Spoons are perhaps the simplest of all bass fishing lures. So-called for their spoon-like shape, they might have fallen out of fashion with the modern day angler but that doesn’t mean they’re any less effective in catching fish. Many anglers love the no-fuss approach of using a spoon too.
The oscillating movement of a spoon also goes a long way in appealing to the lateral line system of a bass and drawing them out from cover. In this way, they can prove a much cheaper alternative to a beginner than a topwater, spinner or jerkbait too.
Bass Spoons Buying Guide
Although a spoon’s components and features seem rather limited there is some amount of variation within the spoon lure family. Shopping for them, and getting the best spoons for bass possible, is easily done with a better understanding of the different types. As well as when and why to use them.
What is a Spoon?
A spoon is usually a metal or shell-based lure with an oblong, concave body with the hole for the line attachment at one end and the hole for a hook attachment at the other. Sometimes bass anglers can customize the hooks for a spoon and purchase only the body. Other times hooks are included.
The main feature of a spoon is its reflection of light and random movement. When the sun is at a sharp angle in the water the glint on a spoon can cause a large amount of flash resembling the reflection of a prey-fish. Color variations on spoons can also help to exacerbate this feature, especially in specific weather and light intensities.
Using a spoon is one of the easier techniques in bass fishing. It requires a simple cast, time to let the lure fall in the water and then a quick sharp upward movement (lifting the bait up and then letting it fall again). On the fall is when the bass is most likely to strike.
When and Why to Use a Spoon Over Other Lure Types
Spoons are good to use when bass are in a tight area or stacked on top of one another in the water. They are also generally recommended for cold water conditions at the start of the season when the metabolism of the fish is generally slower. They are also best used in deep water.
Because of their weight, spoons are generally easier to cast and require more of a whip of the road rather than the full armed cast anglers might have to do with lighter lures. For that reason, they are recommended for beginners without much casting experience.
Types of Spoons
Spoons have changed somewhat since their inception and now encompass more than the usual cast and retrieve scenario. In bass fishing, most anglers will find seven types of spoons with some crossover in the classifications.
Perhaps the simplest spoon type, casting spoons are made for the cast and retrieve with very little else having to be done in order to move the lure and create the required disturbance to attract a bass. Designed for open water and sparse cover situations, the casting lure is a solid beginner spoon for anglers trying this lure category for the first time.
Sometimes overlooked by more experienced anglers who assume that the casting spoon is more of a trout, bluegill or crappy lure, it’s actually very effective for bass. Especially for schooling fish moving around the water.
Casting spoons are either elongated or fat in shape. The main difference between these two types is temperature and water clarity. The dirtier and warmer the water, the more the vibration of the fat casting spoon will serve you.
The thinner bodied spoon is better in clear, colder water as it provides more flash and less vibration. This is considered to mimic baitfish more naturally.
Good for use in heavy cover where the chance of snagging on obstacles is high, slop spoons provide a weedless remedy to this problem and usually come through unscathed. The lure works as the hooks are usually in parallel with the body. This reduces the chance of them catching or embedding in weeds.
Slop spoons are the same as other spoon types in terms of the color variations; with gold and silver being the most common. Skipping them, a bass fishing technique that involves moving the lure along the bottom, can be a bit unpredictable though. Especially due to the hook position.
Jigging spoons generally have ultra sharp hooks, different color combinations and a unique design that makes them well suited to catching suspended bass sitting off the bottom of the water.
Anglers suggest using jigging lures by dropping them into the target area, pausing and then lifting the rod a couple of feet before pausing again. Repeating this technique is the next step and that’s why these types of spoons can be compared to the jig lures that employ an almost identical technique.
Bass sitting at the bottom of the water can also be targeted by a jigging lure by adjusting the pause to allow the lure to hit the bottom before lightly twitching the rod tip.
Flutter spoons can be a good choice in early summer or fall when baitfish are sitting close to the bottom and bass generally have more willingness to strike. Flutters get their name from the way they fall in the water. This best resembles the side to side flutter of a feather dropped from a height.
Due to this action, the flutter produces a lot of flash and does a good job in mimicking a dying bait fish. For lazy bass sitting under schools that are more frenzied in their feeding, the movement of a flutter can prove irresistible.
Trolling spoons differ to the usual spoon in that they are used for the trolling technique. This involves casting off of a boat and running the lure in the water as the boat continues to move. Normally a spoon would get its action from the retrieve.
Predominantly considered a summer spoon, the trolling spoon is more commonly seen in ocean or sea water fishing rather than lake, river or pond fishing. That’s because more water is covered and target fish tend to be larger in size than freshwater ones.
From a technical standpoint trolling spoons, although lighter in weight and requiring more advanced equipment, work the same as regular spoons in producing flash and movement in the water that resembles wounded baitfish action. The variety of colors and customization options with trolling spoons is just as large too.
Surface spoons are designed as their name suggests, to be fished near the top rather than the bottom of the water. The hook shank on this lure type is soldered on to the underside of the body of the lure rather than fixed or attached.
As the hook faces upward from the body in the water, surface spoons are also considered weedless and a good choice for throwing into lily pads, weed beds, and similar landscapes.
Surface spoons are more restrictive in their sizes than other types of spoon. This can narrow their use somewhat. It also means they’re better left for more specific circumstances. Especially for beginners who can probably get by with casting spoons or other varieties first.
Weedless spoons are those that have a hook placement that’s unlikely to catch on obstacles in the water. They might also have guards that do a similar job, obstructing the hooks from snagging nearby objects and therefore helping to make fishing more hassle-free.
All of the above spoon types can be considered weedless if they fit the above criteria. Lures can also be modified by attachments, weights, and trailers by the angler too.
Spoon colors are varied and buyers will find one in any color under the rainbow if they’re searching for something very specific. Usually, the gold or silver-plated or dyed spoons are the best matches. That’s because they provide more flash in the water when reflecting light.
More vibrantly colored spoons might be better suited to dark, unclear water where clearer colors are less visible. Shopping for color requires some forethought on when and where you’ll be fishing as a result.
The weight of a lure is an important consideration as it contributes both to the length of the cast and to a spoon’s general action. Heavy spoons will fly further on the cast but might move a little slower in the water. Lighter spoons won’t have as much range but might move a little more erratically in the water.
You’ll want to choose a spoon with a weight that’s manageable for your own fishing style. If you think you’ll be needing to probe the water with a series of long casts then avoid the lighter, smaller spoons. That way you won’t have to do half as much work.
Pairing Spoons with Other Gear
Once you’ve settled on when, where and what type of spoon might suit your style of fishing, it’s important to consider your current set-up. Generally, spoons will work with the most common bass fishing gear.
Bass fishermen tend to fish spoons with either baitcasting or spinning rods. Baitcasting rods give a bit more control over casting placement but might not work as well with beginners who just want to get out and fish and not worry too much about the cast.
Casting spoons are a safe bet for any rod type you have. These only depend on you getting them out to the water and bringing them back in. Surface spoons, on the other hand, require more finesse. A baitcasting rod might work better for them.
Reels are more of a personal preference when it comes to bass fishing. As spoons aren’t heavily reliant on reel speed and can be played within a range of speeds, reel options are broad. Jigging spoons might need something with a higher gear ratio however, something in the range of 6:1 being ideal.
Spoons can be used with all main line types but in bass fishing, you’ll usually find them in use with fluorocarbon line that’s fairly high in pound test (around 15-25 pound test). Fluorocarbon works well with spoons as it is mainly invisible and helps hide the line from finicky fish. It also sinks better than monofilament and braided.
It’s recommended to use a snap swivel with a spoon about a foot away from the lure tie itself. This prevents line twist and potential breakage. It also helps improve the action of spoons giving them more freedom to move.
Best Spoons for Bass
With a better understanding of what makes a great spoon it’s time to take a look at some of the most popular choices in this lure category.
This gold, rose gold or mix colored spoons are a favorite among bass anglers due to their durability, strength, and design. Coming in a pack of five they provide good value for money too.
- Silver and gold plating produces a lot of flash in the water which is great for tempting a fish into the strike
- Unique ‘S’ shape gives this spoon a very irregular swimming action and rapid dive which can draw fish in from afar
- Environmentally-friendly premium paint finish is a nice touch that decreases this lure’s impact on the ecosystem
- Hooks aren’t the sharpest and might have trouble penetrating a bass’ mouth decreasing potential hook-ups
- Might prove a little light for anglers hoping to cast out further and probe more difficult to reach areas of water
Versatile enough to be used for trout and panfish (not only bass), these Southbend spoon’s weight ¼ ounce and come in a pack of three.
- Small but powerful size-12 treble hooks are more than enough for fighting a big bass and getting the better of it
- Surprisingly heavy (given their size) they deliver a long cast even in windy conditions while their streamline shape makes them fast on the retrieve
- Great body finish that is solid and long lasting
- Tendency to get stuck on the bottom or on obstacles in heavy cover so best to avoid using them in unfamiliar areas of water
- Lack of feathers can make them a little plain looking opposed to other models
- Hooks on the large size could prove a deterrent in going after smaller sized bass
The Sunlure series come in different weighted packs of five and allow a little customization between gold and silver color choices.
- Creates a strong lifelike swimming action which won’t spook a fish and resemble baitfish very well
- Variety of choice in weights; from heavy 20g options good for long casts and shorter 5g models
- Sharp treble hooks complete with feathers add a little extra dynamic to the lure to better catch the attention of roaming bass
- Tendency to shrink in colder waters restricts winter anglers a little
- Irregular shape is a little unsightly in comparison to other popular spoons
One of the more customizable spoons on this list, the Nichols Fork Flutter has five color choices including silver shad, silver chrome, and golden shiner and varying weights.
- Well suited in targeting all sizes of bass, the small sized hooks are no impingement in catching bigger specimens
- Durable enough to be thrown around offshore structures without tangling or snagging the line
- Body design creates a lot of flash in the water which is great on day’s where water visibility is limited
- Pack of one makes it fairly expensive compared to multi-pack spoon alternatives
- Might prove too light in the cast with only ¾ and ⅛ ounce options available
The second Southbend on this list, these steel spoons are a good choice for bass fishermen looking to pick up a specific light weight of spoon as they have 1/32, 1/16, 1/5, 1/4, and 3/8 ounce options. Good value for money at five in a pack.
- The multi-pack allows the angler to mix and match sizes which is great if you change your fishing spot often and need something to test in new waters
- Cheaper than your average lure, these make for a good beginner set for someone just getting started with fishing spoons
- These very small sized spoons will limit big catches and are only suitable for fish weighing up to 3 pounds
- Paint tends to run a little so avoid using these spoons in salt water
Fishing spoons can be more complicated than you think given the options. Hopefully, this guide can leave you better prepared in your search of the best spoons for bass.