Fishing has been slow for the lovers of the fluke. Yes, our flat-bodied friends who bottom-feed are low in population lately, and just aren't biting. It won't be as easy as it used to be, but here are some ideas to help you hook a couple.
- Bait... Fluke will bite on quite a few things. Bunker, killies and squid are the main things.
- There are first peanut bunker (just another name for baby bunker). The fluke like these, but when you hook them, they fall apart very easily. Fluke are actually scared of their eyes so you have to pop the eyes out before you cast.
- Fluke love live killies. You have to hook them while they're still living and it is hard work to grab hold of them. It is easier with pliers. They have to have their eyes popped out, too. While they're living, the fluke see them as just a swimming killie (they don't see the hook).
- Hooking the bunker and killies: Again, live killies will be hard to grab and keep steady so you can hook them. Using needle-nose pliers can help. Some people will say to hook it from the tail up to the mouth. This is fine, but another good way is to hook from the head down to the tail. Remember fluke are scared of the eyes, so they will stay away from the head and try to get its prey from behind. If the hook is in the tail, they will basically hook themselves. It's a tricky business.
- Squid is good to put on alone. You can also put it on with your peanut bunker or killies. Fluke really love squid. It is an excellent bait to use.
Remember, although it is better to use killies while they are alive, you can still freeze them for later use. You must freeze your squid and bunker, too.
- Method. Depending on the tide and the depth of the water, you will need to choose a sinker that will work. You can test them and feel which one doesn't drift without you pulling on your line. There should be around 2 feet of line between your sinker and your hook. When you've finally cast out, the method that is best to use is 'drag-and-wait.' You really aren't going to want to leave the bait sitting there on the floor.
- Here's another tricky part of this tricky business: Fluke are bottom-feeders, but their eyes are on the sides of their head, so they skim along the bottom looking up. If the bait is in the middle of the water, between the bottom and the surface, the fluke will see it. You are going to want to use this drag-and-wait method. Drag your line just a bit, just give it a jerk. Then stop. Do this every 5 seconds or so. The fluke will go after it.
So there may be a lot to the fishing process, but there aren't a lot of fluke, so to catch them (especially this year), you'll need to take these steps. It's fishing -- it's always been hard and may be a little harder this year, but hey, you're a fisherman and you know how to be patient, which is the most important thing to fishing. So good luck to you, my fellow fishermen, and hopefully your next fishing trip won't be a flop.