Inshore: Fluke Of The Month - The Fisherman

Inshore: Fluke Of The Month

Alan Yee hit the Montauk grounds with 6-inch Gulp Grubs to grab the attention of a larger fluke.

Tips and tricks for landing the biggest fluke of July for the Dreamboat Challenge.

The Fisherman’s Dreamboat Challenge is well underway and there’s still plenty of time left to see a major shuffle on the leaderboard by the time fall rolls around. For those of you who are not aware, in addition to the main leaderboard and prizes at stake, some other great prizes are up for grabs. One of those prizes is the Fish of the Month winners. Last month (June) was sea robin and, in July, we switch to fluke. For Fish of the Month, the largest fluke submitted during the month of July will be awarded with a Tsunami SaltX 2 Reel, Dexter Dextreme 7-inch Dual Edge flexible fillet knife with sheath, Owner hooks and Tsunami shads – that’s a heck of a haul!

While catching a big fluke is great and all, you will need to seek out a true doormat to take home the goods for the month of July and the first step in achieving that goal is to think big. This means you’ll have to up your bait sizes. While you may have caught your fair share of nice-sized summer flatties using those 3- or 4-inch baits, bumping it up to a 6- to 8-inch profile will increase your odds at getting bites from those bigger and wiser fish. Remember, these bigger fish will not want to use as much energy and they typically will seek out one big meal at a time to satisfy their hunger. For natural baits I’d stick with long squid strips, bluefish strips, fluke belly or sea robin strips. Try to make sure these strip baits are in that larger size range when you trim them to spec.

You can also go the synthetic route – I’ve seen synthetics outfish the natural, frozen or fresh baits during certain times so don’t convince yourself that you need the real stuff to bring home the big ones. Just think bigger. A very popular choice for doormat fluke hunters these days are the biggest grubs that companies have to offer. Some of these include the 6-inch Gulp Grub, 6-inch Fishbites Grubs.

Remember I talked about big fish not wanting to exert a lot of energy when feeding? Well this concept applies to not just one big meal but to tidal currents as well. During the periods of slower-moving tides, larger fluke will be able to use less energy to chase down a meal. You don’t want a completely slack tide, but typically the last of the flood or the beginning of the ebb will be the optimal times to drop down those big offerings in front of those monster flatties.

Focus on areas where bait can be ambushed by a predator. Around inlets, harbor entrances, surrounding ocean reefs and wrecks and the deep holes within your local bays. Summer flounder have also been known to congregate around bridges as well, so don’t overlook those locations either.

Don’t have a boat of your own? Take advantage of the countless party and charter boats sailing in your local area to get on a hot fluke bite that might land you the biggest submission of the month. The best way to stay on the action and hottest bites is to keep in tune with our weekly fishing reports along with our weekly video fishing forecasts. If you are not afraid to travel to get in on a hot bite remember that online access to the magazine allows you to peruse reports from every edition so that you are totally in the know on the fluke action during the month. For example, you might take a trip to New Jersey to get in on a hot ocean fluke bite going on, or maybe hop on a Long Island party boat to fish the bays in search of a doormat that will earn you top spot. And if you really want to stack the deck, head up to New England and take a charter trip to the famed dinosaur fluke grounds: the Nantucket Shoals.

However you decide to spend your time flattie fishing this month, you have a lot of options and tactical combinations to give yourself the best chance at going large. Don’t forget, you need to be a subscriber to the magazine before you submit that doormat for your chance to win all of the tackle. I’ll looking forward to seeing who brings the biggest one to the scales by the end of the month!


A Shore Score: Land-Based Fluking

Leave the boat tied up at dock, the shoreline is the place to score with flatties!

Montauk Southside: Doing Cartwheels At Cartwright

A fluke spot that should be on any serious fluke fisherman’s hit list.


Tight Spots: Successful Solo Fluking

Break away from the fleet and find your own secret fluke hotspots.