7 Tips For Netting Fluke

Fluke have a penchant for boatside escapes, but with preparation, and a refined technique, you’ll greatly improve your odds of getting that doormat into the boat. Here are 9 tips for making sure your fluke hits the deck, learned through painful experience.

Always net a fluke head-first

1. Always scoop the fish head-first.

2. Wait to flash the net until the angler has steered the fish close to the boat. When you fully extend your arms, you lose the ability to move the net quickly through the water, giving the fluke time to thrash and throw the hook before it’s surrounded by the mesh.

3. Keep multiple landing nets on the vessel. When the fluke bite is on, it can get downright hectic, so having two or three nets is a big plus. Anglers can then lend each other a hand or net their own fish depending on how crazy the action gets.

Don’t net fish that don’t look like keepers

Don’t net fish that don’t look like keepers.

4. Don’t net fish that don’t look like keepers. Doing so runs the unnecessary risk of tangling the rig in the net, which can cost you a larger fish.

5. Keep the net in the same, convenient location. This will keep you and your fishing buddies from frantically asking, “Where’s the net?” when a big doormat swims into view. Some fishermen prefer using the T-top and some like an out-of-the-way rod-holder; others like to lean or wedge the net in an area where the handle can be easily grasped when needed. No matter where you keep your landing net, you should make sure it’s not going to get caught on cleats, rods, hooks or any other items on the boat.

Leave fluke a few feet below the surface and keep tension on the fish.

Leave fluke a few feet below the surface and keep tension on the fish.

6. If you have a big fluke near the surface but are waiting for the net, leave the fish a few feet below the surface and keep tension on the fish. The fluke will remain calmer a few feet underwater than it will on the surface, making it less likely to shake the hook.

7. Fluke are capable of swimming backwards and will do so at impressive speed to avoid the net. Make sure the angler keeps pressure on the fish until it’s in the net.

  1. Mike

    Keep multiple nets on board when the fishing gets hectic!!! Get real I’m in nj I haven’t caught a limit in7 years. This fishery is gone, all last year I got 3 keepers

  2. Kelley

    Tough fishing eh? Sorry to hear that. I’m lucky to fish Narragansett Bay, RI. Plenty of nice fluke as well as by catches of black sea bass and scup. I think one net is plenty though.

  3. Richard Watrous Jr

    Its hard to tell from the pics above but isn’t that net upside-down? You want to scoop the fish with the net. So therefore the curve of the net should be positioned to scoop up and under the fish. This net looks like the curve is the wrong way and the net should be flipped over. Just my .02.

  4. Sam Wilkins

    I didn’t know that keeping the fish a few feet under the surface helped keep the hook from coming loose. My husband loves fishing and is trying to help me learn. I’ll have to try keeping the fish low until it’s close enough to the boat next time.


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