Pros Weigh In - Spoon Fishing Bass
Nothing imitates a dying baitfish like a fluttering spoon. When bass are deep (mid-summer and late-fall/winter) spoons can be downright deadly, as they quickly fall into the strike zone and can be accurately worked on a school of deep fish better than any other bait out there. Here's what a couple of professional anglers had to say about spoon-fishing for bass.
Clark Reehm is a Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Lufkin, Texas. He's one of the younger guys on tour at just 32 years of age, but has already had some great success finishing in the top ten 7 times on the BASS circuit . I caught up with him for a few words on spoon fishing.
Me: Do you have any tips you don't mind sharing on catching deep bass with spoons?
CR: If they aren't on your graph... they aren't there.
Me: So your fishfinder is important?
Me: Do you find fish on your graph and then drop it down on them?
CR: Usually I cast a spoon a lot more than I go vertical with it You can cover a lot of water casting one and ripping it. They are also my favorite bait for surface schooling fish you can cast them a long way.
Me: So you'll use a jigging spoon for deep bass and a fluttering one for schoolers?
CR: No. I usually cast it to the breaking fish and let it drop down 2 seconds and then start pumping it through the water column. Flutter spoon is for casting and ripping over offshore structure more so a summer/fall bite.
when fish get on ledges and humps.
Me: And the jigging spoon is more winter eh?
CR: Summer, fall and winter when I want to go vertical or for casting to visible schooling fish. At Table Rock in the fall, they flip white spoons into dock stalls. Shane Long exposed that pattern at the PAA event there last year. It's a total reaction bite, mixed species. I rip a chatterbait similar to a spoon in deep water as well. Gotta go, dinner's on the stove.
And he was gone. But not before dropping some pearls of wisdom on how to use both types of spoon for bass and when to use them. Thanks Clark!
You can follow Clark Reehm on Twitter @ BassmasterReehm.
Big Jim McLaughlin needs no introduction to eastern Canadian fishermen, but for those in Western Canada and abroad, he's a Canadian fishing legend and the editor of "Just Fishing" magazine, Canada's oldest and largest free fishing publication. I had the chance to chat with Big Jim on the phone about jigging spoons the other day. Now, Big Jim has a lot to say on the subject so I had a tough time following everything, but here are the best tips I got out of the conversation:
1. Pound the spoon on the bottom and rip it up. Big Jim likes to bounce the spoon off the bottom as much as possible.
2. Don't be afraid of big spoons. Jerking big spoons, like the Strike King Sexy spoon, is fast becoming a popular technique for walleye on the St. Lawrence River.
3. Spoon fishing is gaining in popularity. "It doesn't seem to get the respect it deserves and the guys who are doing it are hiding it." Big Jim noted that many anglers who were spoon fishing for bass would prefer to keep it quiet by returning to the dock with a drop-shot or tube tied on and their spoon rods hidden.
4. What's old is new again. Spoon fishing was popular many years ago, and Big Jim parallels it to fishing blade baits which are also coming back into style. He was pre-fishing for a tournament with Bob Izumi earlier this year when Bob noted "Why do you always show up with different stuff?" referring to the Heddon Sonar tied on to Big Jim's line. Both baits are popular for vertical fishing.
5. Don't go deeper than 30 feet. Fish deeper than 30 feet will have a tougher time recovering to the pressure change than their shallower brethren. Jim concentrates his jigging on the 20 to 25 foot range and looks for rocky ledges specifically that the fish will be staging on in late fall.
5. Have good electronics. Just like Clark Reehm, Big Jim stresses the use of a quality fishfinder for targeting deep bass with spoons. Not only will you know their depth, but you can also see what they are relating to.
6. Sting 'em good. Big Jim admitted that although he wasn't sponsored by Mustad, he always switches his spoon hooks to Mustad Triple Grips because they "grab on to everything." He said he hasn't fished a treble hook that keeps fish hooked like this one and won't fish a spoon without one.
You can read more about Big Jim and "Just Fishing" magazine at the website www.justfishing.ca.
Thanks for reading! Have a question you'd like to ask pro anglers? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll track down the best in the business to get your answer!