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Shore bound fluke on the fly.

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Ralph78

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I’m trying to target fluke and weakfish from shore. I’ve got a 6wt switch rod, a shooting head line, and a full sinking (5ips) line. Some guys swear by the floating line others the sinking line. I know the area I’m fishing determines floating or sinking line but what “spot criteria” do I switch from one to the other? Is there a flow speed/depth ratio? Is it the more you do it, the better you get at figuring it out? Where do you start. I’ll give you my confusing spot… 12-16’ deep fast current when it’s moving. 100yds to the right and it’s 4-6’ and swings soft. Both “spots” hold fish. What line are you putting on? 

Rod Building is an addiction, the N.E.R.B.S. help feed that addiction.
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12-16' deep and fast current is gonna be tough...you are in contact with the bottom for such a short period. But the 4-6' stuff sounds perfect. Personally, I use an intermediate line and when necessary attach short pieces of leadcore line to the tip. I don't want my whole line dragging on the bottom...but I use clouder style flies like 1/2 and 1/2s or bunny strip clousers to that even when my line isn't dragging bottom, my fly it close enough. 

 

The good news is fluke aren't shy...and the current makes them decide quicker...so with a sinking line and fast current and fluke that eats the fly is going to be a little bit hooked almost by accident :) Around here they love red/white clousers or pink/white 1/2 and 1/2s :) 

Show someone how to catch striped bass and they'll be ready to fish anywhere.
Show someone where to go striped bass fishing and you'll have a desperate report chaser with loose lips.

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You did not say if your shooting head is floating or intermediate.  I will assume it is floating.  When the current is ripping due to full moon or off-shore storm, go with the 5ips line.  for the floating shooting head, get yourself some AirFlo clear Poly Leaders of 10 and 5 ft length.  For fluke use the intermediate leader and clousers of pink over weight and olive over white, both tied sparse (shrimp = pink over white and spearing/sand eel = olive over white).  Pictures are example of how sparse they should be.WIN_20221230_02_39_02_Pro.jpg.95a06e13e34cfbb81c64f05e97780be9.jpg

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I tie my clousers and half-and-halfs for fluke with some lead-substitute wire wraps to give them a little extra weight.  I also will use a longer leader (straight fluoro) to help keep the flies down near the bottom.  I don't bother switching lines (I take a very minimalist approach), but just use a floater.  Cast upcurrent and throw mends to allow the fly to sink and stay near the bottom.  As @TimS mentioned, pink over white is deadly.  By using a floater, I can switch targets quickly if bluefish show up and I want to keep the fly near the surface (just start stripping before the fly has a chance to sink) or tie on a popper.

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Posted (edited)

Ok, so the basic idea, I’m gathering, is floating line, a “poly sink tip” only if needed otherwise flouro leader with heavy, sparsely tied clousers to keep it close to the bottom. Perfect! Got all that stuff already, whew.  Thank you all.
 

Now the next question is the retrieve. Is it a strip, strip, pause- fast strip or natural drift that works most often? 

Edited by Ralph78
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Rod Building is an addiction, the N.E.R.B.S. help feed that addiction.
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10 hours ago, Ralph78 said:

Now the next question is the retrieve. Is it a strip, strip, pause- fast strip or natural drift that works most often? 

I use a strip/pause.  I might change up the rhythm and the length of the strips, but i think the basic idea is to present a somewhat erratic target rather than a fast, steady swimming target.  

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Fluke can be tough to target on the fly but it is very doable in the right conditions. Fluke can be funny because they can be  extremely aggressive then completely shut down. Hard to even remotely compete with gulp or scented bait in comparison to the fly rod. I like to fly fish for them when they get in that real aggressive mode where I have seen them aggressively follow the fly to the surface or right to the jetty. I had one of these feeds happen last year and had a nice flurry on the fly rod for about 45 mins and it was over. I have used a full sink along with a floater and 5 foot sink tip with a weighted fly. Slower retrieve seems to be the best and some even like to slowly drag the fly on the bottom. Conditions are everything and you will know when the fly just isn’t the right choice. I want to target them more this year with the fly if the conditions allow. Good luck and post pics!

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1 hour ago, Mallard1100 said:

They are definitely shallow enough at times but given their camouflage would be damn near impossible to see. 


Good to know. I was just curious if they show themselves by moving around on sandy bottoms like some of the flat fish we have out here, which allows you to sight fish for them.

SF

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There have been only a couple of times that they've shown themselves enough for me to sight cast to (right at the lip, chasing baitfish, where you see the baitfish spray, so you know they're being chased).  Not quite the same, but similar, is that on a retrieve, when I see baitfish spraying near my fly, I'm always ready for a fluke to hit (which usually happens, and is pretty cool!).

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3 hours ago, Stonefish said:

Are fluke ever in shallow enough water that you can sight cast for them?

SF

I have some spots that they push bait to the surface just like bass and blues. You can sight cast all day and pick em up. Just cast on top of wherever the bait just splashed. 

Rod Building is an addiction, the N.E.R.B.S. help feed that addiction.
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20 hours ago, Ralph78 said:

Ok, so the basic idea, I’m gathering, is floating line, a “poly sink tip” only if needed otherwise flouro leader with heavy, sparsely tied clousers to keep it close to the bottom. Perfect! Got all that stuff already, whew.  Thank you all.
 

Now the next question is the retrieve. Is it a strip, strip, pause- fast strip or natural drift that works most often? 

The faster the current the less you should do - in current I swear stripping is just so you can tell whether your fly got hung up or a fish ate it :) Fluke are like cats...you can make them pounce...you can torture them into a bite. You can do whatever you want, if they see it and are interested, they'll follow it until it does something that makes them wanna eat it. Throw in a hard strip once in a while...throw in a pause once in a while...drag it once in a while...otherwise let the current do most of the work and concentrate on keeping the fly somewhere near the bottom :) 

Show someone how to catch striped bass and they'll be ready to fish anywhere.
Show someone where to go striped bass fishing and you'll have a desperate report chaser with loose lips.

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