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Tips on Choosing Your Fishing Spoon Spoons are, as their name suggests, shaped like spoons. They come in many different sizes, directly relating to the size of the fish that the angler anticipates catching. The most popular version of this lure is the red-and-white "daredevil," but they are available in a wide range of colors. From its evolution as a modified eating implement with its handle snipped off, a hole drilled into the narrow end of its surface to accommodate a line, and a hook somehow attached at the other end, the spoon has been specially modified in modern times for specific uses: namely casting, jigging, and trolling.

Casting Spoons

Beginning anglers will undoubtedly assemble a basic fishing kit that contains a casting spoon of some description-usually a "daredevil" spoon that is by definition a "casting" spoon. The daredevil is white and red, but appetizer spoons come in a wide range of sizes and colors. Such spoons are cast like any other; the movement they make on their retrieval provides a clue to their name. They are thick, have enough heft to allow them to travel easily through the air when cast, and make a wobbling motion as they travel back toward the angler through the water as they are reeled in.

Tips

o A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to sharp hooks and flailing fishing rods. To avoid ripped skin and torn-out eyeballs, make sure there is plenty of room between you and everyone else around when casting from shore.

o Generally speaking, campers and hikers will want to use fleck-sized appetizer spoons with their ultralight rods and reels to catch smaller trout and fish for the frying pan. Spoons weighing in at 1/8 to 3/8 ounces are designed to snare mid-size trout, bass, and walleye. Still larger spoons ranging in the 3/4- to 2-ounce range are designed to catch lake trout and pike when trolled or cast from boat.


Jigging Spoons

The weight of jigging spoons is concentrated at the hook end of the lure, facilitating easy descent in the water. Their shape and weight also encourage them to suspend vertically and be "played" up and down by the angler at the water's surface. One imagines the spoon moving as enticingly as a silver tray filled with appetizers at a cocktail party, dancing, if you will, in the lonely depths of a lake.

Trolling Spoons

This type of lure is lighter than most of its brethren and therefore is harder to cast than heavier spoons. The payoff when using trolling spoons is that their design allows it to move with an exaggerated motion when trolled through the water. This is one shimmery shank of metal that demands notice! Spoonfeeding

When it comes to choosing the spoon to use, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Anglers will encounter a range of multicolored spoons lining the aisles of their favorite fishing store. But beauty is only skin-er, so-deep. Success with a spoon depends largely on an angler's technique in using it. And experimentation is key to successful spoon feeding.

If at first you don't succeed, try playing spoons in different ways through the water. A slow, steady retrieval will cause a spoon to wobble gently through the water; while a fast, erratic retrieval will demand that the spoon be noticed, although such a brazen display of wanting to be eaten may scare off more timid trout and bass. And size also matters.

Spinners

You'd think we were talking about mirror balls in a discotheque by the sounds of things. A spinner is not a fancy dance move, but a name given to a range of fishing lures that spin in the water as they are reeled in. The principle is an easy one to grasp: A flat, metal sliver spins around a shaft in response to the resistance of the water it is pulled against. The movement of the spinning metal sliver catches and reflects light from the surface, and makes a vibrating noise that attracts fish. Depending on the shape of a spinner's blade, it can move and act in different ways. A long, slender blade moves slowly compared to a wider, more elliptical blade when pulled through water at roughly the same speed. Generally speaking, you'll need to choose between fast-spinning, slender spinners, elliptical spinners that provide "medium-action," and round spinners that turn more slowly. But that's not the end of the story: Spinners are often tarted up with all manner of decorations designed to attract fish in the way an exotic dancer dresses to attract attention.

Tip: Spinners are available in different sizes. The lighter, smaller versions, like spoons, are better suited to campers and hikers with their ultralight gear.

Spinners sometimes feature brass beads that contribute weight for added casting oomph and determining how far the spinner will drop in the water. A more slender spinner without any fancy doodads is more properly designed for use near the


surface, and attracts fish such as pike that swim in that region. Some spinners feature what appears at first glance to be a use that some mad barber has found for hair sheared from the victim of a botched dye job: brightly colored hair covering the "treble hook" at the end of the spinner. Designs such as these incorporate brightly colored animal hair and feathers that appeal to some fish, usually larger species such as muskellunge.

Like every act of angling, experimentation is the key to success, although varying your retrieval technique with spinners will likely yield less of a dramatic result than what you'd have with spoons.

Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits

Like spinners, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are variations on the theme of water resistance acting on a blade of metal and causing it to move in such a way that it reflects light and makes a sound. Spinnerbaits often feature two metal blades mounted on a Y-shaped shaft. The first blade in line vibrates above the blade below it when pulled through the water. The lower blade is often decorated with plastic or rubber skirting.

Tips on Choosing Your Fishing Spoon  

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