For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about various ways to catch postspawn smallies. I just realized, however, that I neglected a very effective technique when it comes to making these transition fish bite. That’s the weightless, double-fluke rig.
It’s easy to put together. All you need to do is tie a three-way swivel to your line and then a couple of leaders off the remaining two rings. I like my leaders to be two different lengths. It seems like if I make one about 9 or 10 inches long and the other 2 or 3 feet long, I have better results.
What I mean is that I catch a lot of doubles on those lengths. I think it’s because most of the later postspawn fish are in loose schools. When one bass bites one bait, the others move in to see what’s going on and to see if they can get in on the action. When they do that they see the other fluke and bite it.
I like the standard Zoom Fluke for most of my fishing. There’s something about them that the fish like. I don’t get real fancy with my hook, either. Sometimes I use a circle hook through the nose but at other times I run an offset worm hook into the nose, out the belly (through the slit) and then back into the body. I leave the point of the hook barely exposed above the back. That gives me good action and a good hook-set.
If you want a little more flotation with your baits try fishing Strike King’s fluke-looking lures. They have a couple of different models. Pick the one you like and throw it. They’re basically the same thing as a Zoom Fluke but they’re a little lighter and float a little higher. That helps when you want to work them slow but don’t want them to go all the way to the bottom.
The best retrieve is erratic. I twitch mine once, let it rest, and then twitch it two or three times until I find what they want. Just be careful not to move your baits too fast. Most times that’ll kill the bite.
I don’t worry much about color. If the water’s fairly clear I fish something that looks like a natural shad. Sometimes, if the water gets dirty, I’ll switch to a green pumpkin color. If you aren’t sure, go with the natural shad stuff.
Your tackle choice depends upon where you live and fish. If the fish are small, spinning tackle is fine. If the fish are more than 3 or 4 pounds, I’d suggest baitcasting equipment. But hey, if you can cast weightless flukes better with a spinning rod, go for it. There’s been plenty of giant fish caught on light tackle.
Go catch some of them!