How to catch trout with spoons
Spoons, in my opinion, are underrated, and many of us should fish them more. Spoons have some significant advantages over other lure designs. So lets not waste too much time on introductions and jump into why Spoons are some of the best trout catching lures around.
When are spoons the best trout lure?
Spoons have several advantages over inline-spinners or jerkbaits. The two primary advantages are ease of casting and the sink rate.
Most trout fishermen know this, but casting a tiny spinner or jerkbait can be challenging. For long distance casts, reach for a spoon. Spoons are typically made out of denser material and are more streamline allowing for better aerodynamics.
So when fishing big rivers, lakes or simply targeting trout holding far away spoons are usually the best option.
The second advantage spoons has is sink rate, they sink quickly. This makes spoon a great option for fishing close to the bottom, ideal for deep fast pools. This sink rate also makes them a popular lure for trolling in deep lakes and even for jigging.
So, for deep water. I probably will reach for the spoon. I honestly prefer to use a spinner or jerkbait when fishing in shallow waters, but in expert hands a fluttering spoon such as the Thomas Bouyant is still an effective trout lure.
Fours rules when retrieving a spoon
Keep it slow.
Trout are hot high speed predators, they prefer to inspect before pouncing on their prey. Reeling in a spoon too slow, is much more effective than going too fast.
Vary your speed.
Baitfish, do not swim at a consistent speed. They dart and zig zag around, often changing direction or even pausing for a few seconds before moving on again. try to replicate that swim style by varying the speed of your retrieve, put in short boosts of speed and the occasional pause. I have found trout like to pounce on the pause.
Spoons often lack the fishlike actions of more modern designs, so it is a good idea to impact additional action during your retrieve by twitching your rod. This causes the spoon to swim erratically and might just trickier a following trout to strike.
Cast and wait.
After casting out, it can be a good idea to pause for a few seconds before starting your retrieve. Experience fishermen do this for several reasons. This gives the lure time to sink deeper towards the bottom where trout, especially steelheads and wary browns, often hold.
The next point is a bit of a gamble, and I will explain why. When a lure hits the water, it causes a splash, trout can respond in several ways. They can swim away in fright, they can ignore it, or they can zoom in to investigate. By delaying the retrieve, it gives wary trout a chance to forget the impact, and it gives curious trout a chance to swim over and explore what caused the splash. Now, if you cast right where the trout is feeding, they might strike straight away. In such situations, an immediate retrieve can work better.
How to fish a deep pool with a spoon
If there is one trout fishing scenario where spoons really shine, it is fishing deep, often fast water. Spoons, are made from chunkier denser material than spinners or minnows, which allows them to sinker faster.
This is ideal when fishing the bottom of pools, which is where many trout wait because it is out of the worst of the current, but they can easily swim up to intercept any prey being washed downstream.
When fishing a pool, I like to cast slightly upstream, maybe at a 3 oclock direction. Then with minimal retrieve, I allow the spoon to drift down to the bottom. Pay attention, because it is possible to feel the spoon bouncing off rocks. Slowly, retrieve line to maintain contact and feel any strikes.
Once the spoon has drifted downstream slowly lift your rod tip and wind it back in before casting again.
Ideally, use the smallest spoon, which is dense enough to reach the bottom in a reasonable time. Some good options to use are Acme Little Cleo or, the Luhr-Jensen Krocodile
How to troll with a spoon Trolling is a massive topic within itself, with many different styles and techniques. Below I will give some key guidelines which will increase the chance of success.
Trolling for trout with Spoons
Troll Spoons Slow When Targeting Trout
I see this mistake every time I troll on my local lake. People drive too quickly when they are trolling for trout. Trolling fast, will catch the occasional trout and some other species but most trout will give up the chase if you are going to fast
I usually troll for my sit on top fishing kayak. When trolling I make a stroke every few seconds. I really just glide alone, barely causing a disturbance to the surface. I doubt I will be going much over 1 mile per hour. When not trolling, I paddle closer to 4-5mph. I have lost count, of the number of times I have been overtaken by boats trolling at much higher speeds.
In the chart below, I listed a rough trolling speed range for a variety of fish. It is a range because trout behavior does differ. When the water is very cold, or a bit too warm trout become sluggish and require even more time to strike. As a general rule, I try to troll no faster than 1mph.
If you want to maximize the number of species caught, it can be worth increasing the speed somewhat.
|Species||Trolling Speed Range||Trolling range kph|
|Lake trout||1.0 to 3.0 mph||1.5-4.5kph|
|Brown trout||0.5 to 2.0mph||0.7-3kph|
|Rainbow trout||0.5 to 2.0 mph||0.7-3kph|
|Brook trout||0.5 to 2.0 mph||0.7-3kph|
|Pike||2.0 to 4.0 mph||3.0-6.0kph|
|Bass||2.0 to 4.0mph||3.0-6.0kph|
|Walleye||0.5 to 3 mph||0.7-4.5kph|
Use larger spoons to fish deeper.
Early in the season when the water is still cold, fish lighter spoons closer to the surface.
In the heat of summer, fish larger, heavier spoons that retrieve deeper in the water column.
If you get very serious, can also consider using additional weight or a down rigger to get the lures down even deeper.
Trout, even in lakes often hold around structure. Structure to look out for is submerged trees, river deltas, shallow flats and weedbeds. The shoreline itself also provides many fishing opportunities.
Try trailing a light lure behind a heavy spoon.
Use a big heavy spoon such as a Daredevle, and on the bend of the hook tie a foot or so of monofilament. Then tie on a smaller, more finesse style of lure. A trout streamer such as a wooly bugger works extremely wool.
The large spoon acts as weight and does an amazing job at attracting fish in from a long distance. Trout being wary, might choose to ignore the large spoon but still being opportunistic will grab at the much less risky small lure trailing behind.
10 of the best spoons for trout fishing
1) Acme Kastmaster
The ACME Kastmaster is not only an excellent spoon, it is one of the most popular trout lures in North America. Myself, and many trout fishermen learned to cast with this style of lure.
So what makes the kastmaster such a great spoon? Well, it is such an easy lure to fish with. Firstly the design makes casting a breeze. Anyone who can cast will cast a good distance on a Kastmaster. They just glide through the air with minimal resistance.
Their ease of use does not stop in the air, the moment the lure hits the water it starts to wobble on the drop, giving off glimmers of light. The kastmaster does not care about retrieval speeds, retrieve fast and it darts forward like a fleeing baitfish, or retrieve slow, which is more effective for trout and it wobbles as it swims through the water.
Now, the kastmaster is also an excellent trolling you, and it can even be jigged.
2) Abu Garcia Toby
The Toby might just be Abu’s best-selling lure. This long, skinny spoon is a very popular trout lure across the globe, although can be a bit hard to find in North America.
The toby resembles a slim baitfish, the tiny rear wings help with buoyancy, allowing it to flutter and dance through the water on the retrieve.
Only the con curve side of Toby’s are painted, the reverse side is left plain and bright to give of flashes as we retrieve it through the water.
Tobys casts nearly as well as Kastmaters, and are a great spoon for prospecting rivers or for trolling behind.
There are quite a few spoons with similar designs to the toby, such as the Kilwell Turbo, Thomas lures Speedy Shiner and the Kenley Toby Wever.
3) Eppinger Daredevle
The Eppinger Daredevle has been catching trout for over 100 years. Even today, it remains one of the most popular lures for targeting Lake Trout.
But, the Daredevle is more than just a trolling lure. It is also extremely effective fishing downstream in rivers. Simply cast slightly upstream, and let it drop and flutter down with the current. It is one of my favorite lures for fishing deep pools and holes where I know the trout are holding tightly to the bottom.
4) Thomas Buoyant
Another classic, the Tomas Buoyant sinks at a slower rate than most spoons. This means more time fluttering through the water column and less time rubbing across the bottom. It is a great spoon for fishing shallow waters such as streams.
The two cut-outs at the back of the lure results in an erratic wobble. Even at low retrieve speeds which is when most trout will strike. The slow retrieve wobbles makes it a great choice for early spring when the trout are still sluggish.
5) Acme Little Cleo
The little Cleo is a classic spoon, an excellent option for fishing bigger, deeper faster water. It is a very popular lure for targeting steelhead and salmon. It will be my pick for fishing a deep pool in a swift flowing river.
6) Acme Phoebe
These little spoons somewhat resemble tiny fish. Being lightweight makes them a great for fishing shallow water, ripples typically found in streams. The curve design allows it to be fished at all speeds and depths.
7) Super Duper
The Super Duper looks a bit strange with its bent boxy U sharp design. The U sharp bend, traps the water on the retrieve causing it to dance and wobble through the water. This spoon is quite controversial, same anglers absolutely love them while others are not even prepared to give it a try.
8) Luhr-Jensen Krocodile
the Krocodile is a long, round chunky spoon. It is easy to cast and for its length sinks quickly. I find the Krocodile a great lure for searching for trout in big water. It works well on a slow retrieve, or even with a jig action.
This spoon has quite a bit in common with the Abu Garcia Toby, but it sinks faster. Making it well suited for targeting trout holding near the bottom, especially in deep or fast flowing water.
9) Bluefox Moresilda Trout
These spoons resemble tiny fish. They cast like a bullet thanks to their solid construction. They sink rapidly, making it a good option for fishing deep pools or fast current. They are also a very effective jigging lure and can be trolled. .
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