Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Summer Flounder

Common Name(s): Summer flounder, Fluke, Doormat
Scientific Name: Paralichthys dentatus

Fun Facts:

summer flounder resting on a pebbly bottom
Summer flounder have the ability to blend their body colors to
match the bottom they rest on in order to protect them from
predators and to allow them to ambush unsuspecting prey.
~Photo courtesy of NOAA

  • The summer flounder's right eye migrates over the top of its head to the left side during its development from a larvae to a juvenile. Afterwards they lay flat on the sea floor, and since both eyes are on its left side, they are called left-sided flatfish.
  • Summer flounder are a popular gamefish and their flaky white meat is enjoyed broiled, fried, baked, or grilled.

Where Are They Found?

Summer flounder are found from Nova Scotia to northern Florida. When the water is warm, fluke move into our coastal waters, and become the prime target of many anglers.

What Do They Eat?

Fluke typically feed on shrimp, worms, crabs, mollusks, other fish, and a variety of other marine life.

How Big Can They Get?

Fluke can weigh up to 26 pounds (12kg), and can grow as long as 37 inches (94cm). The New York record for summer flounder is 22 pounds 7 ounces, caught in 1975. Very big fluke are sometimes called "door mats" because of their size.

Recreational Fishing Information

Before you try your luck at catching this fish, first check the recreational size and catch limits and make sure you are registered for recreational marine fishing.

Part 40 - Marine Fish Regulations (link leaves DEC website)

  • Important Links
  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Marine Resources
    205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
    East Setauket, New York 11733
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to NYS Marine Costal District