This is the time of year when, the weather has cooled, water temps have dropped and the bass are staging under bait; this combination means one thing - the spoon bite is going to be on. Spooning is a technique that is perfect when the bass are feeding on balls of bait.
The first thing I do before I go spooning is to make sure my graphs are setup right for this technique. You will be basically be sight fishing with your graphs. Most graphs today work really good just on default setting but there are a few minor adjustments I like when I am spooning, first I put my chart speed on high I want all the information on the graph to be sent to me as quick as possible. Second I adjust my ping speed up, and as for sensitivity I start at about 90%. Sensitivity plays a big role in spooning I am constantly adjusting my sensitivity.
The reason for this is there are times when there is too much bait cluttering your screen and your confused where the bass are. When this happens I start backing off my sensitivity because bass will show up on a lower setting. I begin backing it off until the bait starts disappearing on the graph and the bass feeding in that bait start to appear. I have found a lot of big schools of bass this way.
Now that we have are graphs ready let’s get in to the equipment I use. I like to use a 7’ medium-heavy iRod Genesis 703c, a 7.1 gear ratio real and 12-pound mono most of the time, but will go down to 10-pound on a rare occasion when the bite is tough. The reason for the heavier rod is a lot of the time you’re spooning 30 to 50-feet deep and I want a rod that will drive the hook in when I set. I use the stretch in the mono to be my cushion.
Now for my bait selection I keep this fairly simple I use the heavier Blade Runner Crappie body spoon and the lighter Shad shaped spoon. I use the bigger spoon for when I am around shad or bigger fish and the smaller one for when I am around allot of pond smelt. For color’s I use only three in both of them, Shad, morning dawn and chartreuse.
Now that we have all of that down let’s get into finding the baitfish, and the bass. The bait this time of year is on the move to the backs of creek’s and bays. I always start out on outside points and creek channels and work my way in. I always graph the entire area first so I can get a feel of what the fish and the bait are doing.
Once I have located a spot I want to spoon I get out my marker buoy to mark the spot. Remember don’t drop that buoy right on your fish and scare the school you want to set it away from them your just using it as a reference point. Now that we have located a school we can now have some fun.
One thing I have noticed is that people just drop their spoon and start ripping, yeah this works when the bite is on but we all know it’s not like that always. The biggest hint I can give is semi control your fall rate. You don’t want that spoon falling on a complete slack line as you rip the spoon up let it down semi slow with your rod keeping your line semi slack as you lower it all the way down.
There are times that I will even slow it down more to were the spoon is just barley wobbling. The same goes for when you’re ripping the bait up there are times they want that bait just moving up one or two feet. Remember always keep your eyes on the graph you can see how the fish are reacting to your bait are they moving toward it or are the just sitting there. When I see them just sitting there is when I start experimenting with different retrieves until I get them to react. Now that I have established where they’re at and what retrieve they want I can now run that pattern all around the lake.
Good Luck with these tips and remember to always have confidence in what you are doing, it’s the tough days we learn more from than the good days.