Letters from Clients
What to Bring!
Fishing that darned FlukeBy Rick La Point
USCG Licensed and Insured Guide
Table Rock Lake
Spring is here. The familiar sounds of birds singing their early morning
songs fill the air. The warm mornings smell fresh while cruising down the lake
at an easy pace. Soaking up the morning sun, as you pull up on a gravel bank. As
you are rigging this fish-like piece of plastic on a large sharp hook, you
notice a cleared out area of gravel. The males are starting to nest. You back
off a little deeper, suspecting an unwary female cruising the area for suitable
males nesting site. Tossing out that fishey thing you let it sink slowly to the
bottom. Suddenly the line tightens you lean forward giving the bass a second or
two to swim away, and Wham! A long sweeping hook set strikes solid. The
unsuspecting bass pulls hard stripping your drag on your reel. You bow to the
pressure knowing your line is only 10 # test. The bass surges down deep with
several hard runs; you feel the throbbing headshake indicating a larger fish.
Slowly the line rises to the surface and she breaks the surface. Man, what a
beauty! You gingerly ease her to the boat, reaching down grasping her lower jaw
with your whole hand. Gently unhooking her you lower her into the water and
watch her slowly swim away.
Fluke fishing, a great technique to catch pre-spawn and post-spawn
bass. The bass can't stand the slow sinking action of the Fluke. The
tail twitches as it sinks giving it a unique action. The back and forth
twitches as you retrieve act like a dying shad trying to escape it's
most feared enemy.
Proper rigging of the Fluke is most crucial to its success. (See fig.1
and fig. 2 for basic rigging) Making sure that the lure is hanging
straight and doesn't spin when you retrieve it is very significant.
Otherwise when you retrieve it, your line will twist and then, well, you
know what happens. I rig my Fluke with a 4/0 or 5/0 Gamagatsu hook. This
hook has a wide gap, which is necessary so you can jerk the hook through
the body of the Fluke. This hook has increased my client hook ups by
There are several types of retrieving methods I use with the Fluke. The water
temperature and the stage of the bass in relation to the spawn are the factors.
In the pre-spawn stage I tend to fish it like a jig or worm. Slow twitches with
long pauses in between. In the post-spawn stage I fish it a little faster,
sometimes even twitching it across the surface.
The rod and reel that I use for Fluke fishing is a Jim Grandt Custom XLH70
Rod 6'6'' med. Action casting rod. The sensitivity of this rod outperforms any
rods I have fished. Paired with a smooth Shimano Coriolis this fishing
instrument is the ultimate Fluke fishing tool.
The hook set is probably the big reason most anglers lose sometimes as much as
50% of the bass that bite this lure. The proper technique to use is when you
feel a little weight or a bite, lean forward as far as you can, reeling in your
slack until you feel the tension then give it a hard long sweeping hook set.
Using this technique will increase your hook up percentages. In clear water
where you can see some of the strikes it is imperative that you wait a few
seconds before you set the hook. Let the fish turn away from you then set the
hook. Otherwise you will jerk the lure right out of the fishes mouth.
Weights can be added to your Fluke to allow it to sink a little faster or help
hold it down on a windy day. The method I use is a lead nail inserted in the
body. This lets the Fluke fall naturally like a dying shad. Another method to
weight your Fluke is to tie a black barrel swivel 18 inches above the lure. It
gives it just enough weight to help you on a windy day.
These fat little minnow shaped lures sure got some action and are definitely a
lure you need in your tackle box.