Spoon-fed bass

A fork in the creek channel could mean it is time for a spoon. A big flutter spoon may be a mystery to most bass anglers. Those that accomplished this technique understand its true fish-catching potential. It has the right characteristics to lure in the biggest bass in the school.

The flutter spoon was disclosed on a head-to-head television show on Kentucky Lake. The bait ignited a school of large bass while in a competition. Over 20 pounds of “spoon-fed” largemouth were landed in minutes; a prized tournament secret was out of the bag.

The spoon craze was on in warmer waters.

The ingenuity of anglers has seen the productivity of the spoon continue to gain cult popularity. The action of a spoon has been utilized in fishing for years; even from the North Country, giant red and white spoons have caught monster pike for years. When the spoon is dropped on a fall, it flutters like a dying baitfish, and a slow retrieve produces a wide wobbling action. These two actions dominate for big bass presentations.

Tackle choices

Working a structure spoon requires heavy tackle. Most of the larger spoons will weigh over an ounce making the Lew’s casting rod in a medium-heavy, fast-tip action perfect for the technique. A 7-foot Lew’s Custom Speed Stick (WR1) allows for long casts and better control over the spoon vertically.

Low stretch Seaguar InvisX fluorocarbon will ensure superior feel as the spoon is falling and low stretch hookset capabilities. Anglers can effectively utilize 15- to 25-pound lines according to cover and needed fall rates of the spoon.

A high-speed larger capacity reel like the Lew’s BB1HZ (6.4:1 ratio) will hold sufficient quantities of line. The flutter spoon will cover long distances of a strike zone.  Proper equipment is what dictates this lure’s strike/catch ratio.

Late summer/fall thermocline bass

In the late summer, the thermocline may come into play on certain bodies of water. Southern impoundments and rivers with little or no flow will quickly stratify. The thermocline is an abrupt temperature gradient band of water that will form two distinct layers. The top layer of water will hold sufficient oxygen levels for life, while the middle layer will not hold enough oxygen to support most fish. They will then have to move shallower or deeper than the oxygen-depleted section in the water column to find the most suitable oxygen levels. As a result, the fish suspension leaves most anglers scratching their heads on techniques to catch these bass. 

Worms and jigs will fall through the strike zone. Crankbaits can be effective if the angler can choose the correct bait and line size to reach the level of the suspended bass. A fluttering spoon will stay in the strike zone longer when counted down to a specific depth.

The typical spoon cast is a long cast, and the angler allows the spoon to make it to the bottom or counts it down to a desired level. A quick lift or rip of the rod tip skyward lifts the spoon from the bottom, but it’s important that the lure must fall on a semi-tight line. This allows the angler to feel the flutter of the spoon and watch the line for strikes.

A strike can be anything from a violent jerk of the line to the line slightly jumping. Anglers need to experiment with double jerks of the spoon; soft twitches and slow rolling the spoon back to the boat much like a spinnerbait. Suspended fish are very susceptible to the slow rolled spoon. This is a great way to catch bass hovering just above the thermocline. The slow rolled spoon will stay at a desired level on a slow retrieve. This is often a hard strike from the suspended bass.