Jump to content
Skeeloco

How to work flukes for summertime river smallies...

Recommended Posts

Over the weekend I had a ridiculous time tryin to hook up with smallies on tubes and craw imitations, they always seem to never fail. Meanwhile I saw on a local forum that someone caught 30 smallies in one day mostly on flukes in the same river. I understand that they're one of the most versatile bass baits out there, I'm just not entirely clear on the best methods to use at different times of the year.

 

As I understand it, ripping it across the top of the water is a great technique this time of year. I had a little bit of success doing this last year on a creek, but I've never got any action trying it on a river. Also read that jerking flukes is great for the post spawn/ summer time. I'm a huge fan of hard jerkbaits, yet I've never caught a bass jerking a fluke.

 

Do I need to hone my technique some? I've been rigging them them upside down with weightless 3/0 wide gap hook and the action seems better, but really need to understand how I can make them be more effective. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to fish them like a jerk bait.  Also sometimes use a super line hook, nail weigh or swivel to get to the depths I want them at.........that said, the water is still chilly, so I am not super aggressive with them yet

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No weight for river smallmouth, I use a 2/0 hook for a 4" model and a 4/0 for the 5" fluke. I actually fish a River Rock Jointed Jerkbait but super flukes, caffeine shads and the like will all work well. Make your cast and let the fluke sink about 2' of so and give it 2 hard pops and let it sink for a second or two and repeat. That cadence seems to work on fish that aren't very active but the active fish will also hit it when fished in that manner. You'll be able to tell how active the fish are by the strike, inactive fish will often just be there, the bait sinks and before you can pop the rod the line will be tight. Active fish will practically rip the rod out of your hand, if you get bit like that a fast retrieve that keeps the bait almost on top of the water is what you will want to do. You also need to remember that there are times they won't hit a fluke at all, that is when a tube or a finesse worm or ned rig is the way to go.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, smalljaw67 said:

No weight for river smallmouth, I use a 2/0 hook for a 4" model and a 4/0 for the 5" fluke. I actually fish a River Rock Jointed Jerkbait but super flukes, caffeine shads and the like will all work well. Make your cast and let the fluke sink about 2' of so and give it 2 hard pops and let it sink for a second or two and repeat. That cadence seems to work on fish that aren't very active but the active fish will also hit it when fished in that manner. You'll be able to tell how active the fish are by the strike, inactive fish will often just be there, the bait sinks and before you can pop the rod the line will be tight. Active fish will practically rip the rod out of your hand, if you get bit like that a fast retrieve that keeps the bait almost on top of the water is what you will want to do. You also need to remember that there are times they won't hit a fluke at all, that is when a tube or a finesse worm or ned rig is the way to go.

X2 on the above.  The only variation I would add is if the current is strong or you just aren’t getting deep enough - then try an Owner Twistlock Light 3/32 oz 4/0 hook on the fluke or Caffeine Shad.  It will get you down a tad deeper, but most importantly keeps the bait horizontal even with the added weight. You can still jerk it, same cadence as Smalljaw described.   Traditional weighted jigs/hooks are nose-weighted and drive the fluke down vertically head first into the rocks, snags, etc plus it just doesn’t look as natural.  The Owner keeps it fluttering more horizontal over and around cover, plus the Twistlock spring helps the plastic last longer..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also if you need to go deep you can donkey rig it, where you have two flukes rigged up on different leader lengths, look it up, it looks really good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish flukes  ton on the Susquehanna in summer.I like to let it drift in the current twitch it a couple times let it drift some more twitch again.many times they will pick it up off the bottom.to me the key is just to not over work it.make it look alive but then make it look weak and easy to catch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generally fish them very similar to @smalljaw67.  I will, however, sometimes weight them using Owner Gamakatsu keel weighted hooks. What's most important is to match the conditions and let the fish's level of activity dictate your presentation.  In clear to mildly stained waters when fish are finicky, but you can locate them, this is a tough bait to beat. Also, a benefit to keep weighted hooks is that they're pretty snag-proof and can give you the weight to just deadsticking them in a current break. All of the baits mentioned have enough action on their own for this to be really effective.  If you're curious about any of this, look up Jeff Little's YouTube channel and instructional DVDs.  The guy is a deadsticking wizard. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I forgot to add,I do sometimes use an owner twist lock weighted hook1/16 oz. Also a bait like  a d shad or a case plastics river minnow is heavier and will get a little deeper than a fluke in current.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, flyfisher said:

nose hooked and dead sticked always produces for me.

Was gonna mention this also. I  use a light wire circle type hook and nose hook them. 

 

Split it shot and Drop shot rig them in the river also. 

 

I believe I caught them t-rigging them.  You can fish them 7 way to Sunday and not be wrong. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a circle hook as well and it all but eliminates deep hooked fish. it is also a great way for beginners to get their feet wet in river fishing where bites can be difficult to detect at times.  

 

I had some custom 4" stick baits made where they double dipped the head in clear plastic for durability and it works great using the same technique.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing

    fishing poles

    fish

    bass fish

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×