• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On June 29, 2018
  • Comments
  •  1

Bucktailing has taken ocean flukers by storm as the slick hairy leadheads always seem to hook some of the largest flatfish.

The real key to bucktailing for fluke is in the presentation and choice of weights. Generally, you want to use anywhere from a 1 to 6-ounce Spro, Andrus or Magictail bucktail, getting away with the lightest weight possible to maintain contact with the sea floor. Color choices usually revolve around white, white/chartreuse, green/white or pink. Anglers will also add a stinger hook to the bucktail hook, trailing with a size 3/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook to better secure the strip bait you will be affixing to the bucktail.

Strip baits should be finely tapered and can include legal fluke belly, sea robin or bluefish flanks, and even false albacore or salmon belly. Cut the strip bait with a Mustad fillet knife in a thin profile, roughly an inch wide and anywhere from 8 to 12 inches long, tapering it at the top and bottom to a point so that there is minimal water resistance. You want a bait that “swims” naturally through the water. Pierce the tip of the strip bait with the main buck hook, then on a straight line, hook the second stinger hook through the middle of the meat so the strip lays flat.

The entire bucktail rig consists of 30-pound Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon leader, from the top which is tied a 75-pound Spro Barrel swivel, then 18 inches down a dropper loop fixed with a bucktail hair 3/0 teaser or small ¼-ounce bucktail, then 18 inches down the main bucktail tied via loop knot. Bucktails are most effective in a slow current and with a vertical up and down approach. If at any time on a drift you reach a 45 degree angle, you’ll just be dragging the bait, so reel up, cast upcurrent and start over, gently tapping the bucktail on the seafloor and over structure.

Fluke are suckers for bucks and will hit with serious aggression. Once you feel a whack, set back for a solid hookset. If you miss the set, drop it back and vibrate the bucktail on the bottom to get the fluke to come back on it. Find water depths in the 40 to 60 foot depths now off Jersey to score, and the bucktail bite should pick up big time in the heart of the summer months.

Gear Used


Prime Bucktails

The Prime Bucktail Jig is not like any other jig on the market. The unique shape of the head and placement of the eyelet help bring this lure to life. With bulging eyes, holographic finish, and blazing color, it puts fish at your mercy.



Ball Jig Buckatails

The Andrus Lures Ball Jigs Bucktail is great for fluke fishing and feature quality hair that holds up. Andrus Lures, the makers of premium jigs. Great for targeting fluke, striped bass and weakfish in the bay, surf, inlet and inshore waters.



HD Fluorocarbon

Yo-Zuri HD Fluorocarbon is a brand new fluorocarbon leader that maximizes the advantages of fluorocarbon and a Disappearing Pink tint. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible in the water and red is the first color to disappear in the water column.



Power Swivels

These amazing swivels are made of high-grade stainless steel with a gunmetal black finish. They offer super smooth rotation and unbelievable strength and durability. SPRO Power Swivels are 1.5 times stronger than standard barrel swivels.



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