Until I made my way to the Ozarks, most of my spoon fishing was on Kentucky Lake. It was the only lake that I fish in the summer that I would ever consider dropping a spoon down to the fish. Here on Lake of the Ozarks we have had extremely hot temperatures this past month. The high today was 108 degrees. There has been no water generation for a month, so the lake has been stagnant. This has led to record high water temperatures and an increase in water clarity. These two factors have made most of the fish seek out deeper cover than they normally would this time of the year. Many of the fish have suspended which can complicate matters.
There are just a couple effective baits when bass get into the 30 to 40 foot zone. When the fish are suspending that deep it is hard to get a crank bait down to where it needs to go to trigger them to bite. If the fish will not come up for a crank bait that leaves plastics, jigs, and a spoon to target deeper fish.
The thing about fishing jigs and plastics is that the fish see these baits on a constant basis. When the water gets hot, most anglers will tie on a 10 to 12 inch worm or a 1oz jig and start to look for brush. The fish in the brush can get “conditioned” to these timeless presentations. While these presentations work, an angler who wants to open up new possibilities, should spend some time learning to fish a spoon.
A common theme among anglers is that spoons get hung up easy or that the bass do not like them. Well I can say after spending some time with a spoon this summer, a spoon can fish through some of the thickest cover imaginable and that they work exceptionally on bass on the Ozarks. I recommend bringing a lure retriever, eliminating a lot of problems.
The great thing about spoon fishing is that you do not have to be the greatest angler in the world to fish them correctly. Spoon fishing, for the most part involves dropping your bait over the side of the boat, down into brush and schools of fish that are seen on the graph. After the bait gets down to the right level, work the spoon with your rod from the 3 o’clock position to the 12 o’clock position. Raise the spoon slowly and let the bait fall on a semi-slack line, it will have a lot more action.
Fish a larger spoon like the Lake Fork Trophy Lures Flutter Spoon, just like you would stroke a jig. I have been catching some fantastic bass by graphing bait and cover on my graph. Then throwing a casts right over the top of it and working the spoon up and around the brush piles. I will hang up sometimes and lose my bait, but most of the time I am able to retrieve my bait with a lure retriever or just get directly over the brush and shake it a little and it will unhook itself.
Most of the bites that I will get on a spoon will be as the bait is falling. Having a decent grip on your rod is a must as the fish will hit a spoon like a freight train. When it comes to tackle for spoon fishing, I have been using a 7 foot medium heavy action AiRRUS Ultra XL and 20lb line. The 7 foot rod paired up with 20 lb test line works perfect for working a larger spoon. If I am fishing the spoon over the side of the boat, with casting gear, I will turn the rod over so that the casting reel is on the bottom. This can eliminate a lot of wrist strain from snapping the bait up off the bottom. Fishing a spoon with a casting retrieve, you want to make sure that your bait is always falling down the drop. You will want to throw your spoon up hill and work it out to deeper water. This increases the chance that bait will be falling and maximizing the spoons fish catching flutter.
The best colors the past week, have been silver, white, and gold. Those are the only colors for spoon fishing that you need. It also helps to have a variety of spoons because they all have a different fall rate. The Lake Fork Trophy lures spoon works excellent for a large bait and gives off a slower fall with a ton of action. Another spoon to try if the fish are around the smaller shad is a strata spoon. The smaller spoons along with the large ones will catch all kinds of fish. If you haven’t ventured into the world of spoon fishing, you need to give them a try.