The Spoon Craze
Tossing spoons to redfish isn’t something new for most saltwater anglers. But most old-timers will tell you its the most effective strategy to cover water and produce reaction bites from a variety of inshore species. Personally, the spoon is one of my absolute favorite tools in my tackle bag, period! Especially for teaching student anglers the nuances of catching redfish in a number of unique scenarios.
When I was a touring redfish pro, the spoon was a “Top 5” bait for me in low-light or poor water clarity. Now a decade later I still find myself tying on the spoon in those same situations and many more conditions because of the spoon’s versatility. Here are a few attributes of the spoon that you must understand to appreciate how and why gamefish react to it. Naturally, flash, vibration, and contact with the bottom grab the attention of predators. But also consider these strengths of spoon fishing... long cast ability, breezy day advantage, works well at higher tide phases and overall product resilience. These are just a few of the qualities that make the spoon the ultimate “power fishing” lure!
With the advent of contemporary paint jobs and life-like imaging, taking the tackle industry by storm. Spoons are looking more and more like baitfish instead of the traditional gold or chrome versions of yesteryear. Trust me, this is more about marketing than duping gamefish into striking these upscale spoons. They draw strikes for the same reason the old common spoons do... flash, vibration and contact with the sea bottom. I have discovered one positive in the new breed of spoons for me. And that’s color contrast!
Let me enlighten you on this opinion of mine that years of experience has justified. Color selection for spoons matters; in the same way we rationalize color choices when choosing soft plastics for “matching the hatch”, water clarity or ambient light conditions. Here’s an example: if an angler is working a flat that has copious amounts of minnow bait, does it make sense to tie on a spoon that mimics the baitfish pattern perfectly? Or even consider traditional gold or chrome spoons?
The answer is “no”! What makes you think that the predator fish will be able to pick your perfect replica lure (spoon) to chase from thousands of the real deal baitfish swimming alongside of it. This is where color contrast excels in my opinion. I would choose the Red Headed Step Child or Watermelon Crawl spoon colors that would stand out from the rest of the baitfish school and would easily be singled out by an aggressive gamefish! It seems like a logical assumption because predators are there to grab the easy targets 90% of the time.
I’m not saying never “match the hatch”, that strategy generally works when minnow bait isn't as plentiful, more sparse or spread out. Here’s another example: an angler is fishing tannic or tannin water (dark tea color) on a bright cloudless day. The baitfish and all the gamefish in these zones all possess a copper, orange base color. Based on these conditions you might want to choose a spoon color that matches the inherent watercolor but flashes like a baitfish... the copper color of my Texas Tea spoon is designed to do just that and gamefish react to it because it “matches the hatch”.
The lesson here is don’t avoid colored spoons they work even better than that trusty old gold spoon in grandpa’s metal tackle box or that perfect minnow spoon rendition at your local retailer!
Recommended Equipment: SWS-74MH Falcon Coastal Clearwater (spinning rod), 10lb. Daiwa J-Braid, 24” 20lb. Ande mono leader, 1/4oz. spoon (Texas Tea, Red Headed Step Child, Watermelon Crawl)
March 21st, 2019