|Red Hot Spooning Techniques for Monster ‘Eyes
If you haven=t tried jigging spoons for hard water walleyes
yet you really are missing the boat.
Serious ice anglers have found that a jigging spoon in the
right hands can be absolutely deadly and has
proven to be one of the season=s top producers.
To become a successful spooner some early success can go a
long way as it=s hard to stay with something
new long enough to build the necessary confidence. Confidence
is critical and will come every time you bust a big >eye
on a jigging spoon. As your confidence builds the spoon will
soon become your go to bait and will be the
first lure down the hole every time your on the ice.
You can give your confidence a boost by using the right
spoon in the right place at the right time. The
right time is as early as you can get on the ice, the right
place is classic walleye structure, and the right spoon
is one that produces flash and noise like the Northland Tackle
Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon. The Buck-Shot has
built in rattles that create plenty of fish attracting noise
and comes in some terrific colors. It’s long slender
shape mimics soft finned minnows which is a forage type that
walleyes find most desirable and comes in several
sizes including 1/16oz on up to 3/4oz. The size you choose
really depends on how deep you’re fishing
and the idea is to use as light a bait as you can while still
getting the job done. There’s a rule of thumb that
says you should use a big bait for big fish but it doesn’t
seem to hold up on ice, in fact my biggest walleyes
have come on smaller lures like the 1/8 oz Buck-Shot.
Good electronics are another key to mastering the use of a
jigging spoon and is where a flasher type depth finder
like Marcum’s LX-5 is worth its weight in gold. The
LX-5 will let you see if you’re on fish and how they
what you’re doing and give you a chance to adjust.
If you’re seeing fish and getting smacked then there’s
to change. But if you’re seeing fish and not getting
hit or chasing them off then you might have to experiment
to find out what it is they really want. You can also get
a good idea of what’s going on by watching the action
LCD screen combined with an underwater camera like Marcum’s
new VS 825C. The VS 825C has a color LCD
screen that can be viewed in direct sunlight and is going
to change how often the cameras get used.
To be effective with the spoon a good technique is in order.
The basics begins by dropping the
bait to the bottom and then working it up from there. After
the bait has reached the bottom; reel up the
slack so that when you lift the rod tip the spoon is a half
foot or so off the bottom. At that position give the
spoon a sharp snap up and follow the slack line back down
with the rod tip until it returns to the start position.
The spoon will flutter down and is when a lot of strikes
come. A strike may be felt but more likely you=ll
see a twitch in line, or the bait won=t make it all the way
down to the starting position, or she might just be there
when you start your next snap. In any case; set the hook.
When a walleye hits a spoon he has taken it as deep as
he=s going to and waiting to set will increase the chances
of getting the bait rejected. If the spoon makes it back
to the start position then wait a moment and let it settle
out. After a moment try giving the bait a tiny bump or
nudge and wait again. Quite often the hard snap will draw
fish in and the little nudge will trip their trigger.
Fish that are extremely active will inhale a spoon without
any other dressing but more often
than not you’ll probably have to add a little meat
to get the job done. The Ameat@ could be a small minnow, a
piece of a larger one, or a wax worm or two. The key to using
minnows is not to overdue it as you don=t want
to effect the action of the spoon. Too much minnow will slow
the fall and stop the flutter and kill the fish
attracting action. Remember; the spoon is the real attraction
and all you’re adding is a little scent and texture.
Wax worms aren’t really thought of as walleye bait
but on a spoon they can definitely be effective. If things
little tough and minnows aren’t producing a wax worm
just might do the trick.
When walleyes turn on they will often come in bunches and
there=s no quicker way to put a couple of eye
poppin= >eyes on the ice than with a jigging spoon. They
can also go away just as fast as they came and it=d
be a good idea to be prepared. Having a second spooning rig
ready to go might be a good idea and could
mean more fish caught, especially if a big walleye messes
up what you’re using.
The key to effective spooning is to get with it and stay
with it. The more you use it the more you=ll use
it. The next time you get on the ice; get with it and get