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Let's Talk Fluke Teasers

227884 Views 657 Replies 136 Participants Last post by  pnutbunker
Quite a few Noreasters have been getting the jump on the coming season by and e-mailing me asking about my B/S rig and the teasers that I like to use on it above the sinker.

I think that this would be a good time to illustrate a few patterns that have worked for us on the Lep over the past two seasons.

I also believe this would be a good time because of the proximity of the Freeport Show, at which one of the best if not THE best teaser creator I know of will be exhibiting and selling his products. I'm talking about our own Tom/"Reelteasers." You can catch him sharing a booth with the good Capt. Neil and Al "Rodprof" Goldberg. That booth will therefore have 3 of the nicest guys you will ever meet in attendence, there to answer your questions, show their wares and maybe even make a sale or two.

Anyways, here in no particular order are a few patterns that I consider "Must Haves" when I go for the flat ones:

First up is the "Squid Fly." This one works well mid-Summer when we see those tiny blue and white scratches on the fish finder scattered just over the bottom. I like it with a small piece of fish-bait on it - I prefer a tiny spearing - maybe 2" long max:

This post edited by Leprechaun 08:21 PM 09/20/2013


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Next up is the "Snapper" fly. This one works well as a late Summer special, but since it happens to be my favorite shade of blue, I use it all year round. This is the shade I used to take my personal-best 9lb4oz fish two seasons ago over some rubble dead south of Jones. In fact since I ALWAYS fish two rods concurrently, I start out every morning with one pure white fly or 1/4 bucktail and one of these "Snappers" on the other stick. I then mix/match colors as the fish's preferences that day dictate:

This post edited by Leprechaun 11:52 AM 01/12/2011


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This next one is a flat-out killer early in the season, especially when fished at the mouth of the Inlet or right along the beach in up to about 35' of water. Its the "Sea Robin" pattern. If you gut a larger fluke caught during the Spring run, many times as not you'll find a teeny-tiny sea robin in its belly. Hence the acceptance of this fly:

(This post edited by Leprechaun on 02/15/2005)


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Last of the pics is of one of my late-season favorites, tied to imitate a bait commonly seen around that Late August to Sept time period when these baitfish are running along the ocean beaches and into the deeper bays - the "Green Anchovy."

(This post edited by Leprechaun on 02/15/2005)


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There's one more good producer, which in fact was the best lure overall last fluke season, but I don't have a worthwhile pic of it to show you. Its called the "Porgy" fly and its grey, pink and white. I'm not exactly sure this one really does imitate a porgy, but Tom calls it that and so who am I to argue?

What cannot be argued is the way it beat the heck out of the fish off the Jones Amphitheater in 40' last August over every other color and pattern we tried - and in terms of pounds of fish caught, this one was maybe the most successful of all the patterns last year.

Hey, Porgies slayed the bass out at Mecca last Summer, so why shouldn't an imitation of a baby one work 'round these parts, further to the West?

So those are my favorites, along with snow white of course. And remember that no matter what pattern you go with keep a nice firm SMALL spearing on the hook to keep the flukies' interest when he bites down on your lure.

Oh and one other thing. No matter if you do as I like to do and leave the fly tying to an expert like Tom/Reelteasers or like to tie them up yourself, try to use smallish stainless steel 1/0 or 2/0 hooks - I really think smaller is better in this case. They seem to result in less missed hits and many more fish in the box.

At least for me.

Last tip - keep a hook hone in your back pocket and touch up the hook point often. You want that hook to penetrate when the fish so much as breathes on the bait.

Best of Luck this year guys - 5 fish at 17.5" is WAAAAY better than the back-of-th-hand they gave us last year, that's fo' sho'.


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Billy - with all respect, that's just not correct.

Put two teasers of different colors/patterns next to each other on identical outfits, both sweetened with the same fishbait and more times than not one will get hit more often than the other. Many times the difference is dramatic, like 3 and 4 to 1.

Take it from someone who fishes fluke only with teasers, color/pattern matters.

rgds, Leprechaun
Anthony - I tried flyfishing in FW a few times. It was O.K., but just o.k.
Too much effort for too little return, IMO. Maybe a nice albie or 20lb bass would change my mind, but how the heck would I backcast off a boat with more antennas than a Russian spy trawler?

C.I.K. - never mind the fluke - my question is "Has anybody ever caught ANYTHING on one of those lures?"

Dead-nuts gorgeous and realistic as they are, I've never cuaght a darn thing on them, nor have any of my friends. Might be technique, but a hit ONCE in a while would be nice.

rgds, Lepechaun
J - that's a great question - about a Mantis imitator.

Just last night I was catching up on my reading and picked up the January issue of Noreast and deep in that issue is an interesting article about using a Mantis pattern for bass.

The writer didn't spill the beans in that article and put up a picture, but I believe he promised that he would do that later.

Has anybody seen the Feb issue yet? Is there a part II to that article, maybe with a pic of the Mantis fly?

I'd sure like to give that pattern a try this season.

River - you need to come up to speed on my B/S rig for this coming season - you can start here:

The B/S Rig pictoral

But I really recommend you plug "B/S Rig" into the search engine at the top of this page, click on "Phrase" and then hit the search button.

Go pour yourself a nice cup of coffee and spend the next hour or so reading all the links that come up on that search.

Really illuminating stuff and only THIS site has anything like that kind of depth of info.

best, Lep
DC - I bet the pictures were so interesting that you didn't read the text.

I have that problem with certain magazines. Achhemmm.

Anyway, take a gander at the very first post in this thread and you'll have your answer. Or at least my answer to your question.

Tom/Reelteasers gets my vote and those pics tell why. See he understands the difference between the bass-intended teaser flies that are commonly stocked in the B&T shops and teasers that are specifically intended for fluke fishing.

Smaller hooks and shorter/denser hair is what I look for and what Tom's work gives me.



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I said that its what I prefer. That's based on my direct experience using teasers for many years . . . I am not smart enough to try to get insde a fish's head to try to rationalize what he's thinking when he smacks my lure. I'm just grateful that he does. You are free to use bigger, longer, thinner, whatever you think will work for you. That's half the battle . . .having confidence in what you have on the end of the line.

No real interest on my part in a protracted debate on the subject, that's YOUR specialty, as we are all painfully aware. I'm just a humble reporter of what works for me . . .

Here's a pic of that "Porgy" pattern that I previously spoke of. This one was HOT, HOT, HOT last year.

Oh and guys - here's a slight correction to what I've written concerning the Freeport Show - If you are planning to hook up with Tom/Reelteaser this weekend at the show, he'll be there Friday and Sunday, not 100% sure he'll be there Sat. So if its these flies you want to see in person, then bear his schedule in mind.

Nuff said.

(This post edited by Leprechaun on 02/16/2005)


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So much interest in this topic, I kinda suspected as much.

Billy - I don't quite see how I "proved your point," because my example clearly showed that color counts. So in some convoluted way I guess we agree. Fancy that. I suppose stranger things have happened . .

Fishing Friend - You can certainly fish any of the three ways you mentioned. I tend to fish my rods out of the boat's rodholders as I described in the B/S Rig post I linked to back on the previous page. Check it out. That's not to say that regular jigging doesn't work, 'cause sometimes it outfishes the dead-sticked poles - which have to depend on the boat's rise and fall/roll to work the lure(s). But day-in, day-out I dead-stick till I see a hit. I find it that for me it will produce not only the most fish, but the largest fish of the day as well. Maybe the biggies are too lazy to come to a fast-ish worked lure, I'm not really sure. But the dead-stick thing certainly has taken its share of out-sized flukies for me, that IS for sure.

So anyway, if the silly fish misses the bait on the dead stick, I give him another crack at it because its at that point that I carefully pick up the rod and work the lure with some 3-6" twitches. Maybe with a slight drop back as well. I like to twitch when I see some interest. And sometimes its not only the rod . . ;) Read that linked thread thru and do a search on "B/S Rig." Its illuminating stuff.

TM - is 100% right - there are times that the fish want a teaser with VERY short hair on it. This happens often enough that I also carry a bunch of teasers cut VERY short - like right to the turn of the hook, and those can be deadly as well. I'm partial to the ones tied with "Fishair" and "Flashabou" in pearl white and chartreuse for this application. But I have to admit, I rarely go with the short-cut stuff unless I'm strikin' out with the regular-length flies. In fact if you refer back a page to the two Porgy imitators you will see that the lower one has been trimmed just a wee bit, by me, after Tom was out of sight. Its like altering a portrait painter's work, not cool to do in front of him, IMO.

In my fluke box is an plastic envelope with a bunch of short-tied commercially-available teasers. I forget who makes them, but its a famously known company, "Do-it" or "Jig-it" or maybe its the original Silver Bullet people, I just can't remember. In fact you can buy from most good B&T shops complete rigs, with a bullet lure on the bottom and a short-haired teaser tied above it. Same company that makes those rigs sells the teasers separately. These short-haired flies were pretty much all we used on the Lep years ago when they first came out. And we always did pretty well. Then we went into 1/4oz bucktails of various colors - hand tied at home of course. I always felt those caught even better than the unweighed fly teasers, because of the way they hung down from the rig over the bullet and bounced up and down enticingly when I dead-sticked with some scope on the rod.

Now the past two years I've gone back to fly teasers, Tom's "Reelteasers" in fact - the ones I've illustrated here most of all and this has "Kicked it up" yet another notch, to borrow a famous Chef's line. That's really the point of me doing this thread, to graphically show what I've found to be the BEST day in/day out, when fished as I do, on the B/S rig. This doesn't mean that you have to be parochial in your approach to this. Most certainly you can try all sorts of stuff on that rig - plastics, Red Gills, heck you can even try 7" schoolbus-colored Bomber A-Salts ;), whatever. Just post back with your findings so that we all can benefit from your findings and discoveries. That IS the whole point of this board, when ya think about it.

squid711 - go to "Reelteaser's" post one page back and P.M. him right from that post.

HappyC - I've had the same problem with the small Spros. That's what got me wrapping my own 1/4 and 3/8oz bucktails. I looked for the round head and Smilin' Bill naked heads with a tinned O'shaunessy hook in it, the hook with the flat wire - I think those are about the strongest you can easily find in our local shops. If you want to tie some up yourself - I get mine from Causeway here in Wantagh and from Terminal tackle in Northport, when I get out there. Those shops also stock the "Fishair" and "Flashabou" that works so well. Trythe pearl white and the light blue, those seem to be the best producers here off Jones.

And on the subject of strong hooks - go back to those Porgy flies and take a gander at the hooks they're tied on. Forged stainless steel O'Shaunesseys, Gamis I think. Ain't no fluke gonna bend out those hooks. That's a fact. Gonna have to be a halibut-sized fish to stress that quality of hook. Reminds me of an old quote - Robert Shaw/Capt. Quint: "Taxidemy man gonna have a heart attack when he sees what I brung 'em."
It would have to be a BIIIG-ass fluke to hurt those hooks..

As far as strip-baits or porkrind, I've repeatedly tried that stuff and found that I spent alot of time clearing it off fouled hooks. This issue got much worse when actively jigging the lures. I WILL many times put a small 1.5-2" strip of THIN squid on my fly or bucktail WITH a spearing to kinda slow down the flipping around, but I never put the strip alone anymore, fouls too easily for me. Needless to say I LOVE porkrind on bass bucktails, but that's ANOTHER thread altogether.

Paulie - try taking the hook off your Bullet or fishing a plain old unpainted sinker under your fly, it work REALLY well either way.

Saavy - Yep, good to hear independant confirmation of my findings - I LOVE that orange fly for that earliest fluke run. And I got your P.M., dude. It would be my pleasure.

GT - Tom wrote here that he's got a good imitation of the Mantis for us to see at Freeport - I NEED those!!!

Truth is, we had a season about 5 years ago that brown or black teasers and 1/4" oz bucktails absolutely KILLED the fluke every single trip. It was just stooopid fishing off the Jones Needle/Amphitheater in 25-50'. Drop down the rig with the dark lure and BANGO - not a moment's hesitation on many trips. Many times they were on the lure before we got the rod into the rodholder - I'm talking regularly catching maybe 60-90 fish a tide. Many good ones too, to 7lbs. Those were a handful on the ultra-light rods we used at the time. It was sick. And so of course it naturally follows that I busted my keister making up about 25 of those lures. I was all set for the next season's fluke slaying.

Never had anything remotely resembling that kind of action on the brown and black ones again. Oh they caught fish fairly regularly, but not like that season years ago. I can only conclude that there was a large amount of dark shrimp or small dark baitfish of some sort in the ocean off the beaches that Summer. And of course I'm patiently waiting for a repeat of that circumstance, whatever it was. It generated just phenomenal fishing.


(This post edited by Leprechaun on 02/17/2005)


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Azaiter - that's a GREAT tip!!!

You can bet that when my wife gives me the old "Honey, we need to make a Wal-Mart run" routine, I'm JUMPING in the car to get over there.

Not to mention that Krispie Kreme is right in the front parking lot of my local Wal-Mart. Darn, there goes the new year's diet.

rgds, Lep
River Rat - no, I've never tried live bait on that rig, but its an interesting idea for sure.

As far as rod choice - I use 4 different setups when I fish these rigs, ranging from very light one-handed FW bass rods (Like a with tiny Abu ProMax 1600 reels on them) to a very beefy pair of Quantum Muskie sticks. It all depends on depth and more importantly, sinker weight required. All rods get bright yellow TufLine XP, 20lb on the light sticks and 30lb on the heavier ones.

But if I had to pick one pair of rods that get the most use, it has to be my Mark Flynn-built pair of Calstar GX-7s. Not a fast tipped blank, its much more parabolic than the typical west coast design. But it still has some horsepower once the fish pulls past the arc and gets into the butt area. The tips on those rods are soooo light and sensitive, (Without being sloppy) that even Tom/RT likes to watch MY rods when he fishes on my boat. I would have to give those GX-7s the thumbs up for any type of ocean fluking that requires sinkers of 6oz or less. Really nice stuff for this fishing. My blanks were trimmed 2" off the tips and 4" off the bottom to a length that makes more sense to me fishing off a boat that's kinda low to the water. I like a pair of Abu 4600C reels on them, with the "Japanese" powerhandle option that you can buy at Very well balanced outfits.

rgds, Leprechaun
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O.K. Sam, whatever you want, you can use.

But if I use "Big Meat" do I also have to use those steel cable leaders you like? And can I count on a fish pulling me across the ****pit and to my knees?

Sorry dude, couldn't resist. ;)


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Sam - Now that's funny... But there is no such thing as a "Lep squid strips." Admit it, that was an exaggeration.

Az - these flies & lures are your color and I've used them to good effect on my "Lep boat". But may I be so bold as to refer to them as "Az-approved?:

(This post edited by Leprechaun on 02/17/2005)


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Joey - glad you liked this thread, its got lots o'good stuff in it. Ya know it gets a little tougher to come up with interesting topics to thrash out as the years sail on by. Since just about everybody on Long Island likes to fish for fluke, I thought it would be a topic all could participate in and contribute their experience towards.

It seems like it was a good guess.

See, its not only a moderator's job to maintain the peace and keep threads on track. What we also need to bear in mind is that this site is after all, a for-profit operation. And the only tangible measure of the success of a site such as this is to consistantly increase the hit count. That's really what its all about, hit count. So when George chooses a moderator, he has to base his selection not just on overall knowledge of fishing expertise - (Which lets face it no one moderator can know all aspects of this sport - though I must say, TM comes pretty **** close.) But also on the ability of the moderators to continue to generate interesting and thoughtful discourse on a wide range of subject matter. Communication skills and the desire to broaden the total knowledge of the participant community are really important as well.

Look, the truth is there just ain't much in the way of remuneration for this job, which takes HUGE amounts of e-time from all the moderator's lives. So it really has to be something else. In all the moderator's cases that I'm familiar with, it ain't about ego gratification, despite the occasional grumblings we catch now and then. Its really about a willingness to share. But even there, it seems there's a fine line that needs to be walked lest others feel that "Too much" info is given up. That things are made too easy for the newbies. I say nonsense to that thinking and for that I have taken some hits over the time I've been aboard. Enough on this.

Anyways, I'm going to the show manyana, I do hope Tom has some decent stuff left for me to pick thru. I'd really like to see the Mantis shrimp imitators.

Plus check out the other teaser tyers in attendance.

While its true that I've talked up Tom's products a great deal on this thread, that's mainly because its his stuff I've used and am familiar with. Plus I find him to be an easy guy to like.

But its also equally true that "A rising tide raises all boats" and so as a direct result of this thread there is now a greater overall interest in some of the other fine teaser-tyers that have been mentioned and who's work has been shown to be truly exceptional on this thread. (Just look at Harvey's little spotted shrimp imitator right above - it looks good enough to throw in the marinara!) Its all great stuff and ALL should be looked at before dropping your hard earned money.

We have some really talented LOCAL guys that tie these flies and for that we should be thankful.


(This post edited by Leprechaun on 02/24/2005)


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That's some good stuff there Gary . . .

I completely forgot to get into how the boat affects the teaser's performance and the changes in style needed to compensate for these effects.

Gary is right, my boat is built low to the water, compared to the more typical outboard and I/O rigs that most others run. Under power it kinda moves through the water instead of up over it. In other words you ride IN my boat, not ON it. This difference becomes more pronounced as we turn into the tide or wind and to begin our drift.

Because my boat has very little "Sail" area, it tends to lay into the tide not the wind and this attribute, coupled with the tide pulling on the full skeg-type keel can work for or against me, depending on prevailing conditions and what I hope to achieve. There are many days offshore (My definition of "Offshore" where it applies to South Shore fluking - anything over 40' of open water) when the wind is REALLY honking - like 18-25kts. We can hang in there and successfully fish in water up to 75' or so because the tide is in opposition to the wind and our deep keel is effectively acting as a boat brake. Plus the keel forces the boat to move at a full 90-degree angle to the prevailing tide or wind direction - not a whole lot of that silly ass-first drifting that I hated so much drifting off my old I/O rig.

This 90-deg drifting thing also means that we can put a full "Spread" of deadsticks out - like 5 or 6 rods in the holders and therefore cover a much wider swath of the bottom with our rigs.

Boats that sit up high, like Gary's Grady and the smaller Berts can do the same, its just requires the incorporation of a drift sock, placed amidships or wherever the boat requires it be placed to maintain that 90-deg angle to the drift.

As Gary rightly points out, that 14" teaser height over the B/S rig's weight might not be the most effective height for YOUR boat. Since we tend to drift slower than most, we don't need to put all that much fishing line "Scope" in the water for our rigs to stay on the bottom, fishing properly. Thin braid helps greatly with this issue, but its really all about boat drifting speed. We have determined over many trips that a speed of 0.7 to 1.5MPH (Not knots) SOG is the target we shoot for. Neither too fast for the fluke to come up and wack the teasers nor too slow, which would allow the fish too much time to inspect our offerings and ultimately reject them as bogus.

So a method must be found to keep the boat in that range when the wind is honkin'. Of course the opposite is also true. If the wind is VERY light, like under 5mph, then I'm in trouble. My Lep will NOT move along at the prescribed speed and I have to pray for either a strong tide to take over and push against the keel or for those late-afternoon winds to come up and help us make a day of it. Thankfully we've found that the breezy days outnumber the still ones, but many times I've had to resort to power drifting or very slow trolling to get the fish to show any interest our rigs...Not the way I like to fish, that's for sure.

But back to the point of teaser height. I religiously adhere to that 14" teaser height and many, many guys have PM'd me telling me that it worked out terrific for them. Even guys fishing off big lumbering headboats have hadf great results with that height. But what works perfect for me might not be perfect for YOUR boat. So I would have to think that if you're flying along and have to put tons of line scope in the water, it only makes sense to do what Gary suggested. Raise the teaser on the rig a bit to compensate for the scope's lowering of the teaser's height relative to the bottom.

So how much should you raise it? Actually I have no idea. That's one of those things that you'll have to work out for yourself, trial and error-style till you see that the hits are coming with regularity. For my boat and the few other boats I've fished off of, 14" was the number. If you tend to drift real fast and have to drop the rigs back more than you would like even when laying the heavy weights on, then maybe a few more inches of teaser height over the sinker would make all the difference.

Give a try and let us know.



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Thanks Glenn . . .

I think its time I do less posting and more policing.

I'm gonna lock this thread down, I do believe we've seen the last of the positive helpfulness on this particular subject.

Lesson learned.

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