No one knows what will happen tomorrow….
As the clock hit six a.m. I pulled out of my driveway and headed to the lake. My mind was filled with excitement. Yesterday I had one of the greatest days of bass fishing in my life. I was eager to see what this cold and rainy day would treat me to because if the saying, “misery loves company” holds true then today was gonna be one hell of a day.
My rods were rigged, I had retied after I left the water yesterday, my battery was charged…folks, I was ready! My only wish was to find the mega school of large bass close to where I had left them and that a few would be hungry. Not a far fetched wish by any stretch but I am dealing with nature and that tends to rule the world of predictability because it can and will change on a dime.
I arrived at the lake with a belly full of coffee, gravy biscuits, eggs and sausage from a local diner and was met with a horrendous downpour. I waited out the storm in my heated Subaru listening to NPR, finished off my coffee and was pedaling my Jackson Coosa FD by 8am. Once I rolled into the general area where the school of bass was that offered up a five best 109” stringer the previous day my eyes were glued to my depth finder. It didn’t take long and the tell tale marks of bass appeared in my side imaging. My buddy Clint describes these fish images as grains of rice because they’re usually small white specks and when you see them it is always a good idea to see if they’re biting.
I immediately circled around to the down wind side of the school and tossed my little two and a half inch Dixie Jet spoon towards the area of the school. In no time I was hooked up and eventually boated a nice twenty inch bass. The day lived up to my expectations, I caught and released over twenty bass with my five largest being from eighteen to twenty inches.
The next day was almost identical to the last two days in the amount of fish caught and the type of weather. I had caught twelve fish over five pounds in three days, all deep and all on some sort of spoon.
Let’s break down what was going on and what I used to catch those fish.
First, there was a major cold front moving through, the first big one of the year. The water had already cooled to the mid fifties and the bait had moved to deeper water. The bass were staged and ready to start fattening up for winter. I find that prefrontal conditions like I encountered will flip the switch causing bass to feed and apparently this frontal system gave them a reason to pig out.
To catch fish on a spoon you find the fish, cast out and let the spoon fall to the bottom on a slack line. The retrieve is done by lifting your rod tip which picks the spoon off the bottom and then letting it fall or flutter back down. The speed you lift your rod and make your retrieve will entirely depend on what the fish want. You’ll have to experiment to determine the magic technique for the day and sometimes it’ll take a lot if casts with no bites to finally fire the fish up.
I used my electronics and especially the side imaging feature of my depth finder religiously. These fish were constantly cruising an area about the size of a football field. Once the bite stopped I’d pedal a large loop, usually finding the school and the hungry fish again using my side imaging. These fish would stop biting but most of the time the bite would stop simply because they had moved away from me.
Having a pedal drive kayak was essential in being able to follow these fish and stay on them. At times there was a lot of wind and I’d easily be able to face the wind and slowly pedal which kept me in one spot.
When the wind was slack I was able to throw a five inch spoon but if it was whipping I’d grab my rod with the two and a half inch spoon. The smaller spoon was easier to cast into the wind, it got to the bottom quicker and generally got the same amount of bites. I would like to point out that most of my bigger fish were caught on the larger spoon.
The rod and reel I used for each spoon differed slightly. The bigger spoon was thrown on an iRod Genesis II irg 764c which they call their “junk rod”. It’s a medium heavy action that has a soft tip that helps to not rip the lure from the fish’s mouth, a solid backbone to land the biggest of fish and the length of seven foot six inches to launch the spoon a country mile. That rod was paired with a Quantum Smoke 7:1 reel loaded with fifteen pound P-Line tactical fluorocarbon line.
For the smaller spoon I used an iRod Crusher series ia733c, medium heavy seven foot three inch rod. This rod is super light, sensitive and has the length to make long casts and the power to land big fish. I had this rod matched up to my trusty ABU Garcia Revo ALX 6-1 reel and twelve pound P-Line tactical fluorocarbon. I used this setup for searching for active bass because it’s a lighter setup and didn’t wear on me as much.
Spoons are probably one of the oldest fishing lures known to man and one of the easiest to use. Although there is a lot of technology used to design today’s spoon it’s still a simple method and it most definitely works. I used two types of spoons and several different color patterns.
The first spoon is made by MESU Fishing, it’s 4.75” and weighs one and a quarter ounce. The second spoon was the Dixie Jet flutter spoon that’s 2.5” and weighs three quarters of an ounce. Both come in some awesome fish catching patterns and they’re both solid lures.
This technique requires patience but more importantly you’ll have to gain confidence in the lure, as with any lure. I promise it’ll catch fish and it’ll catch big ones if you’ll commit to it and learn the technique. I hope you find this blog helpful and discover why this is my favorite way to fish.
I wish you a safe time on the water during the coldest part of the year. Dress accordingly, fish with a buddy and always wear your PFD.
Thank God for little plastic boats. Peace