4 Tips for Bass Fishing Rivers with Flukes

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Consider the minnow-profiled fluke if you’re looking for an excellent soft plastic bait to catch river bass from the shore or boat. Wired2Fish’s McKeon Roberts takes to a mid-sized river in his kayak for a lesson on locating late summer smallmouth bass and how to catch them using flukes in current situations.


Getting a Texas-rigged fluke subsurface can be challenging in flowing water. To combat this, McKeon selects salt-infused baits that provide a head-first slow sink rate to work a variety of depths. Additionally, McKeon Texas rigs flukes on a heavier gauge wide gap hook to speed the fall rate and help keep the bait subsurface. A heavy-duty hook can also withstand the stress dished out from brown bass in heavy current without risk of straightening.

Lastly, Roberts shares some key areas to target late summer smallmouth bass on rivers, focusing efforts over grassy and wood-strewn flats along inside bends versus deeper outside bend cut banks.

In summary:

  1. Use a sinking fluke.
  2. Texas rig it so you can fish it cleanly around and through cover.
  3. Use a heavy-duty EWG hook when Texas rigging to keep the bait subsurface and eliminate the risk of straightening.
  4. Target summer smallmouth bass over cover-laden inside bends for some hot action.

Check out our article on more river fishing tips.