Without a doubt, fluke fishing for bass can be a lot of fun. We say that for at least 4 reasons.
First, a fluke is extremely easy to fish. If you are trying to get someone into fishing, tie a fluke on their line. Within no time, they will be hooked (literally) on fishing.
Second, they can be fish a number of different ways. Twitch ’em, pop ’em, pause ’em, skip ’em, or burn ’em. I really don’t think there is a wrong way to fish a fluke.
Third, they are the go-to bait when the fishing gets tough. Whenever it seems like the fish aren’t biting a good lure to throw is a fluke. Because they can be fished a number of different ways and because the tail is designed to give off a lot of action, this lure will get bites even in the most difficult situations.
Lastly, flukes catch fish. I know it seems simple, but it is true. Flukes can be thrown anything throughout the year: spawn, post spawn, early spring, hot summer days or cold autumn morning. The lure is so versatile and yet so effective that you may find it difficult to take it off and try something new.
Now that we have talked about how effective these lures can be in the water let’s talk about how to fish a fluke….
Before we talk more about how to fish a fluke, let’s first talk a little bit about what a fluke is
What is a fluke?
A fluke (also known as a soft jerkbait) is basically a soft plastic bait. As you can see from the picture above, it has a soft body with a tail that when jerked or popped gives off a lot of action. This simple design makes it very versatile and allows to be fished a number of different ways.
One of my favorite flukes is the Strike King Caffeine Shad Bait (Smokey Shad, 5-Inch) – pictured above. What I like about this particular soft jerkbait is that is it is loaded with salt. This features helps to keep the plastic pliable and also allows it to fall at a gentle descent with the lure remaining upright.
Another great feature is that these baits are coffee scented. No this is not coffee scented for the fishermen, but rather it is made this way for the fish. The coffee helps to masks the scent of humans and hopefully will get the fish to commit and hold on for a better hookset.
Now that we have talk about what a fluke is, let’s talk about how to fish a fluke.
How To Fish A Fluke
Jerk. Jerk. Pause. Since the fluke is also known as the soft jerkbait it would also make sense to fish it as you would a jerkbait. One of the best ways to fish a jerkbait is with a jerk, jerk, pause retrieval. The same can be done with the fluke. Simply cast it out there and let it fall. After a short pause, give it a quick jerk, jerk, followed by another pause. Keep doing this as you bring it back to the boat. The reason this works is because it imitates a dying baitfish. This action drives bass wild and will surely generate a reaction strike.
Burn it across the water: When many people think about fishing a fluke oftentimes, they think about the jerk, jerk, pause motion, but very few think about fishing them topwater. The truth is that if you haven’t fished a fluke on topwater you are missing out on some great opportunities to catch bass.
Because a fluke imitates a fleeing baitfish so well, one of the best ways to fish it is to burn it across the water. Get yourself a high gear ratio reel such as a 7.1:1, cast your fluke out there and burn it back to the boat. This technique works really well because it covers a lot of water and it creates a lot of commotion on the surface of the water actually drawing the fish to come out and get it.
Skip it. Without a doubt, the success of the jerkbait is because of its erratic motion. The same is true with the fluke you want to create that erratic motion that is going to the get the fish to come up and get it. With that being said one of the best ways to do this is to burn it across the water as we have already mentioned. However, if you want to create even more erratic motion you can give it a quick jerk of the rod as you are burning it across the water. This twitch of the rod will make the fluke dart side to side. At times, you can give it a few twitches of the rod which will make the lure come out of the water and actually skip across the surface of the water.
This technique works great as it imitates a small fish feeding on the surface or a dying baitfish. A great way to generate a reaction strike.
Cold Weather Fishing. Sometimes when it starts to get cold outside some fishermen abandon the fluke and turn to another lure. However, flukes can be effective during the cold months as well. The key is to slow things down. The jerk, jerk, pause technique can produce great results during these difficult times, but you need to slow it down. The pause needs to be longer as fish are more lethargic. Always remember when fluke fishing in cold weather that the longer the pause the better.
Add some weight. As you can see, some of the most popular ways to fish a fluke are weightless. There are many benefits to fishing it weightless as it gives it more freedom to create that erratic motion. However, you can also add weight to get down deep to where the fish are holding. For example, some other popular ways to fish a fluke is with a carolina rig, a texas rig or even a drop shot. With these techniques you can simply cast it out there. Allow the lure to sink. Once the lure gets down to the desired depth, give a few jerks and slowly bring it back to the boat.
To conclude this article on how to fish a fluke, let’s talk briefly about equipment….
Reels: Should I use a baitcaster or a spinning reel for fluke fishing? That really depends on you. For me personally, I like to use a spinning reel as it is easier to skip and get under docks where fish are holding up. If you are looking for cover a lot of water, I would recommend fishing with a baitcasting reel. Another important thing to keep in mind is the gear ratio. Overall a 6.1:1 gear ratio will work just fine, however, if you plan on burning it across the water, I would recommend a 7.1:1 or high gear ratio.
Best Fluke Rod: While there is no need to go out and buy yourself a technique specific fluke rod, a fishing rod can affect your overall presentation. I would recommend a 7′ to 7 1/2 medium heavy action rod. This will give you that tip to allow the lure to make some motion, but at the same time enough backbone to land the fish.
Fishing Line: Braided fishing line is the best when fluke fishing. The reason is because it has no stretch and it will allow for much further casts. If the situations calls for it, you can always put on a fluorocarbon leader.
Best hook for fluke fishing: In my opinion the most important equipment for fluke fishing is the hook. After all, you could have the best fluke presentation, but if you have a bad hook, you won’t be catching many fish. For that reason I recommend the Gamakatsu Offset Shank Round Hook.
Another reason the hook is so important is because it can actually change the overall presentation of the lure. To learn more about how to rig a fluke, I encourage you to check out one of my favorite fishing youtubers the flukemaster himself in the follow video:
As you can see, you can’t go wrong with fluke fishing for bass. They are fun, versatile and they catch fish. Now get out there and put some of these tips to practice.