If you are looking for a dependable method to catch more bass, using flukes is the way to go. These baits, made from soft plastic, are designed to resemble shads, and they are guaranteed to work for catching bass. The name fluke also applies to a certain fish species, and we will treat that topic separately a bit later. For now, let’s focus on how to fish flukes for bass and what steps you need to undertake a successful fishing adventure.
A bit about flukes
As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, flukes are plastic baits you can use, specifically for catching bass. They are jerk baits, which means that they will disturb the water surface and will create a little bit of ruckus to draw the attention of the fish lurking below.
They come in a large variety of colors, but this doesn’t mean that you should fret too much about what color to pick. This aspect has little to no impact on how lucky you will be while catching bass, so don’t waste too much time on it.
We mentioned bass, but the truth is that these baits are quite versatile and that means that you can use them for catching both large and small species of fish. An additional aspect that must be mentioned is that you can use them to catch fish in any weather, and they are not season based.
What rod and feel should you use with flukes?
While flukes are versatile, you must pay a little attention to the rig you are going to use. A spinning rod and reel would be the wisest choice, because it allows you to skip the fluke so that it reaches further into the thick brush that grows underwater, thus convincing fish hiding there to come forward.
When it comes to picking the right rod lengths, there are no set in stone rules. The best recommendation would be to go for the rod length that feels the most comfortable for you. Many anglers prefer a rod that is both sensitive and strong. Depending on the kind of fish you want to catch, this aspect matters. Bass is a strong fish and can put up a fight, so go for a strong combination, to avoid losing the fish.
What kind of hook should you pick?
Again, if we talk about bass, we need to focus on getting a strong hook. When the fish bites, its sheer force should not be able to straighten the hook and break free. Round bend hooks are your best choice, because they offer excellent leverage, and are also successful for catching strong fish that fights a lot.
Why you must straighten your flukes
When learning how to fish flukes, whether you want to catch bass or any other similar fish, you must make sure that your baits are straightened. Because sellers usually offer flukes that are not already straightened, this type of work will fall on your shoulders. The problem with these flukes is that they will not provide good tracking, and their movements in the water will not seem natural to bass or other fish.
That being said, you will have to straighten the flukes yourself. Here is how you can do that, fast and easy. Use hot water to immerse the flukes for about 20 minutes. If you have larger baits, let them soak for a little longer. However, make sure that the flukes don’t become too soft, if left in hot water for too much time.
After soaking time is over, place the baits on a dry towel, and straighten them with your palms. The moment they are properly dried, you can use them for baiting fish.
The necessary steps for rigging a fluke properly
If you want to be successful when using flukes for catching bass, you must follow the necessary steps to rig it properly. Take one fluke in one hand and the hook in the other. Make sure that the fluke is held upright while doing so. The hook must go through the mouth of the bait, right dead in the center.
The hook must then slide into the underbelly while keeping the fluke aligned. You should be able to achieve perfect balance if you do so. This is one method to use. The other is to hold the fluke with its back to the hook and pass the hook through there. As you may easily imagine, the bait will behave differently depending on how you rig the fluke.
After that, skip the fluke and allow it to sink to the depth of water you want. Twitching the bait a little helps. It will start doing its jerky movement routine, and you can let it do so while keeping an eye on the line. That will tell you when a bass bites into the bait.
How does hooking influence the movement?
We described earlier a few methods for hooking your bait. Now let’s see how this influences the way the bait will move. The first method mentioned involves taking the hook through the underbelly; that makes uneven jerky movements, and the bait will seem to move upward. If you are interested in monitoring the way your bait moves, you will do well with this configuration.
The other hooking method will make the fluke look like it dives. Either technique will attract the attention of the fish swimming below. In case you want your fluke to sink even further, you will need to add some extra weights. You can do so, by sticking lead nails into the body of the fluke. Of course, another method that should be easy to apply is to add a bell sinker.
The type of rod you use has an impact on how the bait will move. For instance, if you use a heavy rod with fast action, the fluke will make short, jerky moves. If you want to prevent your line from twisting, make sure you use a swivel. This way, you will even manage to add some weight to the rig, for better control.
A loop knot is another way to customize your rig for more peculiar bait moves. An important benefit of this configuration is that you will be able to detect when fish strikes with superior accuracy.
Where to take your fluke tackle configuration to catch a lot of fish
Now that your rig is prepared, and you are ready to go fishing, here are some ideas on where to cast your line for efficient and rewarding experiences. This type of rig works, for instance, on shallow grass beds.
Bass is one of those fish species that likes spending time close to the shore as long as it feels protected in the high brush. Skipping your fluke in these waters can be a good investment, and you will manage to draw the fish out of hiding.
Another good place for skipping a fluke is around boat docks. The opening between two boats can be ideal for doing so. The sides are a good option, too. One thing you should focus on is the movement of the line because the chances are that you will not be able to see your lure well from where you will be standing.
Many aspects have an impact on your success to catch the fish you want, and having the right type of lure is just one part of what you can do. The water temperature, how muddy or clear it is, the currents, all have a role to play, so, if you don’t catch a large bass using flukes, it may not be the fault of the lure you picked.
About flukes as a fish species
Now that we talked about the lures that carry this name let’s see how to fish for fluke with successful results. This is a marine flatfish, and you can find it mostly along the East Coast of Canada and the US. Large specimens, weighing more than 10 pounds, can be caught on a good day, but do not expect this to be the norm.
If you are interested in the fluke fishing season, that begins in April, as the water temperature starts to rise consistently. These fish like warm waters and that is why in summer, you have more chances to catch some of them. However, if you ask any seasoned angler who has ever pulled such fish out of the water, they will swear by the beginning of May as being the most lucrative time for catching flukes.
The fishing season extends throughout the summer, and you can even hope to catch something if you go fishing by the end of September. The best places where you can find flukes are the shallow waters where schools of flukes tend to flock in large numbers, offering you the perfect opportunity to get enough fish.
One thing to bear in mind is that flukes tend to retreat to deeper sea as the weather becomes hotter. You may even want to engage in a bit of an expedition if you plan some deep sea fishing adventure. Luckily, there are plenty of boats ready to take you there, as many anglers are passionate about catching this fish.
Methods to catch flukes
Flukes are sometimes difficult to catch because they like to bury in the mud or sand in shallow waters. They do this because one method they use to catch their prey is by lying in waiting as their eyes face the tide. While this might make them difficult to spot, it is also their downfall. To do this, they crowd any object they can find on the waterbed.
That means that your fish finder can pick any irregularities of the bottom and show you where there are most likely chances for flukes to be gathered in large numbers. Once you find a structure where flukes may be located, use a drift anchor to secure your location and spend some time over it. This will enhance your chances of success.
As far as the most efficient tackle for catching flukes is concerned, many anglers prefer a light jig. This must reach the bottom, without touching it. That will give you the necessary edge to make the flukes come out of hiding.
If you are wondering what these fish prefer as bait, you can identify the perfect one by observing the fish you catch. When you bring a fluke to the surface, the fish will eliminate the contents of its stomach; the remnants of the last meal will tell you all about the preferred diet of the fish, and you can count on these findings to catch more.
If you intend to cause as little stress as possible to the fish, use fluke fishing nets when you bring them out of the water. There are a few steps you should bear in mind for this operation to be successful.
When you bring the fish out, always guide the fluke with the head first. Do not flash the net if the fish is not close enough. The whole point of netting the fish is to avoid the normal struggle that begins once the fluke realizes it is out of the water.
A good idea would be to have more than one net on your boat. If the fish struggles a lot, your friends can help you by bringing their nets closer, thus preventing the fish from escaping. When you use fishing nets, make sure that you do not waste your energy on specimens you don’t intend to keep. There are a few things that can go wrong and, if your net gets caught in the rig, you risk to ruin it.
A simple tip to follow is to keep your net somewhere you will have easy access to it. You never know when a fish will strike, so, if you don’t have the net at hand, you may lose the chance to bring up a specimen that is worth taking pictures of.
At first, the fluke will not know it is hooked, and it will not struggle. Make sure to position the net under it, and let the fish calm down. This will give you the time to get a hold of the fishing net. Lift it quickly, so that the fish struggles as little as possible.
One thing you may not know about flukes is that they can swim backward. Remember this while you manipulate the net to get the fish out of the water.