Spoons should be matched to fish size for best success
Whether used for open-water application or beneath the icy skin covering a mid-winter lake, spoons are both archaic and avant garde.
Once mankind was able to pour, shape and render various metals into parts, machinery and firearms (or weaponry), adaptations were made to construct the perfect lure; something that would attract fish of any kind and offer anglers a link between work and play.
The spoon continues to thrive in angling productivity while some of the "standards" from the past continue to pass in time; often due to flashier, more refined counterparts.
Spoons, per say, haven't fallen from the radar by either fish or angler. The slight alterations to what once was initially was a scrap piece of metal with hooks attached, has now been tuned into a hyper-active, multi-functional tool for novice to expert anglers. In essence, a spoon can catch fish, centuries after its introduction, from east to west, north to south, boiling to freezing. Spoons may possibly be one of the most versatile fish catching attractors ever made.
Spoons aren't only used for big fish. In the open-water arena, anglers often think of spoons as only being applicable for northern pike, muskies and trout. But vertical presentations with downsized spoons can garner smallmouth, largemouth, perch, sunfish, crappie and walleye. Fall lends an ideal situation for vertically jigging spoons, though ice anglers use the products regularly.
Think about it, we utilize jigs as a high percentage presentation for fall fish. Yet many anglers fail to realize that the same presentation they might employ through the ice in a few months is equally efficient during the fall.
Now we all know that a 1/8th to 1/2-ounce Northland Fireball Jig tipped with a shiner, redtail or pearl dace minnow is premium throughout fall for walleye, northern pike and bass.
But a jigging spoon can be manipulated in the same manner; rip it, shake it, thump the bottom, get bit.
Anglers working a jigging spoon should keep one thing in mind; bottom contact is important. Similar to a jig, that thunk-a-ta-thunk on the bottom is what gets the big fish to bite.
Yet when we're talking big fall fish, it's not simply about the predator species. Crappie, sunfish and perch can be big too, at least relatively.
If one species isn't biting on spoons, another species is. For example, the walleyes might be slow, but the bass are engulfing the spoon.
A livebait or artificial attractant is essential in catching more and bigger fish on spoons. Though active fish may hit a "naked" spoon, a fathead minnow, shiner or small soft plastic bit of flavor and scent to "tip" the spoon assists in the pursuit of big fall fish of every species. Even just the head of a minnow is enough attractant to get the fish to bite.
The simple difference between catching larger fish species and bigger smallfish species (like bluegill, perch and crappie) relates to the size of the spoon. Small spoons are better for small fish, large spoons for large fish.