Inshore: Jigheads For Fluke - The Fisherman

Inshore: Jigheads For Fluke

Jigheads are an excellent choice for getting your favorite soft bait right into the strike zone of a fluke.

Here’s some insight into how to pick the right jighead for the job.

For some people, the start of summer means the start of fluke season. I personally love to kick off the summer by jigging for fluke on the head boats or sandy beaches. Jigging for fluke is a light tackle endeavor that provides endless action. With a plethora of sea robins, shorts, and doormats in the mix, you’ll be sure to have a bent rod. That being said, I’m a guy who likes to keep it simple by using jigheads or “leadheads” for fluke. When choosing a leadhead for fluke, there are a few different head shapes you’ll see around your favorite tackle shops or outfitters. Here are some insights for picking the the right jighead for the job.

The most common jighead is the ball-shaped head. Simply put, it looks like a lead ball. These jigs do a fantastic job of sinking straight to the bottom. Typically, the eye of the hook is positioned 90 degrees to the hook shank. When you bounce a Gulp or any other scented bait on the ball head it will have a slight vertical twitch. When it lands in the sand the jighead will always land upright which in turn provides a more natural appearance. I typically use these leadheads when fluke prefer a slow and steady retrieve with pauses. Additionally, I favor this style of leadhead when jigging on boats because the 90-degree hook eye makes it ideal for presenting the bait vertically straight up and down. My favorite ball heads include the Jigging World Powerball V2, Gamakatsu Round Jig Head, and the VMC Hard Ball Jighead.

The second leadhead style that you’ll likely see is the 60-degree football-style head. These jig heads sport a wide football-shaped head with a hook eye that is set to 60-degrees. When you retrieve the football jig head you’ll notice that the bait has more of a kick or hop compared to the slight twitch of a ball-shaped head, this is due to the fact that the tie-in point is on a 60-degree slant. When it comes to presentation, the football jighead allows the bait to sit naturally upright on the bottom without tipping over. I usually prefer this leadhead when casting and retrieving for fluke on the beach. Moreover, I notice that these heads are less prone to snagging on structure than other head types because the tie-in point is closer to the nose. While football lead heads are common, a 60-degree football leadhead is not as common. There aren’t a ton of options out there but my favorites are the GSO Premium- Xl Football head jigs, and the C&B custom 5/8-ounce Football-2 Lazer Point Jig Head.

The third option you’ll come across is the swimbait leadhead. These heads sport a narrow appearance with a flat bottom and either a 60- or 90-degree hook eye position. Unlike the ball or football-style leadhead, the swimbait jighead sits on its side when it’s paused along the bottom. Because of this, you’ll want to move it constantly to get it to present in a natural position. Thus, this leadhead shines in times when you need a fast retrieve to trick a fluke into eating your bait. In terms of action, I notice that this leadhead has a hopping or skipping motion rather than a kicking motion. The ideal place to use a swimbait leadhead is fishing off the beach, this leadhead is perfect for drumming up aggression strikes from fluke when they prefer a quicker retrieval. Additionally, the swimbait lead head is perfect for covering water due to its quick retrieval. My favorite options are the Strike King Redfish Magic Saltwater Flats Jig Head, the Berkley Fusion19 Swimbait Jighead, and the VMC Flat Shad Jig Heads.

Ultimately, the subtle details and action of each lead head can make a world’s difference when fluke fishing. Each leadhead has its own retrieval cadence and speed that can aid you in catching more fluke on any given day. I think it’s important to experiment because there’s no one size fits all approach to targeting fluke on leadheads. The more styles you try the more you’ll understand fluke behavior and feeding habits.


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