another viable option, and anglers can moor behind the sandy point to cast into the channel catching flounder, reds, and drum consistently.
Shrimp is a solid choice of bait, but crabs and minnows rule on this island. Cast these baits on bottom rigs or even popping corks up in the marshes.
Your best bet is to hammer the main creek system on Cedar Island or if you feel like a boat ride, hook around the island to the north and head into the bay between Little Pass Margaret and the bridge.
If a long boat ride isn’t for you, Deer River offers a solid location on the west side of Mobile Bay that consistently yields moderate-sized flounder no matter the Gulf’s current brings.
The industrialized shore doesn’t dissuade flounder from schooling en masse here, and anglers have plenty of shallow water sandbars and shorelines to try.
The large industrial pier north of the river mouth is an excellent location for anglers to try by boat. Flounder congregate around this structure, lurking on the bay floor for an easy meal.
If the Deer River’s bay won’t produce a flounder bite, anglers can wind their way into the South Fork of Deer River. This fork descends deep into the marsh, but often the best flounder fishing is just several hundred yards up from the bay.
Bottom rigs are your best bet at this location. However, a popping cork also can pull flounder from next to the pier or in the marsh. Stick with crabs or shrimp for bait, and don’t be surprised if you limit out quickly at Deer River.
Point Clear Creek
Directly across the bay from Deer River, Point Clear Creek is situated below Battles Wharf and near a top-notch resort.
Often overlooked due to its heavily populated shores and high boat traffic, this is another excellent location in Mobile Bay for anglers to rip lips with flounder in southern Alabama.
Point Clear Creek runs to Lilly Lake and into some golf courses, but anglers should forgo that shallow water pilgrimage in favor of two locations.
The shallow water rock formations that protect the front side of the resort near the creek mouth are top-shelf fishing, but anglers should beware of swimmers nearby.
Instead, stick to the outsides of the rock formations and jig over the submerged structure to draw out a hungry flatfish.
The north side of the creek mouth features a long pier where shore anglers can cast into the bay or creek, but motorists often make this option difficult.
Instead, focus on the private piers to the north and drop bottom rigs near these structures. Just off sandy beaches, this is an excellent spot for anglers to hook into a surprise in the form of a flatfish.
Kayakers can also try the deeper branches of Point Clear Creek, and a popping cork is almost always a good idea when angling around the brush and swamp along the creek near the golf course.
South of Point Clear Creek and Gum Swamp lies a hidden gem for flounder anglers in a brackish water shallow bay.
Fed by the Magnolia and Fish rivers, this tucked-away gold mine has a few camps near its opening into the bay, but the back two-thirds are miles of swampy, shallow water shoreline.
The silt bottom here is a favorite of flounder, and a variety of species of game fish including lots of speckled trout will hang out in this bay when the Gulf pushes a high volume of water inland.
With massive schools of minnows roaming the bay, anglers won’t have to look far to locate what the flounder are biting on that day.
This location is also one of the few spots in Alabama where anglers can catch trophy-level largemouth bass alongside big flounder, redfish, speckled trout, drum, croaker, and even a few sharks and catfish thrown in the mix.
The mouth of the Magnolia River on the bay’s east side is as good a place as any to focus your fishing here.
Sand bars create a mini bay just outside the river mouth. Anglers can anchor behind the main sandbar and cast into the bay and river mouth with bottom rigs to find out what’s cruising the shallows of Weeks Bay.
Other locations include another small bay near the mouth of Fish River and the backside of Fish River Point. Both of these offer shallow, sandy bottoms with a handful of cuts and creeks nearby that anglers can target if the shoreline isn’t yielding flounder.
On the west side of Weeks Bay, Muddy Bayou is another little-known hotspot that anglers often overlook in favor of the river mouths or points.
With a large sandbar directly in the mouth of the bayou and several offshoots into the marsh, this is an excellent location for kayakers to target using jigs and popping corks.
South of Weeks Bay, Oyster Bay provides some of the best flounder fishing for inshore anglers in Alabama.
Only accessible by boat or private residence, this offshoot of the Mobile Bay tributary Bon Secour Bay is a treasure trove of hungry flounder.
Most of Oyster Bay’s shoreline consists of grass-covered dunes riddled with creeks, and this habitat is the perfect hideaway for flounder looking to get out of the central bay and lay up in shallow, calmer waters.
Fed by the Bon Secour River to the north and massive Mobile Bay to the west, this lake-like round bay features creek systems, such as Bear Creek and Portage Creek. The creeks bring an influx of freshwater into the high salinity brackish water. With that influx comes plenty of baitfish.
Oyster Bay is swimming with small mullet and crabs, so anglers already know what baits to use on their bottom rigs. Targeting the creek and river mouths is an excellent idea.
Boats with flat bottoms or kayaks can stray further into the offshoots in search of hungry flounder.
Oyster Bay is a refuge for various fish species, so don’t be surprised if something much bigger than a flounder rips into your line.
If the lake fails to produce flounder, anglers can always head north into Bon Secour Bay or south into the miles of shallow, sandy shoreline from Oyster Bay to Gasque.
South of Oyster Bay, a Little Lagoon is a melting pot of saltwater species with a few freshwater fish thrown in the mix.
Everything from snook, mangrove snapper, and remora have been caught from this lake, but most notably, bluegill and largemouth bass share the waters with these saltwater species.
The flounder fishing in the Little Lagoon is spectacular, and anglers have many locations to choose from, including Sheepshead Point, Childress Point, Eugene Point, and Gator Lake.
All of these locations sit on the western side of the lake, where the docks and houses along the shoreline are few, leaving uninhabited sandy banks for flounder to feast on plentiful forage.
The eastern side of the lagoon toward Gulf Shores is much more heavily populated but still holds a handful of solid locations, including the Lagoon Pass, Stanton Creek, and Willet Point.
The handful of locations accessible to shore fishermen are suited for bottom rigs baited with shrimp, crab, or minnows. Stay away from dead fish baits, as this is a gafftop catfish magnet.
Anglers by boat can work the shorelines with jigs and popping corks, and even a gold spoon can draw a flounder from its cover.
This brackish water string of lakes just inland from Gulf Shores is home to an even more diverse group of fish than the connected Little Lagoon, with juvenile red snapper, stingray, jack crevalle, and more recorded caught in Shelby Lakes.
Despite sharing the ecosystem with a variety of other species, flounder fishing has never been better at Shelby Lakes.
Locations such as South Island, Alligator Island, and Grass Island are some of the best flounder fishing spots.
A small canal separates the lakes, and the farther that anglers delve into the system of lakes, the better the flounder fishing. The second lake features an undeveloped southern shoreline filled with small coves.
Each cove consists of a grass-filled shoreline with undercut banks, home to flounder, redfish, and largemouth bass.
If anglers choose to descend further into the lake system, the Middle River takes them into a small body of water known as Little Lake.
Little Lake is the most freshwater portion of the entire Shelby Lakes system, and anglers will catch primarily bass and bluegill here, with the occasional redfish caught.
The best flounder fishing is between the first two lakes, where boat anglers patrol the shorelines and cast into the cuts, coves, and creeks to lure out flounder.
The Lake Shelby dog park’s pier and the boat launch are the primary shore fishing locations at Shelby Lakes.
The deeper into the lake system anglers go, the better gold spoons work.
While popping corks and bottom rigs are a favorite of saltwater anglers, plastics truly shine through at Shelby Lakes. In the right conditions, crankbaits and even a topwater lure may draw out a flounder from the brush-lined banks.
Gulf Shores Fishing Pier
This famous pier is the favorite spot on Alabama’s Gulf Coast for fishermen to keep their feet dry while hooking into various saltwater species.
Anglers catch flounder, speckled trout, redfish, and more from the Gulf State Park Pier.
A massive structure that sticks into the Gulf hundreds of yards creates a sanctuary for game fish and bait fish alike.
The long structure allows anglers to get out over deep water and makes a few fishing holes along the way.
Anglers should stick to the popping cork and jigs around the structure on a rising tide. Flounder, pushing inland, will take advantage of the soft plastics thrown their way, and anglers may hook into a few speckled trout sharing the waters.
On a falling tide, bottom rigs, such as the drop shot, fishfinder, or Carolina, will work wonders when baited with crabs, minnows, or shrimp.
Avoid dead or cut bait, as these tend to draw the attention of the pier’s well-known and often dreaded infestation of gafftopsail catfish.
We also suggest that anglers using bottom rigs incorporate a steel leader, as more than a few have lost their rigs to hungry sharks.
Check out the Gulf Shores Fishing Pier’s website for current information, as recently parts of this pier have been closed due to the need for repairs.
Saint Andrews Bay
This small bay a few miles to the east of Fort Morgan has a solid flounder population that stays shielded from the current by a series of sandbars, cuts in the marsh, and points.
Separated from the Gulf of Mexico by the white sands of the Gulf Highlands and the rest of the Fort Morgan Peninsula, this small bay is home to a dense congregation of flounder.
Anglers can only access this location by boat, but the money spent on gas and travel is worth every cent.
Just south of Saxon Bay and east of Navy Cove, both excellent angling locations in and of themselves, Saint Andrew’s Bay is a hotbed of flounder activity when the Gulf is rough.
Anglers will find calmer waters in the sanctuary of Saint Andrews Bay’s sandy shallows and can launch from two public marinas on the bay side of the peninsula.
This location is a great starting point for anglers looking to fish in the southernmost portions of Mobile Bay. However, under the right conditions, anglers can stick to the more protected waters of Saxon Bay, Navy Cove, and Saint Andrew’s Bay.
Anglers can best fish in this location using bottom rigs baited with shrimp and crabs, targeting coves, points, and sandbars.
Petit Bois Pass
To the west of Dauphin Island stretches a sand bar island that runs almost to the Mississippi border. Capping off at West Point, the shallow waters in this area are referred to as Petit Bois Pass.
Petit Bois Pass has the best flounder fishing outside Alabama’s river mouths and inland bays.
This island is home to some of the biggest and hardest fighting saltwater game fish in Alabama, and its miles of secluded coastline are rich with trophy redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.
The inshore side of this giant sandbar is a favorite of flounder and other big game fish when the Gulf current pushes inland with force. It features miles of shallow water sand flats ripe with flatfish.
The Gulf side features a steep drop-off, and while flounder can be caught on this side, this bank is more associated with snapper, big reds, and sharks.
Petit Bois Pass is a boat fishing spot. Most anglers will launch from Dauphin Island Bay or the surrounding docks and ride along the inshore bank.
You’ll have the most success in this area fishing with bottom rigs tipped with small mullet, crabs, or minnows, or by jigging.
Carolina, drop shot, or fishfinder rigs work magic, especially near the drop-offs or just off West Point. Jigging the shallows and sand bars can yield some big flounder, but stick to the inshore side for the best flounder angling.
While Alabama has some excellent freshwater fishing, anglers should not overlook its incredible saltwater opportunities. This is especially true when it comes to flounder fishing.
Despite being only 57 miles driving across its Gulf Coast end, everywhere you turn Alabama’s abundant coastal estuaries, river mouths, islands, and bays make for some of the best flounder fishing in the Southeast.
From Grand Bay to Shelby Lakes, we’ve now shown you where to find fantastic flounder fishing across the Heart of Dixie’s coastline.
Before heading out in search of flounder in Alabama, purchase a saltwater fishing license and check your state and local regulations.
Flounder Fishing Tips and Techniques
Now that you know where to go and have some great ideas of what rigs and bait to use, iron out the rest of the details to catch more of these flatfish with our simple guide to flounder fishing techniques and tips in the Gulf Coast and Southeast.