Skip to main content

Fishing with Spoons

Fishing with Spoons
Fishing with Spoons

New twists and wobbles for an old favorite.

Where might you cast a spoon in Florida coastal waters? If getting bites, any bites, is your main objective, you can start with anywhere, anytime.

Spoons cast far, emit lots of flash and vibration, and they're pretty much indestructible. Redfish, snook, largemouth bass, trout, bluefish and many other species eat them.

For many anglers, spoons are specialty lures. They're what we tie on for long casts to spooky fish, punching through a stiff wind, or probing murky waters to locate fish.

With even further specialization in mind, let's check out some new thinking on spoon tackle and technique.

Plastic tails are showing up on a lot of spoons, and sometimes they seem to attract more bites. Color, texture or perhaps built-in scent (on some models) are the draws. Added buoyancy is another plus, when you're fishing shallow, snaggy bottom, like oyster bars.















Newer spoons come with added fish attractors that many species find irresistible.


Some newer spoons come with skirts or soft-plastic tails right in the box, but customizing your own is as simple as threading a streamlined soft-plastic onto the bend of the hook. The larger a bait's profile, the more water it displaces and the more fish-attracting vibration it emits. Just don't overdo it. Too much body interferes with the wobble. Also, with longer trailers like bass worms or eels, it's easy for a predator to grab a mouthful without ever touching the part that bites back.

At least one spoon is now sold with an interchangeable plastic skirt that not only keeps the lure higher in the water, but also adds a swishing lateral motion that spices up the presentation. Remove the skirt and the spoon works deeper.

Plastic, of course, isn't the only material suitable for spoon trailers. Be creative. Tied to the hook, a short strand of colorful yarn, perhaps 3 inches or so, makes a quick and attractive addition.

Adding a spinner or buzzer assembly in front of a spoon makes for a verstatile hybrid lure. There are a few ready-made models out there, combining the attributes of a traditional weedless spoon with those of an in-line spinner. Ideal for chopping across dense vegetation, like flooded spartina grass, this type of lure evokes reaction strikes from predators, including both reds and freshwater bass.















Gold spoons are renowned go-to lures when you're casting to reds on the flats.


Gold is a favorite color of both fish and fishermen, but silver or chrome may be the best choice for imitating shiny threadfin herring, finger mullet and other baitfish. Copper and nickel-plated spoons offer a slightly different flash, while black seems to be a good choice for low-visibility conditions—overcast days and sunrise or sunset—when predators consider any dark profile a potential meal. Bright colors such as pink, chartreuse and red can often spark feeding interest when fish snub traditional spoons.

Spoons with rattle chambers welded across their underbellies get plenty of attention, but you can modify bare spoons by gluing the same rattle tubes common to bass fishing onto your lure. Clip-on rattles made by Woodies Rattlers (http://www.woodiesrattlers.com) affix to the rigid weedguard of a weedless spoon. This not only adds enticing sound, but it also increases the mass in front of the hook, thereby making it more weedless.

You can also insert rattle chambers into a soft-plastic tail, but do so after affixing the tail to the hook so you don't end up with space conflicts. The only downside of this option is that losing a tail means losing a rattle chamber.

Simulate scales, gills or eyes with decals, thin strips of waterproof tape, or permanent markers. There are dozens of sources for these and other materials, and odds are good your local tackle shop has some dedicated lure tape. If not, a quick search on the Web turns up lots of suppliers.FS

First published in Florida Sportsman magazine, February, 2006.

Click Here to Have Florida Sportsman Magazine Delivered to Your Door.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Let's break down how to modify one of the easiest and strongest line-to-leader connections when using heavy fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
Learn

How to Modify Double Uni Connection for Heavy Leader

Jeff Weakley, editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, breaks down how to tie a non-slip loop knot, an easy and useful fishing knot that every fisherman who uses artificial lures needs to know.
Learn

How to Tie a Loop Knot: Best Fishing Knot for Lures and Jigs

Jeff Weakley, editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, breaks down the easiest way to tie one of the most versatile, strong and reliable fishing knots that every fisherman needs to know, the uni knot.
Learn

How to Tie a Uni Knot: Easy, Strong & Reliable Fishing Knot

The scented and flavored Gulp! baits are always a good choice in saltwater, and the Grub style baits in particular are a universal choice. Learn how to choose and rig different sizes for different kinds of fishing, from the flats to the coastal reefs. Plus, a Key West fishing expert weighs in on special uses for offshore fishing.
Sportfish

Berkley Gulp! Curly Tail Grub. Berkley Gulp! Grub is a Surprise Hit In Salt Water

In salt water, everything eats shrimp. The Berkley Gulp! Shrimp is an excellent choice for any situation where you want to appeal to a marine fish's interest in shrimp. Here's expert advice on rigging these unique baits, plus proven tips on casting and retrieving them. Storage is another great attribute; these shrimp baits are ready to go when you are!
Sportfish

Berkley Gulp! Shrimp: A Bait That's Better than Live Shrimp!

Join professional surf fishing guide Capt. Paul Sperco for a conversation about reels that hold up in extreme saltwater conditions. Sperco also offers great tips on rigging different kinds of spinning combos for catching pompano, whiting, snook and other popular fish. All of it is done from shore! Easy, fun fishing anyone can enjoy.
Sportfish

Penn Sealed Saltwater Reels: Durable Reels for Surf, Pier and Other Saltwater Fishing

We join Key West, Florida, fishing Captain Pepe Gonzalez to discuss one the most important advances in saltwater fishing tackle in the last 25 years: The advent of fluorocarbon leader material. Fluorocarbon definitely improves your chances of getting bites from wary-eyed ocean fish such as snappers, tunas, tarpon and sailfish.
Sportfish

Berkley Fluorocarbon line: Captains Say Use Fluorocarbon Leader to Catch More Fish

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now