A popular fly modified for a popular target.
While on an offshore fluke charter a few years back, I was conversing with the mate about shallow water fluke fishing from my kayak in the bays where I live. He told me that he does a lot of that type of fishing also. As our conversation progressed he went to his tackle bag and pulled out some teasers that he made. They appeared at first to be Clouser Minnows. He told me that they work really well when used above a bucktail and especially in the skinny water. He suggested I give them a try on my next trip. I thanked him and said I would give them a shot.
When I returned home they were put in with my fluke tackle for a future date. Some time went by and I forgot about those teasers, until I was out on a friend’s boat in Long Island Sound. We were fishing in tight to the shore in about 4- to 5-feet of water, being it was the early season and the fluke were in shallow that time of year. We were picking a fish here and there using different baits and teasers with our jigs. As I rummaged through my tackle bag looking for something different I found those Clouser-like teasers that the mate had given me. I attached one to the teaser loop, and on the first drop got a fish. After that almost every drift the teaser got hammered. It was definitely working better than anything else that we were using, including fresh spearing. I was very impressed, and later tried them in my home bay out on my kayak. They worked very well in that setting also.
The only problem was that they were starting to get chewed up, so I decided to make some myself. Upon inspection I found them to be a modified, simpler version of the famous clouser minnow. They are very simple to tie. All you need is some bucktail, flash, a length of mylar and any kind of large barbell eyes. The colors that really work the best for me are pink over white and red over white, with the flash along the bottom. This is staying true to the original that I was given. The hooks used are stainless Mustad 34007 in sizes 1/0 and 2/0. Try to tie these sparse, so they represent a slender baitfish. Make them about 3 inches long for the smaller ones, and about 4-1/2 inches for the longer version.
Tie in the eyes about a third of the way back from eye. Remember to have eyes opposite the point side of shank so it will ride hook-point up.
Now tie in a few strands of flash, followed by the darker hair color and finally the white.
Run your thread back toward the bend and tie on a 4 inch or so length of mylar. I use a holographic one I got at a party store. Follow up by bringing your thread back up the shank and over the eyes.
Now wind on the mylar toward the head, wrapping over the barbell eyes in a ‘figure X’ once and tie off. Finish with a nice tapered head and whip finish.
To make it last longer against the sharp teeth of the fluke, give it a coat of epoxy from where the mylar starts, going over the eyes and head wrap. UV resin also works well for this job.
Fishing this teaser about a foot to 16 inches above a bucktail is the way to go. Bounce it along with a short fast jigging motion to make this fly come alive. The barbell eyes really give it great action. I believe it mimics a shrimp, sand eel or spearing, so pick your colors accordingly. Give these a try on the fluke in your area, and you might be pleasantly surprised like I was.