It still shocks me and people around me when I get someone shouting "Fluke" across Bass Pro followed by me turning around with a confused look and realizing another DupageAngler.com member has spotted me. Fluke is a relatively new nickname, but the meaning behind it has stuck with me for easily 10 years of my fishing career. Of course I get the comedians that like to say, "is it because it's a Fluke when you catch a fish" which is immediately followed up by a chuckle if you know me, or a good shove into the nearest body of water if you don't know me. Haha. But in actuality I call myself Fluke because of the Zoom Super Fluke.
The Zoom Super Fluke has been a staple in my line up every year for the past 10+ years of my fishing career, and I have cut my teeth learning and understanding weightless plastics because of it. The Fluke is one of the most versatile and productive baits that I have ever come across and I continue to use them year after year because the flat out produce results! I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump talking about shrimp sometimes...but there are so many ways to change up the Super Fluke that it is almost impossible to fish this lure incorrectly. So sit back and relax as I go over 5 of my most productive ways of rigging and fishing the Zoom Super Fluke!
1) Carolina-Rigged Zoom Fluke
Rod: 7' 3" MH or H power with a Fast action
Reel: 6.4 Gear Ratio
Line: 17-20 lb Fluoro leader with 50 lb Braid main line
Hook: 3/0 EWG hook
Weight: 3/8 - 1/2 oz Bullet Weight
If any of you have used a Carolina Rig you will understand why this lure is so effective. I had a chance to do this type of fishing down at Lake Fork last year near Alba, Texas and it was surprising how many people used the Fluke as the bait of choice for this rig. With any C-Rig you have a bullet weight, plastic bead, barrel swivel, leader, and a hook. The leader can vary slightly in length depending on where you are fishing, but the guys down in Texas usually use an average of 3'. They put the bullet weight on the line first, followed by the bead, then by the barrel swivel, leader, and finally the hook. The Fluke is then Texas rigged on the hook and you are ready to go! This rig is made for dredging the bottom and what some fisherman find important about using the Fluke is that it creates a "competitive" urge in the fish. What I mean by this is that when you drag along the weight at the bottom it kicks up dirt and debris. A bass keys in on that action and noise, but then they see a fish type looking lure following it. Well the bass has to be the head honcho in the area and sees the smaller lure as prey and they attack it! C-rigs are way easier to fish then they are to cast so here a few simple guidelines I learned when fishing this rig...
- When you cast a C-Rig your goal is to cast the weight...not the lure. If you focus on the lure then you will cause more issues than not when you wind up to chuck that entire rig out to the water.
- When retrieving this lure you want to use your rod to pull along the weight at the bottom. Once you have pulled it as far as you can go...reel in towards the rig to pull in the slack. If you feel the weight hit cover...continue to drag the rig and SLOW it down! You don't want to hop the weight or reel it in...you want to drag it along keeping that weight in contact with the bottom the entire time!
2) Dropshotting a Zoom Fluke
Rod: 6' 10" Medium Power Xtra Fast Action
Reel: 6.2 gear ratio
Line: 8-10 lb Fluoro
Hook: 1/0 EWG
Weight: 1/4-3/8 oz Cannonball weight
Drop shotting is a new technique that I covered in a previous post so look for more information there on how to rig this technique. The main point I want to bring up is how to rig the fluke on the hook. Ideally a smaller hook should be used so a 1/0 EWG would work perfect. In this case you won't be Texas rigging this lure, instead you will be nose hooking the bait instead. At the nose of each Super Fluke is a section of plastic that is at least 1/2" in length. You want to bring the hook tip up between the bottom flaps of the bait and push the hook tip through the nose until it comes straight out the top of the bait (kind of like the picture below) Toss the rig out...bounce it around off the bottom and wait for your line to start moving or the rod tip to bow over!
3) Donkey Rig
Rod: 7' Medium Power Fast action
Reel: 6.2 gear ratio
Line: 10-12 lb Fluoro
Hook: (2) 3/0 EWG
Weight: No Weight
Swivels: (2) Barrel Swivels
The donkey rig is a new rig that I just recently started using, but it is probably one of the most fun rigs for the fluke that I have ever used. In order to tie this rig you need 2 barrel swivels, 2 Zoom flukes, 2 3/0 EWG hooks and one 8 inch and one 10-12 inch fluoro leader. First tie each leader to one barrel swivel at one end and then one 3/0 EWG hook at the other end. Next take the "shorter" leader and run the main line from your reel through the other end of the barrel swivel. Next take your "longer leader and tie your main line to the other end of that barrel swivel. If you did this correctly your rig should look like the picture below.
This rig is effective for a few reasons. It creates a "schooling" effect between the two lures and when you twitch the rod tip it forces the two lures to come together making it look like a feeding frenzy. The bass react to the two lures competing against each other and attack it. This rig would also be really great when bass are swarming on shad during the spring and fall! Subtle rod twitches will be enough to cause the flukes to flutter and dart erratically.
4) Wacky Rigging
Ideal Setup: Same rod and gear ratio as number 3
Line: 10 lb mono or copolymer
Hook: Circle hook (Octopus Hook)
Weight: No Weight
The wacky rigged fluke has been around for awhile and it is one of the easiest to rig. Take a Zoom Super Fluke, push the hook point of the circle hook through the center of the bait on the flat side of the bait (not top) and you are finished! Subtle rod tip twitches will make the bait bounce around like a wounded bait fish. Also a great rig to throw when fish are schooling up on shad or throwing into weed pockets and up against different types of cover.
Ideal Setup: Same rod and gear ratio as 3 and 4
Line: 10 lb mono or copolymer
Hook: 3/0 EWG
Weight: No Weight
Now comes the moneymaker...the most sought after technique that I have been using for years! Time and time again this rig produces during the spring, summer, and fall without fail. A Zoom Fluke on a 3/0 EWG hook Texas rigged weedless and weightless is all you have to do. The link below shows a good step by step process to how I EXACTLY rig my Zoom Fluke for this technique!
From this article there are three pictures that I really want to point out. The first one is showing the hook point penetrating through the ENTIRE nose of the bait. Bringing the hook point all the way through the nose helps to prevent the nose of the bait from tearing more easily and it conceals the knot in your line preventing it from getting damaged in high cover areas. (SEE BELOW)
The next important thing to do is make sure that the hook point then makes it up between the flaps of the bait and into the center of the back Be careful not to stretch or scrunch the bait because it will cause the lure to "spiral" while you are twitching it along...that alone destroys the action of the bait.
The last thing to consider is burying the hook point just barely under the skin of the back of the bait. This subtle detail will make this plastic virtually weedless!
Now that you have the rig down, the next important factor is how you fish it. Deadsticking is pretty self explanatory...throw it out, and DON'T MOVE IT AN INCH! You want to make accurate casts on weed edges, pockets, brush piles, docks...pretty much any type of cover that could hold a fish. Watch your line after the cast religiously because 70% of my strikes have been on the initial fall. If you see your line sinking faster than usual...set the hook, if you see your line jump...set the hook, if you see your line go tight or move left or right of your initial target...set the hook! If nothing happens on the first fall and your line stops sinking...give it a few twitches and let it sink again. Let the lure sit for 8-10 seconds, twitch it a few times again...and let it sit. Repeat Repeat Repeat!
When you are "twitching" your bait your rod tip should be pointed down towards the water...not up in the air. Your wrist is your main source of action for this bait and will allow you to control how quick or slow the side to side action of the bait will be. Take some time to practice this retrieve and it will pay off dividends for other lures such as jerkbaits, topwater, and frogs!
Now that you know most of my secrets...here are some more regarding the colors I use...these colors are in order of favorite to "old stand by's"...
2) Green Pumpkin
3) Watermelon Magic
4) Watermelon Candy
5) Smokin' Shad
6) Albino Shad
7) Baby Bass
8) Smokin' Silver
Take some time to learn these baits, water temperatures are getting to the point where these baits will be highly effective! If you can learn to master this bait and be patient enough to understand when this bait will be used...a whole new door will be opened to you when using any type of plastic lure!
Like always, any questions you have feel free to ask! Alan@DupageAngler.com