Fluke are a flatfish found inshore along primarily our North Atlantic states. It’s a very popular fish, supporting both a commercial and recreational fishery. Like other flatfish, fluke are an ambush predator. They use their mottled brown back to camouflage themselves into the sand and gravel sea bottom where they live. When an unsuspecting baitfish happens along, they attack using their sharp teeth to kill their prey.
In the NY/NJ area where fluke fishing is popular, Capt. Al Lorenzetti is an icon. I fished for striped bass once out there and the rig I used was named The Capt. Al Rig. In this article, Capt. Al details his top ten tactics for catching fluke.
Fluke fishing is the staple for summer fishing around most of Long Island. Almost everyone new to the sport of saltwater fishing begins with fluke fishing. Most fishing for these aggressive flat fish takes place during the vacation months of July and August. However, in early May, these fish move to the inshore waters from the deep waters of the Continental Shelf where they spend the winter. They remain on the inshore grounds into October. Some of the finest fluke fishing can be had in those months when few people fish for this species. Don’t overlook Spring and Fall fishing for fluke.
Fluke are kind of funny looking. They are flat and don’t give the impression of being an aggressive predatory fish. Do not for one minute let looks deceive! These fish will chase bait with all the ferocity of a bluefish. Their diet is also essentially the same as a bluefish with the exception being they feed at the bottom of the water column. Because of these similarities, fluke can be caught using many of the same lures and baits that attract bluefish. For years this fact has been overlooked by most anglers. The real fluke sharpies picked up on this long ago and kept the information to themselves. Recently some tackle manufacturers began marketing artificial lures specifically for fluke. A few fishing articles and lecturers have touted the effectiveness of artificials. As a result, the news is beginning to spread to the public and people are starting to consider trying new techniques.
Photos: Passion for the Sea (top), E-Poseidon (above)