known as summer flounder, are easily recognizable because
they are flattened from side to side, allowing them to lay
flat on sandy or muddy bottom partially burying themselves
while waiting for unsuspecting bait fish to come by.
During its larval stage the
fluke's the right eye moves to the left side, the upper
side, of the fish. This upper side can change from light
brown to almost black, allowing the fish to blend in when it
is lying on the bottom. The right, or lower, side is white,
making the fish difficult to see from below when it is up in
the water column.
Fluke are known as voracious
predators. They have sharp teeth and are adept at feeding on
smaller fish. Large fluke, known as "doormats" for obvious
reasons, can reach upwards of fifteen pounds but the most
common size is two to four pounds.
We fish for Fluke in the bay or
ocean, drifting with spearing, squid, and sometimes GULP.
Fluke bite best in the bay when we can drift at about 1
knot. When we fish in the bay we can fish different areas at
different parts of the tide to find the right amount of
current for a good drift. Sometimes those jigging with GULP
in the bay do better but often a standard hook and sinker
rig with spearing & squid works best.
Fluke fishing in the ocean has
changed a lot in the last 5 years or so. Most of our ocean
Fluke fishing is around wrecks and reefs. We do best
drifting very slowly or anchored. Those who jig GULP with
light tackle and braided line do best.
Fluke are one of
the most abundant fish in our waters. Their stocks have
increased to four times what they were just 50 years ago. In
spite of their abundance fluke can be a little tricky for
some beginners to catch so weíve included some tips that you
might find helpful.
Basic hook &
Fluke grab the bait
half way between the tail and head and hold it for about 5
seconds before they try to swallow it. You should wait about
10 seconds after you feel the extra weight on your line to
start reeling. The mistake many new fluke fishermen make is
to lift the rod when they feel a bite. Now try to picture
your line going down to the sinker and the three foot leader
at nearly a right angle. When you lift the sinker two feet
off the bottom the hook and bait only move a few inches, not
enough to hook a fluke. This two foot lift of the rod works
for sea bass, porgies, and blackfish because we fish with a
twelve inch leader.
Now you have lifted
the rod two feet, experienced fishermen have learned to keep
the rod up and start reeling. This hooks the fish. Almost
all beginners lift the rod two feet, feel the weight of the
fluke, lower the rod and then start to reel. When you are
lowering the rod the hook is no longer pulled tight against
the inside of flukeís boney mouth. The fluke senses
something is wrong and opens his mouth. When you start
reeling the bait and hook come out of his mouth. The best
way to hook a fluke especially for a beginner is to wait for
that extra weight on your line, this is the fluke swimming
along with your bait halfway in his mouth. After about five
or ten seconds he will flip his tail a few times for the
extra speed, open his mouth and swallow the bait and hook.
After waiting a few seconds or feeling a few sharp tugs (the
fluke flipping his tail and chewing the bait) donít move the
rod, just start reeling. The constant pressure of the hook
in the flukeís mouth will hook the fish almost every time.
Also, if the fluke is not hooked it can still catch and eat
the baited hook.
Here are a few tips for
fishing when drifting conditions arenít perfect. With a slow
drift, the side of the boat with the lines going under the
boat is best because these baits get to the fish first. With
a fast drift the side where the lines go away from the boat
is best because as the fluke are trying to catch up to the
bait and they get to these baits first.
When we fluke fish on ocean reefs, wrecks, and rocks
jigging with GULP is most effective. Some fishermen use two
plain hooks on a high low rig with GULP, while others prefer
bucktails or teasers with GULP. Braided line is best for
fluke jigging because it offers less resistance and your
sinker and bait stay on the bottom better. Your line must be
on the bottom! We have GULP and fluke jigging rods with
braided line onboard for no extra charge.