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Jim Sutter

Using spoons to catch bass.

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Usually, when I fish for trout I throw spoons. I prefer Thomas Bouyants and Daredevils. How well do spoons work for bass? 

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They work well if you can find deep schooling shad. 

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My father caught a lot of small mouth out of the river throwing Acme Kastmasters, with an occasional walleye. I never used them much because I got hung up a lot. They work though.

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1/2 ounce weedless Johnson silver Minnow with the trailer of your choice is often a great way to catch Bass in weeds especially when you are fishing pressured water, or shad are in the area. You can work a weedless spoon in almost any type of cover especially higher in the water column which I find the best way, and let it flutter down into pockets as the flash draws attention in the stained dark water.

 

In winter, I used to catch bass in NY through ice and during Trout season using a Hopkings jigging spoon, Lindy rattle spoon, and a Luhr Jensen crippled herring. A spoon will catch any gamefish found in any type of water. They are kind of like Jigs, you have a ton of different designs, dressings etc. 

 

I am guilty of not using a spoon much anymore, and now that I saw your post I want to actually start throwing one again since I am guilty of always wanting to try the newest techniques. The Gator Spoon posted above is a actually really good since they make a nice black color, has a hula popper type skirt, and Luhr Jensen has a spoon with a bucktail dressing that can be good. 

 

I still have a few of the old Bagley's Rattle spoons which were just like a silver minnow only had hammered metal, and added the rattle. I used to just cast it out and reel it in like a crankbait and catch fish. Snapping it off weeds and changing speed, deflections etc. help getting bites.

 

You can find good articles about fishing Weedless Spoons online and on this site. Lots of guys are really good at this and usually they do not talk about it. I remember fishing with a friend when I first moved to Florida and He crushed me using a Jawbreaker or baitfish patterned spoon with a Grub as a trailer in weeds I thought were too heavy. I tried to copy what he was doing with the spoon he gave me, and I struggled so it takes practice like anything else but it is smart to use techniques other's do not use. Fish are pressured like never before and covering water with something other than a toad or soft swimbait, swim jig, spinnerbait is a good idea.

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I only fish three locations for bass or trout. Two of them are Sportsmen Club ponds. The other is a pond own by one of my classmates. All three ponds are located within seven miles of my home. None of these ponds have shad in them. The two sportsmen club ponds are stocked with trout during the spring. After the last stocking, usually at the beginning of may within a month for the most part, I will be the only person fishing. Nobody fishes for the bass that are in these club ponds. Since both of my knees been replace, I fish only these three locations. For the most part, they are level and easy accessible.

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When the bass are busting shad I clean up with a hammered blue and silver Little Cleo.

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I never had  a lot of luck with spoons except for heavy jigging spoons .

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Peddiesake and Hawg,

Thank you for your replies. There are no shad in the small ponds I fish. Should I decide to throw a spoon, I will up the size from my trout spoons and try different retrieves. You folks take care and have a great evening. 

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Catt,

What about lily pads. Will a Johnson weedless spoon go through lily pads? 

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6 hours ago, Jim Sutter said:

Catt,

What about lily pads. Will a Johnson weedless spoon go through lily pads? 

 

Yes absolutely!

 

Most anglers fish spoons sub-surface but it's actually very effective surface lure. Fish it like a frog with one exception, start your retrieve as soon as it hits the surface.

 

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Oh yeah, in open water anything from a Hopkins, Crock, Kastmaster, Cleo, Dardevle or something similar. You can either slow roll them with a subtle speed up/slow down, (the trick here is to pull it as fast as possible while wobbling, NOT spinning, not as easy as it sounds, one reason they aren't more popular) or jig them vertically, what ya'll call "flutter", the trick here is to lift it smartly, and then follow the spoon down on the slightest of slack, varying the size of the lift depending on what they want. We fish for a lot of salt water fish this way, so its second nature.

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Catt,

Thank you for that information. Can I fish it that way with a spinning reel. By the time I cast the spoon, close the bail and start reeling, it will take awhile to get up on the surface correct? All my reels are spinning. Thanks again for your help. You have a wonderful day.

 

Reason,

Thank you, for that information. I will try it or maybe I should say I will practice your method. Thanks again for your help. Please take care and have a wonderful and safe Monday.

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Jim, the top two pictured above are 1/4 oz & the bottom one is 1/2 oz. Y'all should be able to handle 1/4 oz easily, Johnson also makes 1/16 & 1/8 oz.

 

While they are called "Siver Minnow" I only throw black or gold. The 1/4 oz with a skirt attached is what I throw most of the time. 

 

Two tips sharpen the hook...wait until you feel the weight of the bass & then set hook.

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My 1st bass lure was a Hawiian Wiggler #3, the photo of the Johnson Silver Minnow with a skirt looks the same. As long as the spoon is being retrieved or moving forward it swims on or very near the surface and slides over weed mats. 

Another excellent weedless spoon is the Nemire Red Ripper, has a silicone skirt, sharp hook and rattle, over looked by bass anglers.

It's going to be tricky using a spinning outfit that is set up for trout. Slowing down a lure in mid flight isn't easy with a spinning reel, feather the line coming off the spool with your index finger. The next problem is getting the bass in after it's hooked with light tackle in Lilly pads or weed beds.

I think you would be better off using a trick worm weightless and hooked weedless and just fish it along the weed or pad edges.

Tom

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3 hours ago, reason said:

Oh yeah, in open water anything from a Hopkins, Crock, Kastmaster, Cleo, Dardevle or something similar. You can either slow roll them with a subtle speed up/slow down, (the trick here is to pull it as fast as possible while wobbling, NOT spinning, not as easy as it sounds, one reason they aren't more popular) or jig them vertically, what ya'll call "flutter", the trick here is to lift it smartly, and then follow the spoon down on the slightest of slack, varying the size of the lift depending on what they want. We fish for a lot of salt water fish this way, so its second nature.

Excellent post!

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Long before anyone ever thought of inventing hollow or solid bodied frog us Cajuns were throwing Johnson Spoons with pork chunks trailers.

 

Holding your rod high & reeling at a moderate to fast retrieve will keep the spoon skittering on top of vegetation of any kind including lily pads.

 

The Johnson Spoon is the consummate search bait for shallow water vegetation drawing strikes from bass that wouldn't hit a frog. 

 

One thing you can expect is like frogs until you learn spoons you hookup ratio will be poor!

 

I keep a t-rigged plastic of some kind at the ready, when a bass misses the spoon I'll drop that rod on the deck & fire the t-rigs to the exact spot of the explosion.

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What kind of rod is best for like 1/2oz single hook spoons like a Timber Doodle or Silver Minnow?  

 

I have a Doodle that I picked up because I liked the name and while I have thrown it a few times, it seems like if I go light on the rod I risk not being able to get a bass out of cover or set the hook as most lures of this style seem to have really thick/dull hooks, but when I go heavier I can't cast it well and can't get it to skitter across the surface as well.  

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Catt, WRB, Jigfishin10, and Bunnielab,

Thank you everyone, for all this great information. I will remove my lighter braid spool and replace it with something around 60lbs. All I can do is try. I believe my mother use to tell me that. "Just try". Thanks again for this information. Hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful and safe day.  

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Big flutter spoons are all the rage on Kentucky lake these days. 

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Good Evening Bagofdonuts,

Thank you for replying to my question. You take care and have a wonderful evening.

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Little 1/8 oz Little Cleos in blue/silver color combo land plenty of legal sized smallmouth for me.  Not a lure I fish very often though.

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4 hours ago, Bunnielab said:

What kind of rod is best for like 1/2oz single hook spoons like a Timber Doodle or Silver Minnow?  

 

I have a Doodle that I picked up because I liked the name and while I have thrown it a few times, it seems like if I go light on the rod I risk not being able to get a bass out of cover or set the hook as most lures of this style seem to have really thick/dull hooks, but when I go heavier I can't cast it well and can't get it to skitter across the surface as well.  

40 lb braid is small diameter, casts well and good for most MH bass rods. Nemire Ripper has a very sharp hook, Johnson Silver Minnow hook is dull and requires sharpening using fine flat file or hook honing stone.

Tom

 

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