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Author: Daniel Drelich

Summertime Fluke In NJ

How are you, fellow fishermen! Summer has rolled around finally which means Summer Flounder (Fluke) are the main target now. There are still a few Striped Bass still being picked up but the main fun attraction for all anglers from novice to experienced is Fluke. It’s an exciting day on the water when the Fluke’s are biting, but that could be said anytime someone is out fishing for different fish as well. In this article, I will give you some advice on what I like to look for, rigging tactic, tackle and different strategies when fluking. Hopefully, this can help some of the anglers when they are out fishing for some fluke.  


Tackle For Fluke

When I am out fishing for Fluke, I like to use the 20-pound Bullbuster Fluorocarbon. The Bullbuster Fluorocarbon is a great product since it’s invisible in the water and it has a great added bonus of providing less stretch and great strength than other products. While using the Bullbuster Fluorocarbon it allows an angler to feel light sensitive bites once the Fluke hits the line, which is a great added bonus when fishing for doormat size fish. Usually, when a doormat size Fluke hits the line there will be a light thick on the line or the rod that you’re using. It’s important to have the right presentation when targeting big fish because they are more unlikely to bite if something doesn’t look ideal to them so the bait needs to look as natural as possible.

Rigging For For Fluke

When I go out fishing, I prefer to tie a high low rig using the Fluorocarbon when catching Flounder. In order to tie a high low rig, take the tag end of the line from the spool and tie a surgeon's knot, from the surgeon's knot tie a dropper loop about 1 foot from the surgeon's loop. On my dropper loop, use a simple bait holder hook with a 5-inch Gulp mullet. On the top hook rotation of the teasers is optional, such as using live bait or a smaller gulp for a bigger profile. For the bottom rig, I tend to use a Spro bucktail (weight will depend on the current and wind) I rig the Spro with a 5-inch Gulp mullet or a 6-inch Gulp grub. The color of the Spro may vary depending on what the fluke is feeding on during the particular time of the year in certain locations.

If I am tired of jigging, I dead stick my rod – meaning I let my bait just drag on the bottom. When dead sticking, I will use a swivel to connect my high low rig to my braid as well as put a sinker on the surgeon's knot in case it gets snagged on the bottom. When using this technique I use bigger baits such as a squid or a peanut Menhaden.

Finding Fluke (What To Look For)

Finding the right location to fish for Flounder is the KEY. I look for mostly clear water and focus on the bottom contour, once I find the ideal spot to drop my bait I pay close attention to the corresponding wind and current. I want the current to align with the wind so this way I am able to hold bottom with a lighter weight. The current and wind are very helpful because Fluke can then ambush any bait that gets washed over there head.

A lot of anglers prefer different fishing drop-offs, for instance, I like to fish up a hill some like to fish down a hill it all depends on preference. But it’s important to pay attention to patterns when drifting up and down hills. If you notice that during your trip you’re catching more fish when drifting up the hill keep doing that or down the hill, if that’s getting you more bites. During my trips, I look for hilly bottoms or steep drop-offs. The ideal drift speed is from 0.8 to 1.8 this allows you to cover ground faster and make a decision or whether to stay or move if you’re not catching anything after 40 minutes. It’s important to know that Fluke tends to be in groups of mostly the same size. So if you were to catch a Fluke that is 5 lbs. there should be another one lurking not too far around. If you are catching fish in the 18 to the 20-inch range there is a possibility that there can be a bigger one in the mix. There are also days that all you’re catching are shorts, at that point, I would suggest that finding a new spot is the best option in hopes of finding a bigger one.

Before going on the water I love to have a GAME PLAN! I work an area that I have previously fished where I caught good size fish but if I start picking up shorts or get no bites I relocate to somewhere else. On certain days the keepers tend to be congested together, if that seems to be the case I will short drift but I won’t do it for too long; I will only stay on the bite while it’s hot. For example, there was a certain day I went out on the water in the rain and went straight to a location where I had fished the previous day and was getting decent size Fluke. On the first drift I picked up a 10 lbs. Fluke on the first drift that I made. After picking that beautiful fish, I drifted out a little more for about 10 minutes. On the second drift, we picked up a 22 inch Fluke which was about 4 lbs. We stayed in that location until the tide changed and the bite died down. After there were no further bites we changed locations where the tide, wind, as well as the drift speed aligned. On the first drift in the new location we caught a 5 lbs. Fluke. We kept drifting and ended up limiting out. My biggest advice in this article would be not to deviate from your GAME PLAN!! Hope this will help you catch some nice size Fluke this summer. Tight lines to all.           

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