fluke biter

HOOK POINT should poke through the center ridge on the back of the fluke.

Back about June 2, I was talking about fluke fishing, based on the advice of local expert, Jimmy Emmett of Wildomar. Things have come up to interrupt that story (including some tournament in the desert) but now there’s time to discuss rigging and working that little bait.

What I’ve come to find out is his use of the fluke was not for subsurface action (as I have seen some of the pros utilize) but rather it is much more a topwater bait–with requisite variations, depending on how the fish react.

To fish it that way does include some other tackle elements besides the longer rod. For one, Emmett uses a premium braid in 10-pound test, while I have gone with a less expensive 8-pound, that is close in diameter. Says, Jimmy, “I want to float the bait,” and thus he also uses 8-pound fluorocarbon leader (3 to 4 feet is good, though it could be longer).

rigged this way

EYE OF THE HOOK protrudes from the nose of the bait when rigged properly.

What he has changed, however, is hook size. He used to go with a 1/0 Gamakatsu EWG, however, while that floated the bait better, it didn’t provide enough keel weight when working the bait (Super Fluke, Jr.) He now recommends a 2/0.

Furthermore, he isn’t afraid that “more hook” will put off the fish, and in fact, he has the entire hook eye protruding from the nose of the bait. In other words, when rigging, he barely goes in an eighth of an inch with the point before bringing it out, turning it over and self-embedding in the plastic.

Having the eye protruding makes it’s biggest difference in consistency of movement. When the plastic covers the eye, you don’t know if the bait is going to turn on its side just go dead when you are trying to twitch it.

As I noted previously, Emmett is a stickler and critical to the rigging is that point needs to come out the back of the fluke in the center of the bait. Super Fluke Jr’s have three rounded ridges running the length of the back and you want that point to come out through the middle one with the point running parallel to the plastic, barely exposed.

It’s here just the tiniest adjustment will affect how the fluke moves. If rigged perfectly straight, the bait tends to come straight through the water, rather than lending itself to a side-to-side or walking action. If you pull the plastic body just slightly so it’s under slight tension, it seems to arc or bow the bait ever-so-slightly and it will stay up on top and walk better.

But you need to experiment. Emmett actually likes to push that hook through the plastic a couple of times so it comes out easily on the hook-set. He also will put a drop of liquid scent in that hole so the hook penetrates the plastic better.

I would recommend testing the bait without the “lube” or enlarging the hook path first, just to see how it acts in the water. I’ve found a little tip down twitching with a spinning rod works fine, though you may want to raise the tip head high to let the fluke hop out of the water if you lose sight of it.

Beyond that, I can only add Emmett’s recommendations that flat water (meaning usually in the morning) is the best time to use this rig. Just don’t get jumpy when they blast it; pause for a second or so before you set the hook.


3 Responses to “Finishing up on the fluke file”

Great article . I’m going to try this technique at palo verde lagoon. The bite has been amazing there, frogs,worms,spinnerbaits, . Why not the fluke,. I wonder how weedless the bait is. Because the backwater lakes are filled with cover. 50 fish days in lagoon, it’s amazing out here, you won’t see another bass boat out here, it’s a ghost town, get out here and enjoy before river drys up. Bass fishing paradise , it’s only 3 hours from San Diego. Sorry to get off subject, but get out here George and you will be amazed.

I too found that the bow effect (as in the picture) was effective for working the surface.I tried rigging with the eye buried about 1/4″ to 3/8″ and found that the flexing of the nose of the bait provided a splashing effect. This also gave me the opportunity to peg the bait with a tooth pick. When a fish missed the bait on a top water blow up, having the weight of the hook closer to the center created a better spiral drop.

Thanks for that, Rich. The irony of Emmett’s approach is that soft baits are typically touted for their natural, more organic movement. Instead, he is looking for consistency, which I can attest after fishing miles and miles of water at Lake Mead, is what you want when you are searching for bites. Also, he has a totally unfair advantage over many of us with his young, heightened eyesight. He spots fish behind or under the bait that I just don’t see and that lets him stop, pop or otherwise vary his retrieve to get a fish to react.