July Fishermen Turn Their Attentions to Fluke
As July brings warming waters to the Cape and Islands, the fluke fishing heats up. Also known a Summer Flounder, fluke are a flatfish, and very tasty. Oddly, fluke begin life looking much like a "regular" fish, but as they mature, one eye migrates around to join the other on the "up" side of the body. Ambush predators, fluke lie on the bottom waiting for something tasty to get swept along in front of them. It's a feeding strategy that can help you target them.
Where to find fluke. Fluke like moving water, which washes their next meal in front of them. Look for them near a drop off. You can find fluke in a wide range of depths, from 3 feet to 100 feet of water. Often, the bigger fish are pulled out from rockier bottoms.
How to rig. Squid strips are a great bait for fishing fluke. You can use a bucktail jig on a leader, functioning essentially as the sinker, with a teaser hook above with your strip of squid. Bait the jig too. You want that jig to bounce along the bottom as you retrieve, bringing the bait right in front of the fluke.
Take care in landing them. Fluke have soft mouths and they do thrash at the surface - that's often the moment when the hook pulls out. Don't try to haul them out, but instead net them just below the surface. Fluke can swim backward - which can add a challenge to the endeavor. Also, Summer Flounder have teeth, so be careful removing the hook.
Fluke must be 16" to keep, and there is a 5 fish per day limit.