One of the most fun adventures everybody loves to do every summer is going to fish in the shallow sea. In the shallow sea waters, some of the most welcome catches are Summer Flounders which are simply known as Flukes. Flukes are type of marine flatfish found in abundance all along the East Coasts of the United States and Canada. Every summer large schools of flukes visit these waters which weigh between one to four pounds. Anglers often catch bigger fish that weigh over ten pounds. However such big specimen of Fluke is quite rare.
The Fishing Season:
Schools of flukes start to visit the waters of the east coasts from the beginning of April. The ideal time to start to catch the best specimens of fluke is the early May which can be continued up to the last weeks of September. The shallow sea waters gets teamed with flukes during the early summer, however, as the season progresses, they spread out and retreat to the deeper sea. At that time fishermen whether occasional or professional and the anglers have to venture out to the deeper waters to catch the best flukes. Throughout the East Coast, there are many dedicated fishing boat parties which will take you to the Fluke fishing grounds into the shallow sea or into the deep sea waters.
Keep in Mind:
It is interesting to note that Flukes look a lot like Winter Flounders which actually belong to a different fish species. Fishing techniques for winter flounders are also quite different.
Where to Find the Catch:
Shallow seas with sea grass beds are an ideal place for hunting Flukes. When strong wind blows, schools of Flukes huddle inside the grass beds and it is much easier to catch them at that time. When the sea is calm, they remain scattered among the grass beds. These areas can hold a large quantity of fish as there is a lot of food available for them.
Bridge pilings above the creeks are some of the least noticed but very potential spot for fishing Flukes. Strong currents from the estuaries get stumbled on the pilings on which grow a large quantity of algae and that support small fishes which are pray for the schools of flukes. So, bridge pilings can be a useful spot for catching Flukes.
These are some of the most prime locations for fishing Flukes. Sometimes flukes come so close to the banks that you may see their fins if you want. After fishing in the shallow sea, the riprap areas should be the second choice for the angles searching for largemouth flukes.
Baits for Fluke:
During summer Flukes visit the shallow sea in search of food which will store the necessary fat for the coming winter months. So, they take the bait quite often and it is not very difficult for the anglers to get a bountiful catch. The ideal baits for catching Fluke is fresh or frozen spearings, sand eels, squids, Fluke belly and killifish. There are also artificial baits. Plastic worms, lizards of different colours, single tone, double tone or multi-tone are commonly used for fluke fishing.
Popular Techniques of Rigging and Fishing the Fluke:
To catch the bigger fish, anglers have devised a lot of innovative rigging methods. Some of the most effective and popular rigging methods for catching Flukes are given below:
For this easy method of rigging, you have to hold the bait in one hand in a way so that the belly slit of the bait (worm) faces you. Then you have to insert the hook from the blunt end of the bait and keep on inserting it into and through the bait until the point of the hook can be seen slightly.
It is much like Texas style rigging but in this method the hook is kept exposed outside the bait. This method is useful when catching fluke in the riprap areas and bridge piling where there is no chance of getting the hook entangled with logs and grasses.
This is the most effective method for catching Flukes in the deep water. In this style of rigging, at first the wacky style hook weighing 3/16 ounce is inserted into the nose of a 4 to 6 inches long bait. The combination of the weight of the hook and length of the bait allows falling the bait and gliding through the bottom of the water so differently that Flukes get easily attracted by it.
Using light tackle spinning or conventional rods and reels and monofilament lines from 10 to 30 LB test are perfect for catching fluke. English hook of 2/0 or 3/0 size can be used which have to be tied to about 30 inches of 20-25 LB. test monofilament leader. A sinker clip attached to the swivel makes it easy to change the sinkers.
Flukes should be fished from drifting boats. After downing the lines in the bottom of the sea, the anglers should raise the tip of the line up to two to six inches every few seconds. This movement of the line makes the bait looks like fleeing prey of the flukes and the hungry flukes get attracted to the bait easily. When the angler feels something heavy attached to the line, s/he should not be hectic. He should count from one to five and then set the hook with the fish slowly but firmly. After setting the hook firmly, there is now enough time to reel the catch in. It is better that if you catch small fish or spawning fish, you should release them in the water to preserve its future generation.
You can watch this short video to get a practical lesson on catching Flukes.
Fishing Flukes needs patients and experimentation. You can practice these methods in the lakes, in your pond or even in the swimming pool so that you can catch some of the finest Flukes of the season next summer. Certainly you will be able to succeed, if you can remember the methods and facts described in this article.