fluke bite

END RESULT is to get bit.

Recently I brought up rods and their role in fluke fishing, especially for casting unweighted baits such as the Super Fluke Jr. But in trying to become more adept at the method, I first talked to someone who is considered by many in my area as the best of the best with the little fluke.

Some know him as James and by some Jim (his father and my long-time friend’s name) but I kind of know him as Jimmy. Last name: Emmett, from Wildomar.

His might not be a household name, but those lucky few that have shared a boat with him at any of the local ponds know it. When it comes to this particular technique, everyone else trying for second place.  I knew Jimmy could help me, once I was ready to listen.

flawed flukes

FLAWED FLUKES could have a concave side of their body.

And I started from the bottom, dropping all my biases and opinions, and letting him give it to me straight. And frankly, there is an unintended pun there. For when it comes to shopping for flukes, aside from any other attribute, the bait needs to be near perfect in the package, perfect in storage, and as I’ll talk about at another date, perfect in rigging.

What I was looking for was the perfect baseline in his methodology. If I think some day I can make adjustments, I will. But for now, I let him talk.

For Jimmy (and he refers to his own selectivity as “anal”) the key is to get the straightest, most perfectly injected, and in his mind, the most shad-like coloration. That means you can’t just pull bags off the peg or order sight-unseen online.

LOOK CLOSELY. Note belly slit not uniform in #1 and #4 and the color variation in #5.

LOOK CLOSELY. Note belly slit not uniform in #1 and #4 and the color variation in #5.

Look closely through the plastic bag. Have any of the flukes taken a set? Does the bait body of any have an indention or “sucked in” portion along the side. (That happens when the plastic cools in manufacture.)

If they have, the bait will not perform the same way as others or in Emmett’s eyes, the “right way.” So what am I saying, you may either have to trash some, or take the time to store them top down, side by side, tightly, and leave them in a bag in a hot car interior or garage. That will tend straighten the crooked ones.

As for baits with indented, concave sides, save those for when the fish are really biting and it doesn’t matter. Just store ’em separately, so they don’t mess up your effort.

store them straight

STORE THEM STRAIGHT and the flukes will perform more reliably…

While I started storing mine in bags, I have tried a couple of utility boxes, and the Plano just has slightly narrower and shorter compartments than the Flambeau, and work better because you won’t need a spacer to keep the baits snugly together. But here’s a tip, wherever you put them, don’t add oil or attractant. You want them snug, not slipping.

Another thing, despite what the label may say, there will be inconsistency in the plastic. Sometimes, more pearl or flake or back color. Emmett prefers “smokin shad” to all others year-round, but he says the ones that are “more gray” (yes, subject to interpretation) are the best.

The rigging and such will be a later topic….




One Response to “Flukes? Picky, picky, picky”

Excellent tips.