One bait can be fished in the dead of winter or in the heat of summer in the exact same area at the same depth and catch bass. This a bait many anglers will never throw, but when fished in the right areas at the right times can be a bass catching lure. The lure I am talking about is the jigging spoon.
I do not know of another bait that imitates a dying or crippled shad any better than a jigging spoon. The look and action of this bait in the water is very lifelike. There are two basic types of spoons. One is the jigging spoon which is a flatter type body designed to be fished vertically under the boat in deeper open water with a up and down retrieve. Then there is the casting spoon. This spoon has a deep cupped design to make it skim and float along the surface and over weeds and heavy matted surface cover.
The hook on a casting spoon is a single large hook located on the inside of the cupped face. This keeps the hook up and out of the cover, making it a very weedless bait and a good choice when bass are buried up in heavy matted cover. This is usually used in warmer weather.
Right now most bass are holding in deeper water off of main lake structure and will school in groups and follow shad schools and feed. This type of situation is where the jigging spoon really works well. The bass will follow the bait fish schools and watch for the weak and dying bait fish and pick them off . This is exactly the action that a jigging spoon gives when fished correctly.
When you are looking for areas to fish a jigging spoon, look for main lake areas with a steady drop off into deeper water. Spots like points that run out toward a channel or the deep side of a point, cliff and bluff lines are always top areas to fish a spoon. Also open water areas like the edge of a flat that drops off into deeper water or has a channel running through it. Spots that have humps or huge rock or wood piles coming up off the bottom in deeper water are good types of areas to fish with a spoon.
When I refer to deeper water, this will vary from lake to lake. On smaller lakes this may only be eight to 10 feet deep. On larger clear deep water lakes this may be 30 feet or deeper. The spoon is mainly made to fish in clear water because if its wavy design and dimpled golf ball like surface the spoon will reflect light like a swimming shad. The best tackle to fish with the spoon is a long medium heavy action rod with clear fluorocarbon line. Tie a quality swivel snap on your line. This will allow the bait to spin and move with out twisting your line. The spoon is made from thin metal, so tying directly to the lure with your line would cut your line soon.
Look at your fish finder to locate the bait fish school and make your cast or let your line feed out until you are just above or close to the school. On a tight line slowly start working the rod tip up to about the 2 o’clock position and on a tight line work the rod back down, keeping an eye out for any type of jerk or twitch on the line.
Try to stay in contact with the bait at all times as strikes will be light. You can fish a bait on a single cast for quite a while before moving. Hop and twitch the bait to give it action. Most of the strikes will occur when the bait is on the fall.
This can be a bait that can bring a strike on just about every cast at times. Give it a try on your next winter bass trip.