By: Daryl Christensen
Because of my tournament success in catching walleyes using jigging spoons, I can rarely do a fishing seminar anymore without folks asking me to explain how to properly fish with a spoon. Although the presentation may seem simple to the untrained eye, there is certainly a "right" way and definitely a "wrong" way to fish a jigging spoon.
First of all, spoon color, style, weight and design can make a really big difference, so choosing the right spoon for the body of water you are fishing is very important. I always want to try to match the forage that walleyes are feeding on and here's where color and size really matters.
For example, we know that most walleyes weighing five pounds and under, prefer to eat 1-2 inch forage. So if that is the size fish you are targeting, staying with a spoon with that size profile is very important. However, if you are fishing the Great Lakes or other bodies of water with larger forage, then bumping the spoon size up will put more fish in the boat.
I've fished spoons for a lot of years and I've tried and tested most of what is out there in the angling marketplace. When fish are "hot" it seems they will hit most spoon designs if the overall length and profile comes close to what they are eating. As we all know, however, walleyes can get pretty finicky at times and that's when it becomes critical to have the right spoon.
My "go-to" spoon most of the time is the Hopkins Shorty® in the hammered silver or gold weighing a quarter or half-ounce. I use silver in clear water and gold in dark or stained water to match the color of the forage fish. If small crappies or perch are the preferred forage, I will use a spoon with green tape on it, otherwise I prefer bare spoon.