Fluke Paralichthys dentatus


New York State Fishing Regulations  
Size: (Inches) 19 inches
Season: May 4 thru Sept. 30,
Limit Per Person: 4 fish Bag 


Fluke, also  known as summer flounder, are easily recognizable because they are flattened from side to side, allowing them to lay flat on sandy or muddy bottom partially burying themselves while waiting for unsuspecting bait fish to come by.

During its larval stage the fluke's the right eye moves to the left side, the upper side, of the fish. This upper side can change from light brown to almost black, allowing the fish to blend in when it is lying on the bottom. The right, or lower, side is white, making the fish difficult to see from below when it is up in the water column. 

Fluke are known as voracious predators. They have sharp teeth and are adept at feeding on smaller fish. Large fluke, known as "doormats" for obvious reasons, can reach upwards of fifteen pounds but the most common size is two to four pounds.

We fish for Fluke in the bay or ocean, drifting with spearing and squid. Fluke bite best when we can drift at about 1 knot. When we fish in the bay we can fish different areas  at different parts of the tide to find the right amount of current for a good drift. When fishing in the ocean there is usually little current, so try to pick a day with some breeze so that we will have enough drift. 10 to 20 mile per hour wind is usually the best.

            Fluke are one of the most abundant fish in our waters. Their stocks have increased to four times what they were just 50 years ago. In spite of their abundance fluke can be a little tricky for some beginners to catch so weíve included some tips that you might find helpful.

Fishing Tips:


         Fluke grab the bait half way between the tail and head and hold it for about 5 seconds before they try to swallow it. You should wait about 10 seconds after you feel the extra weight on your line to start reeling. The mistake many new fluke fishermen make is to lift the rod when they feel a bite. Now try to picture your line going down to the sinker and the three foot leader at nearly a right angle. When you lift the sinker two feet off the bottom the hook and bait only move a few inches, not enough to hook a fluke. This two foot lift of the rod works for sea bass, porgies, and blackfish because we fish with a twelve inch leader.

            Now you have lifted the rod two feet, experienced fishermen have learned to keep the rod up and start reeling. This hooks the fish. Almost all beginners lift the rod two feet, feel the weight of the fluke, lower the rod and then start to reel. When you are lowering the rod the hook is no longer pulled tight against the inside of flukeís boney mouth. The fluke senses something is wrong and opens his mouth. When you start reeling the bait and hook come out of his mouth.  The best way to hook a fluke especially for a beginner is to wait for that extra weight on your line, this is the fluke swimming along with your bait halfway in his mouth. After about five or ten seconds he will flip his tail a few times for the extra speed, open his mouth and swallow the bait and hook. After waiting a few seconds or feeling a few sharp tugs (the fluke flipping his tail and chewing the bait) donít move the rod, just start reeling. The constant pressure of the hook in the flukeís mouth will hook the fish almost every time. Also, if the fluke is not hooked it can still catch and eat the baited hook.

      Here are a few tips for fishing when drifting conditions arenít perfect. With a slow drift, the side of the boat with the lines going under the boat is best because these baits get to the fish first. With a fast drift the side where the lines go away from the boat is best because as the fluke are trying to catch up to the bait and they get to these baits first.


        On days with little wind in the ocean and a slow drift, jigging with bucktails and fluke balls is most effective. When ocean fluke fishing with a lot of wind and a fast drift braided line offers less resistance and your sinker and bait stay on the bottom better. If you have any doubt about your sinker size use a heavier one. Your line must be on the bottom!