THIS PLASTIC IS NO FLUKE, OR IS IT?
Soft plastic fluke style baits are a staple for most bass fishermen. I like them as trailers for spinnerbaits. The first thing an angler needs to know about fishing the fluke is exactly what a fluke is. What we are not talking about is the fluke that is a type of saltwater fish. When a fisherman says he fished a fluke he is referring to a soft plastic bait resembling a shad. The fluke is usually fished weightless as this results in movements that are very natural in the eyes of a predator. Flukes are a good starter bait for anglers making the transition from live bait to soft plastics. It’s responsiveness and its ease of use for drop shot presentations makes it perfect for use with a spinning rod.
When preparing for a day of fishing, having a fluke rigged and ready is always a good choice. When deciding how you want to rig the fluke, think about the structure you will fish and the type of retrieve this structure requires. This will help you decide whether to rig the fluke with the hook centered or angled. A straight hook will allow you to have better control while rigging it at an angle will cause the bait to dart naturally when retrieved. A hook with an offset bend, and even a
dab of gorilla glue, will help keep the bait from falling down the hook. Two options for rigging a fluke on the hook are to hold the fluke and run the hook through the head and either into the back of the bait, or allowing the point of the hook to come through the belly. Rig options include Texas rigging the bait by threading a bullet shaped weight onto the line before tying on the hook and running it through the head and into the body. The Texas style will also allow you to bury the tip of your hook in the body of the fluke for a weed-less presentation. A fluke can also be fished drop shot by just hooking it to the drop shot hook through the head.
Flukes are suitable for fishing a variety of fishing situations. Shallow grass beds, under docks
and under shaded boats are great places to take full advantage of this bait. You will want to take advantage of shallow grass beds and flats during the pre-spawn as well as to excite spawning fish into striking. Grass beds are particularly productive during morning and late afternoon bites. Fish will leave these flats and go deep during the mid-day heat
or during windy conditions. To elicit a strike response, try skipping your fluke. Cast the lure across the top of the water without actually letting it sink. This is achieved by holding the top of the rod low and doing a sharp sideways back cast, then twitch the bait on the retrieve. The speed of the retrieve should be varied depending on how aggressive the bite is. The twitch twitch pause technique is a good option. This causes the bait to
look like a dying bait fish. During colder temperatures you will want to slow this process down as the fish may be more lethargic. When the fish do go deeper is when you want to pick up the drop shot. Let your bait sink slowly, and use a slow retrieve, lifting slowly and pausing occasionally. This allows the fish to make its move. Whether fishing Texas Rig, top-water, or drop shot, choose the lightest weight possible to get and keep the bait in the strike zone.