Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I love fishing the Superfluke
One of the most exciting lures to fish in the river for smallmouth bass is the Zoom Superfluke style soft plastic jerkbait. They cast a mile, splash softly, and smallmouth thump them. I'll admit, the fluke is an off and on bait. My best times are usually spring and late fall. Best used when bass want something crippled, ie not a reaction bait. I do often check in the summer to see if its on too.
I fish this bait perpendicular to the current and let it drift, flutter, and die. When the current is just right the bait will glide along sideways like a flustered dying minnow. Just toss it into the fast current near a seam and fish will dart out and nail it. Drift the fluke under rocks an logs. You often don't need to do too much more than reel in slack.
I rig the 5" Zoom Superfluke on a weighted EWG in the 4/0 range. If I am out of weighted hooks some finishing nails slid into the front of the fluke works well. Without weight, the fluke will sink painfully slow. It won't get down in the strike zone with faster current in Spring.
At low summertime flow, less or no weight is required. Often walking the dog with the fluke is what works. Don't be afraid to try deadsticking on touchdown either.
Fishing the fluke is a feel thing. The fluke must be rigged correctly on the hook or it will twirl when you jerk the bait. To walk the dog with a fluke, alternate a slight jerk with cranking in the line, but not both at once. I like bright white fluke so I can see the bait work. This clues me in to what bass want so I can duplicate the action all day.
Flukes can be an excellent topwater baits jerking them and sliding them across the surface in summer can be great fun. Many anglers have a fluke rigged in case a fish swings and misses on a topwater. A timely quick pitch of the fluke in the general area can often lead to a nice catch.
I immediately set the hook on a fluke bite. With sharp hooks, the hookup % should be pretty high. Unfortunately, on some days the fish just mouth the bait. On these less aggressive days, you can really struggle to hook bass. I believe the bass are trying to turn the bait rather than just crushing it like in Spring.
One downside of the fluke is they are one of the riggiest lures you will use. Double handling sometimes will drive you crazy as your fluke slides down the hook on every cast or a fish breaks the bait in two after one fish. There are different hooks out there that hold the plastic on better. For cost effectiveness I fish the Wally world EWG weighted hooks and am pretty pleased.
Another caution is for spinning reel folk. The fluke is often not a tight line technique due to the bait drifting with little tension. This can mean your line goes on the spool loosely. When the next cast is one you put elbow grease into, coils of loose line may fly off and create a birds nest. Eye your spool each time before you let loose a cast. Close the bail by hand.
Good luck and enjoy those crushers mawing down on your hapless bait!