By Simon Goldsmith
Catching deep water bass can often be a case of feast or famine. When they're grouped together and actively feeding it can be like shooting fishing in a barrel, the reality is that it’s often not like this, and trying to present your lure close enough to a fish to get it to eat your lure can often be a challenge.
A large flat occupied by scattered and mobile fish is an instance where crossing paths with a fish can be difficult to say the least. Covering water is the name of the game and having a lure that you can cast a long way and work thoroughly through the feed zone is the key success.
One lure that has returned from the early, early days of impoundment bass fishing to perhaps rule the roost as an open water search bait is the spoon. The happening bait to have tied on on the open-water impoundment bass scene over the last 3-5 years, the spoon is as simple as it is effective. Let’s take a look at how you go about spoon-feeding some Aussie bass.
While the spoon can be fished in many places, it’s on the open water flats, and on drop-offs where it really shines. A baitfish imitation, on Aussie bass lakes the spoon excels on waterways that feature boney bream. Queensland bass dams such as Somerset, Wivenhoe, and Cania are three of the standouts when it comes to spoon dams.
On these lakes bass will hold on and roam flats and drop-offs as they key in on the bait schools that make these places home. Baitfish on flats are largely a mobile thing and the bass subsequently are likewise, so being mobile and covering water to find the bait and active bass is the name of the game.
Time to Eat
While you’ll find bass on the flats and eager to eat a spoon all year round it’s generally during winter and spring that the spoon bite is at its best. Cooler conditions above and below the water line, and bait and bass that tend to congregate together at this time of the year make these two seasons primetime for throwing a spoon.
Once you know when to throw a spoon the next part to the equation is where to throw it, and the afore mentions flats and breaklines at the places to target, and to do this to optimum effect a sounder is essential. An advanced modern sounder equipped with mapping will show you depth, contours, and of course bait and fish. Find the bait and you’re on your way to finding the bass.
Once you find the bass it’s time to make a cast and when it comes to a lure that you can cast long and cover a lot of water a spoon is hard to go past. The approach as always it to put the lure where the fish are, and when it comes to throwing spoons this could mean sinking it to the bottom in 40 feet of water where the bass are sitting, or fishing it 10 feet down to suspended fish.
Regardless of what depth the fish are at, vary the retrieve until the fish tell you how they want the lure worked so they’ll eat it. In some instances, a slow wobbling roll is the way to go, while at other times a burn n kill, or traditional hop n’ drop is the key to getting them to bite. Just remember to adjust what you’re doing until you trigger a bite and always be alert for the bite. Watch your line and feel your line because the bite can come at any time, especially on the sink to the bottom.
When it comes to choosing tackle either spin or baitcaster will do the job. I prefer spin as a general rule but when working the lure on a retrieve that sees you cranking and free spooling repeatedly, the easy release functionality of a baitcaster can make life a lot easier.
When it comes to rod length and weight I like a 7 foot plus rod and prefer a medium/light or medium rod. Here’s three of my favourite outfits;
Rebellion 742MLFS, 3000S Emeraldas LT, 8lb J-Braid Grand, 10lb J-Thread FC
TD Commander 722MLXS Longbolt, 3000 Caldia LT, 8lb J-Braid Grand, 10lb J-Thread FC
TD Commander 712MFB Basilik, Steez A (6.3:1), 10lb J-Braid Grand, 10lb J-Thread FC
Lure Me Up
Lure wise there’s a lot of options on the market today. They’re essentially the same version of each other, an oval slab of metal of vary length and weight, fitted with hooks.
Hooks fitted to both the tow and rear eyelets are increasingly the norm, as are single assist hooks, both of which maximise hookups and minimise traditional treble hooks working against each other and twisting out of the fish’s mouth.
Available in a variety of lengths and weights, a selection in a range of sizes from 10-40gram, colours (if in doubt go chrome), and profile (wide and narrows) will have you armed with a selection of spoons that most bass will eat on most days.
So there you are, an overview on one of the hottest impoundment techniques getting around on the bass scene. Simple, super effective, and highly addictive, reach for a spoon can be just the meal ticket to entice a wary bass sulking on the bottom, or bring about the undoing of an active school of suspended fish. Tie one on and give it a go.