Fluking the Flats

Back Bay Flat at Low Tide at Dawn
(07 2020)

Low tide around the back bays of the American Northeast allows hours of comfortable wading and in midsummer a chance to fish the fly for fluke, the summer flounder, on these sod bank flats.

Tenkara makes a fine fit for this kind of fishing. Stealth in waste deep water gets you up close, the fixed line allows methodical casts to cover the surrounding area, and the aggressive manner of the summer flounder assures a lot of chances for hookups in close quarters.

The rig for fluke is simple. A level line of 10 to 20 pound test, fluorocarbon preferred, a few feet longer than the fully extended rod, attached to the Lillian on the top end and a small Clouser Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, or Half & Half on the business tip. These standard classic patterns will mimic the bay anchovy, mummichog, and silversides upon which the fluke feeds.

Fluke Bait
(07 2020)

Fluke Flies
(NYC 07 2020)

The exagerrated twitch used in tenkara is a match with conventional fluke presentation. The takes are sudden and intense, and if you miss a hookup, a pause and continuation often brings a second or third strike.

Fluke Battle
(07 2020)

No other fish fights quite like a flounder. The nearly two dimensional body can slice through a current rip with ease, or plane in the water against the rod, creating a formidable bend.

“Gotcha!”
(07 25 2020)

And be sure to carry a net, fluke flutter and stay aggressive even out of the water. The sight of the fish, like a muse of Pablo Picasso during his Cubist period, never grows old. Nothing says “saltwater” quite like a flatfish.

— rPs 07 31 2020

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