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Since the season is upon us, I wanted to know what everybody's favorite, go-to,killer fluke rig/ bait combo is. I swear by a plain mono high/low rig, no beads, flash or hair with the biggest damn killies you can find. No strip bait at all. Just hooks and killies.
 

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I would have to say that it depends on the time of the year. Early in the season "now" if one can get fresh herring that would be my preference as I think they are in the back bays. I would agree a large strip is best. I prefer a single hook dressed with bucktail to a three way swivel. Not sure if the bucktail is really necessary but usually that.s what I use early season. Later in the year I go to high low, bucktail on top hook plain hook on the bottom.
Just my two cents.
I am sure that there are many favorites that are different and catch as many if not more.
 

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My go to rigs for fluke are as follows:
A. Using a fishfinder rig with about a 24 to 30" leader (usually made from the running line. I use the dark green lines). Okay, I'll use the same deal, no matter which hook I use. Sometimes I will use either an English style hook with green hair, green beads, and a chrome small spinner blade with a green dot on it, or; I will use the same thing in a red configuration. Sometimes I will use the same length leader and an octopus hook in the 1/0 size. Most of the time I will first put about a three inch by 1/2" squid pennant and then I will put the minnow on so it swims with the squid underneath it. This offers contrast and makes it easier for the fluke to see the minnow wiggling. We all know that if you are really hunting for moby fluke, you should perhaps consider how the last record fluke was caught; by someone livelining a snapper blue.
Maybe it's a matter of protocol. If it is a formal fishing trip, you'll want to dress it up with beads, blades, and hair and if it is an informal trip then as you said use the largest minnow you can find on a plain hook. LOL! Why not rig one stick plain and one fancy and see which produces better?
 

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My go-to is a small jig head(3/8-1/2) with a red or chart twister and a strip of herring. Sea Robin, blue and bellies all work well if herring is not to be had. I like the jig becaue I usually get other action besides flatties. Get'em Wet! Pig

[ 05-12-2004, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: Pigman ]
 

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We could go on forever about all the different types and styles of rigs, and I am a bells and whistle kind of guy with fluke rigs myself. I have to say Filletone, you may have something. I thought I was ready one day last year and was thoroughly schooled by a relative using nothing else but a long leader, thin gold hook, and a killie, who outfished me 8 to 0...
 

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For deep water I like 24" - 49" leaders with 3/0 and 4/0 Kahle Hooks. I also add a single bead and a chartreuse/silver mylar and white skirt on top of the bead. It keeps the hook down in the skirt. I started using the spin-n-glo's last year and did very well with them. I found the chartreuse with silver worked the best. I adjust the leaders depending on the conditions. Dont be afraid to change things up if your not catching! I havent really tried bucktails much deepwater fluking but I hear from one of the masters of fluking Jake that they are the ticket! I like long strip baits when the water warms. Cut trolling squids soaked in shedder, sea robbin and fluke ribbons are my favorites. Back bays its bucktails, bucktails and more bucktails When the water is colder I use shorter baits since the strikes dont seem to be as aggressive. In the back I use herring, mac or some fresh bluefish as strip baits. Spearing also work well.
 

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My favorite bait is whatever is in the water. If theres a lot of sea-robins, fillet the sea robin and put that on the hook. If its blues, use that. Sometimes I even use flounder. Of caorse with averything I also put on a killie, so that theres movement.
If I can't catch the fish for bait, then a strip of squid. But the killie is key.
 

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bucktails bucktails and more bucktails on the backside. rigs out front and deeper. we usually change baits to see whats working. Minnies ,squid and strip baits out back and bigger baits in the ocean including stripped and skinned grey runners (usually the best)
 

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ive had days where i have school peolpe using bucktails when im jus using about a 30 inch fluro carbon leader with a shiner hook about 2/0 or so. But i have also seen the people using bucktails come up with stripers accidentaly but i wouldnt mind that. This year im tryin a hi low rig with a bucktail on the high and the 30 inch leader and hook on the low work for blues but so will anything. As for bait i like using mackeral eaarly in the year and then switching to minnies and shiners, but i dont know what one is better i have done better with shiners that minnows and i was only using them because i coudlnt get minnows.
 

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I dont think minnows are worth the money. The only time I think I have benefitted from minnows was when there was no drift. It gets the baits moving. Now if I was in say the Duke of Fluke tourney I would have tons of bait and every variety. Its always good to try different things. Fluke ribbons, squid, sea robbin, shark strips, sea bass (good at the old grounds), spearing, minnows, herring, macarel etc all make great fluke baits. Has anyone had any luck rigging whole squids for baits? I wouldnt try it for just a regular days fluking but I would love to give it a try for a tourney. I have heard of guys dying those squids from the supermarket different colors.
 

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Can't say i have a favorite, there's lots of rigs and baits that work, dependant upon the conditions. Bait is easy, fresh strip baits, herring, mackerel, blues, searobbin, shark, seabass, craoker, dolphin and tuna skin, shedder soaked squid, etc.. it runs the gammut just trim them so there's not alot of excess meat, which causes spinning. With rigs, one thing is sure though, the bucktail catches big fluke whether you are in a couple feet of water inshore, or in 100 ft. on the offshore grounds, bucktails dressed w/ a peice of meat will catch fish, but you need to slow down your presentation enough to enable you to jig veritcally with the bucktail for it to be it's most effective, and sometimes slowing down your drift enough to be able to fish a bucktail veritically is too tough, also you won't cover much bottom doing this, so unless you have a spot where they are stacked to work over and over, drifting or trolling is better where you have fish spread out. For drifting and trolling, the floating bucktail is a deadly fluke rig, again dressed with a peice of meat, a couple spearing added to the hook to add flash helps too. I like Dan, don't use minnows much except in the back, where they are prevalent. Offshore and in the Dbay, and sometimes in the back too, spearing have allways outfished minnows for me, as long as there's a drift, w/ no drift a live minnow helps, but when there's no drift I'm either going to be bucktailing over structure or power trolling! My other stand by rig is a green mylar bucktail skirt on a long leader. For the bay, I'll use one hook, but offshore, I'll tie 2 hooks in tandem, 5 inches apart to allow me to fish Large strip baits or double up smaller strip baits and I also tie a tandem rig w/ hooks 20 inches apart that counts for alot of double headers and big fluke sucking down both baits. I'll often add a couple spearing to each hook too, load it up! With the flaoting bucktail, you don't need a dropper loop for your sinker, but for the skirted rig, I'll tie a dropper loop from 6 to 18 inches long from the fishfinder or 3 way for the sinker, to keep the baits in the strike zone. The faster the drift, the longer the dropper. Allways use enough weight to allow you to fish as verticle as possible.

[ 05-12-2004, 06:39 PM: Message edited by: CaptG ]
 

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I'm with Fin-Adviser,this time of the year I fish skinny water between 5-12ft.Bucktails or jigheads 3/8 to 3/4 oz tipped with a twister and a good size minnie.Stay in the back with a small boat,rent one if you have to.Explore all those little creeks you'll be surprised what's in the backwater.
 

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In 15 ft. of water in Grassy Sound Channel my 10 year old son caught his first keeper of the season Mother's Day on a high low rig, tiny, tiny hooks, and tiny white rubber lures with a minnow on there somewhere also.

A primitive description, but hope that is helpful to someone.
 

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Capt.G,
I like and agree with your advice on leader length; the faster the drift the longer the leader. The "Fisherman, NJ/Del Bay" weekly mag once had something on it. They showed how the line lays in the water with a fast drift in deeper water, unless the leader was lengthened, the bait would be too close to the running line and sinker, so you did good pointing this out.
There is just one thing that always seemed to ring true. A dead sticked bucktail, sometimes, seems to catch more than all the handheld ones. I have seen my friend fish a buckie straight down and let the action of the boat, or the motion of the ocean, give the bait a tantalizing action. He would always catch the biggest fluke.
 

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For this time of year in the skinny, it is a white bucktail 3/8-1oz with practically a half of filet of mackerel. It will leave those 16.5 inch fish for everyone else.
 

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bunker, I have seen that myself too many times to be a coincidence. A dead stick doing nothing more than dragging a bucktail along the bottom landing consistently big fluke.
 
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