One of the most versatile soft plastic lures that an angler could use is the fluke. The fluke can be used year-round but is especially efficient during the pre-spawn and in the fall before the bass head down to deeper water for the winter.
It can be rigged up in several different ways too. Meaning you don’t have to just slap it on a hook and reel it in. You can easily jig it, burned it in, twitch it, or reeled in slowly using a texas rig or a Carolina rig method all on your baitcasting rod or spinning rod.
Below, we’re going to talk more about the fluke and how to fish this rig properly is on a hook and fish it. First, we’re going to go over what a good fluke setup is as well as the different colors and sizes that are available for purchase.
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When to Use a Fluke
Flukes can be used in all different types of situations and in many different ways. Below, we’re going to go over a few different scenarios and techniques you can use to go out and catch big bass.
Before the spawn or when the water has to warm up for the spring, you’ll find that bass can still be pretty lethargic. During this time you can use a fluke on a drop shot to entice those slow-moving bass to eat your lure.
Target flats near dropoffs, or on secondary points that lead into areas where bass like to spawn. Slowly work this lure across the bottom of the river or lake. Bites might be subtle so you’ll need to keep a close eye on the line for any movement that may indicate a strike.
During this time bass are either feeding aggressively or not at all. Often, when they are not feeding it’s because they’re focused on moving up more shallow to their beds. During this time it’s best to throw a Texas Rigged Fluke.
You’ll want to fan cast areas that bass like to hold to. Look for any type of cover such as stumps, debris, laydowns, or anything that a skittish fish might be looking for something to hold onto and keep away from predators.
Find a fluke that’s in the color of a feeding baitfish. White, or bluegill is best. Place a nail weight into the nose of the lure and then rig the hook through the nose and out through the back leaving the hook exposed.
The nail weight keeps the nose of the lure down on the bottom of the lake or river and imitates a feeding baitfish. Toss this near beds to entice bass to attack.
Flukes are great when fished weightless. The body darts and weaves through the water just like an injured baitfish and bass love to eat those. This way of fishing them is great for finding bass when you’re not sure where they are located.
Cast towards points or rip rap where bass might be spawning. Here, you’ll be targeting fish that are moving off their beds and back to deep summer holes. Twitch aggressively and chances are you’ll be reeling them in all day. You could also use a crankbait if the fluke fishing is not doing well that day.
How to Rig a Fluke
Now that we’ve gone over how to use a fluke during different times of the year, let’s talk more in-depth about the different techniques and rigs used to fish them. Check them out below and see which one is going to be the best for you and your home lake!
Weightless Texas Rig
This is by far the most popular way to rig a fluke. You’ll take your hook and run it through the point of the nose. Then once the point images from the stomach of the lure you’ll want to pull the most of the lure up onto the shaft of the hook. This nose of the lure will cover the eye of the hook. Then run the hook out through the stomach of the lure.
Extra-wide gap (ewg) hooks work best with this but you could use just about any hook that you’re comfortable with or any hook that you have in your tackle box. If you want to fish this weedless then run the point inside the back of the lure. Don’t go too far, just enough to cover the point.
This one will take a little bit of skill and knot tying to rig up, but I promise it’s not as difficult as it sounds. When fish are schooling and bass are keying in on them then the double fluke rig is the way to go.
For this, you will need a three-way swivel. Tie your mainline to one ring, and then two leaders of different lengths to the other two rings. From there all you need to do is connect your hooks and tie on your weightless texas rigged flukes.
A scrounger is a great way to combine both finesse and power fishing. You have the subtle finesse approach of the fluke with all of the power of a chatter bait. All while also giving you something different that a fish won’t see every day. Making this a solid choice for fishing on highly pressured bodies of water.
To rig this you’ll be running a fluke up a Gamakatsu hook but you’ll need to be careful of how it is balanced. If it’s not centered perfectly then the lure will break to the right or left while you’re retrieving it. Or worse it could just roll over in the water.
You’ll want to use this underspin in clear water that is a little bit deeper and open. The scrounger works best in the opposite. So, having these two rigs on the boat at the same time could be very beneficial.
Fish this lure with a steady retrieve and if the fish aren’t responding then you could do a stop and go. The lure falls quickly though because of the weighted spinner though. To secure the lure all you have to do is run the fluke through the body and stick the head over the top of the hook. A dab of super glue is perfect for keeping the fluke on the hook.
Take a nail weight and stick it into the nose of the fluke. Then take a wacky tool and put an o-ring a third of the way up the nose. Then you’ll want to run a wacky hook through the o-ring so that the hook pokes out the top.
You’ll be fishing this lure by dragging it slowly along the bottom. This will help kick up mud and sediment which will entice bass. This is a great dying baitfish imitation lure. You can also pop the lure to give it more of a dying baitfish look.
Now that we’ve gone over some different techniques and styles of rigging the fluke let’s go into depth on some of the different types of flukes out there. Below we have five different companies that make a swimbait fluke. Each has its own pros and cons so take a look and see which one is going to be the best for you.
1. Zoom Super Fluke
This is the most popular fluke lure out there. Zoom is known for making great soft plastic jerkbaits and their flukes are some of the best out there. On top of that, they also make them in just about any color you could ever imagine. Making them perfect for matching just about any type of forage you may have in your local waters. This is great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
All Zoom soft plastics are salt impregnated. This will help fish hold on longer to your lure. Which in the long run will result in better hookups and more fish in the boat. The salt impregnation is great for those days where the fish are finicky and biting very softly.
You can rig these flukes in any number of ways. It could be a way that we have listed above, or you could come up with your very own and unique style. These lures are truly that versatile and useful.
An easy way to rig these is just take an octopus hook and stick it through the nose of the lure. This results in great hooks ups and gives the lures great action in the water. If you find the bass are short striking then you can easily switch to a Texas rig.
2. Gary Yamamoto D-Shad
Known for the ever-popular and incredibly successful Senko lure. Garay Yamamoto also makes wonderful “flukes”. This may be called a D-Shad, but the body style and the way it is worked is very similar to that of a fluke.
This is a great lure if you want to use a high speed and erratic retrieve. Thanks to Yamamoto’s unique formula this lure has the density to stay down in the water column despite being worked and reeled in quickly and aggressively.
If you’re familiar with using a Senko then you know that the drop on those lures is unique and fish can’t seem to get enough of them. Well, this D-Shad falls exactly like a Senko. Give this lure a hard twitch and let it fall. A lot of your strikes will be within the first second or two of that fall.
You can rig these lures any way you want. The only difference is that you won’t need as much weight on it. This is because of the density we mentioned above. So, if you want to use a ⅜ oz weight on a texas rig then you should scale it down one size.
3. Strike King Z-Too
Similar to the Zoom Fluke, the Z-Too is also salt impregnated. On top of helping fish hold onto your lure for longer periods of time, this also makes it less buoyant in the water. So you can work it the exact same way you could the D-shad we mentioned above.
This lure is best used for drop-shotting. You can attack deepwater smallmouth bass with this method, or slow wintertime largemouth bass. It’s very versatile though so feel free to experiment and see which way is working best for that fishing trip.
As we mentioned above, if you find that the fish are short striking the lure (biting the tail) then the drop shot may not be the best option. That’s when the next best method comes into play and that’s the weightless or weighted Texas Rig.
These don’t have the same amount of color combos as the Zoom Fluke but they still have enough variation in size and color that you should be able to match the local forage without too much effort.
4. Z-Man Plastic Jerkbait
If the local shad and baitfish in your rives, lakes, and ponds are big then this is the fluke that you need to have with you. This oversized lure is perfect for going after big bass and imitating the large shad or shiners that swim around your local waters.
These lures have a split tail design that gives them a unique action when worked through the water. They also have an added gill plate to help them look more realistic and to help with water displacement.
This lure also has the salt impregnation feature. Helping fish to stay on your lure longer and also helps to add weight to the lure which will help with sink rate as well as giving you the ability to cast further.
There is a small selection of colors available for this lure. However, they all come in very basic and simple colors. Allowing you to match the local shiners or shad.
5. Berkley Powerbait Shad
The movement on this lure imitates an erratic baitfish perfectly. Whenever you find that shad or other baitfish are moving then this is the lure you should be tying on. Weightless Texas rigged gives it a nice slow fall, but a smaller weight will help you cast further.
This can be thrown in all different types of water too. Look to use this in both shallow water with a lot of cover, or you could throw this over deep and open water. Fast or slow twitches will work well.
Berkeley has their own powerbait scent they use on its lures. It is supposed to help fish hold onto the lure even longer than the salt impregnated kind. Making this a great lure for those days where the bass is being picky and subtly eating your lure.
The fluke is one of the most versatile lures out there. It can be fished in a variety of different ways and in many different types of fishing conditions. Making this lure great for catching big bass in freshwater or saltwater fishing. Many of the pro anglers on the Bassmaster circuit use a fluke with great success.
A great fishing tip when using the super fluke as a topwater lure is to use a wide gap hook. A baitcaster or spinning rod with braid or mono line is best. Make sure you always have those in your fishing tackle box with your other fishing lures.
Check out the lures above and see if any of those will work for you. Feel free to try out some of the methods we touched on earlier, or come up with your own unique way of using this lure to catch bass.