Fishing with Spoons

All you need is one good spoon.

Spoons are one of the most productive of all lures. Depending on the species and the conditions, they can prove every bit as effective as our personal favorite lure, the white bucktail jig. The spoon is versatile, can simulate almost any target bait species eaten by the predators you're trying to catch, and can work for the most green of beginner anglers if the fish are cooperating. Spoon fishing can be very easy, but at the same time can challenge the most experienced angler with the unlimited ways it will work if you impart the proper cadence. They swim and they flash when you retrieve them, and they're shaped like a small fish. They are curved, and many share an 'S' shape that helps them better simulate injured prey.

Different kinds of spoons

Aqua-LuresThese hand painted lures are from a company called AquaDreamLiving.com.

Broad Spoons: Broad spoons – the most common type you are likely to try – are built so they wobble slightly as they're retrieved. At a normal, average speed they move relatively slowly. If you fish them too quickly, they begin to spin. If they're spinning, they're going to twist your line and they are not nearly as attractive to the target species as they are retrieved more slowly. You can almost feel them wobbling if you retrieve them at the right speed. These kind of lures work best in relatively calm waters, and can be incredibly effective fishing for largemouth bass in freshwater or redfish in saltwater. They come in a weedless variety, with stiff wire covering the tip of the hook but being able to easily push down and out of the way if a fish strikes the bait.

Elongated Spoons: Elongated spoons are designed to simulate faster fish swimming in hard-flowing tidal waters or rivers. They can be retrieved must faster than a broad-blade spoon, and are very well-suited for trolling, where they come in both heavy-duty sheet steel (which can also be cast tremendous distances and are often hammered to simulate flashing scales) and thin, light steel versions better for dragging behind a boat. They're used to fish for kingfish, and they're used for lake trout, so they're incredibly versatile.


Originally made of lead, and related to another lure called a "Pirk", these proven fish-catching machines quickly lose color, as the softness of lead allows the color to be knocked off if it hits a rock or any underwater structure, which it does if you fish where the fish are. These lead and even the modern versions made of steel or other metal are heavily lacquered. They also cost a lot of money, and you cannot make them in your garage like we did when we were kids. The EPA will arrest you and take your fishing rods if you do attempt to make things of lead.

Pirks, and Diamond Jigs: We are putting Diamond Jigs in this discussion instead of the discussion about jigs because in their true form, they are not only made for deepwater fish like grouper, amberjack, or snapper. They're compact, heavy, and long-thin lures that are usually made from sheet bass and highly colored with lacquer. They are a spoon, essentially, and work like a spoon. Some are straight-sided and bodied, and as such have a strong straight movement through the water column. They also come with slight "S" bends in them, and these seem to be more attractive to the fish. Either way, there are some very expensive ones out there, so before you spend $20 on a lure, make sure you're fishing for the right fish in the right place so they will not scare fish rather than attract them.


Considering the Wobble - Final Comments about fishing with spoons

The wider shape of a broad spoon makes it best for inshore and calmer waters, where strong currents will not override its natural action. But like all lures, action is built in, while cadence is something you impart. Spoons, in particular, come with their own ‘wobble’ or swimming action, and more than any other lure is able to catch fish without any effort on the part of the fisherman other then retrieving the lure.

fishing with spoons-golden pilchard weedless spoonLures like this are for slow retrieves.

Use a “countdown method” to find out how long it will take for the spoon to fall all the way to the bottom. The first time you cast it out, start counting the moment it hits the water and stop when you feel it hit the bottom. You now know how long it should sink to get it just off the bottom, or halfway to the bottom before you start the retrieve.

Lure Action

The action of the lure is correct when you can feel the tip of your rod wobbling as you retrieve the lure. As you retrieve, slow down and speed up your retrieve to get the lure working in different parts of the water column. Once you cast a few times and use the countdown, you will develop a sense of the exact tidal flow, the drop, and what happens if you pause. Variance in the pauses, drops, and retrieve speeds can change the way the lure works – but remember to keep feeling the tip of your rod to ensure you’re getting the right action out of the lure.

If you like to hunt for Redfish, try the best-known weapon - a Gold Spoon.

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