The Old Gold Spoon
It was a very windy spring this year for the Lower Laguna Madre. More windy than usual it seemed, or maybe itís just my getting older and more cantankerous. Being a guide you have to fish those kinds of days or site at the dock and choke pilings, which my banker doesnít like either. So whatís a guide to do but go fish and give their customers their best shot at some fish, right?
This spring as well as into the summer has been great spoon weather. Seems the faster you drift and cast the more reds you can catch. Blowing across grass flats and "chunkin & grindin" is a very productive way to fish the OLD GOLD SPOON. Iím talking about the Johnson Silver Minnow.
One of the keys to being successful with this technique is to make sure youíre retrieving fast enough to compensate for the wind blowing your boat at about 3 knots. So a high-speed reel is a must. High speed is defined in my book as one with a 5.8 or 6.1 gear ratio.
The nice thing about fishing a gold spoon is it catches redfish if thereís one anywhere close to it. Grass flats are great places to look for reds as they are rooting around for shrimp, crabs, and pin perch. The spoon resembles the pin perch and therefore is an excitant choice for fishing reds. Itís just my go to bait for redfish. Trout like the spoon as well but I will usually catch about 20 reds to one trout on a gold spoon. So if youíre looking for trout, switch to a silver spoon instead.
The best way to fish the ľ ounce gold spoon is with a quick and steady retrieve. Holding your rod level with the water, if your standing in a boat this would be about three feet above the water. The reason for this is two fold. First it sets the pace for your retrieve, the higher you hold the rod the slower you have to retrieve to keep the lure in the water. Consequently the lower the rods tip the faster the retrieve. Level works best for me as we fish in two feet of water most of the time. Second the rod is in the ready position to set the hook. Most times if your fishing the bait fast enough the strike is very noticeable because it comes to an abrupt stop. Thereís just no doubt that youíve been bit.
This summer with the wind lying down and wade fishing being more comfortable, the gold spoon is still catching its share of reds. When the wind lays and you canít get the speed drift, try wading. I like to fish 45 degrees to the current and or wind let the current bring the fish to me. The nice thing about wading is that when you get into the reds, you can stay with them longer and catch more of them instead of blowing through them. The technique is the same, work the spoon as fast as you can and still keep it just above the grass. Here again I like to keep my rod level to the water and be ready for the strike. With your rod being closer to the water wading, the speed of the retrieve will be a little slower but fast enough to keep it out of the grass, but the reds donít mind, they seem to like it fast.
The size of the spoon also dictates the speed of the retrieve. The bigger and heavier, the faster you must retrieve. Spoons come in sizes from 2 ounce down to 1/8th ounce. Iíve tried them all and have settled on the ľ ounce for most all of my fishing. It casts well on 10 pound line and works well in most all conditions, in clear or stained or even semi muddy water it will still produce fish.
The best thing about spoon fishing is that itís easy. You donít have to work the bait in any certain way other that to cast it out and reel it back in. The spoon has all its action built right into it. Itís one of the easiest lures to teach people how to fish because of its inherent ability to catch fish when nothing else will, and itís weedless.
Iíve grown so fond of the gold spoon that I am now casting one on my fly rod. Tied a little smaller so it can be cast with a long rod, it works equally well. It calls for a lot of blind casting sometimes, but when your in the fish, who cares right. On the sand flats it has become my go to fly for sight casting as well. The redfish and ladyfish love the quick flashy presentations and will hardly ignore the spoon fly. Donít forget to "Release em, donít Grease em"
Skipper Ray is a freelance writer and fishing guide in South Padre Island, Texas
where he owns and operate Island Outfitters. Call: 956-943-2798 or Email
Fishing Articles by Skipper Ray
Blind Casting the Flats
Catching and Handling Numbers of Trout
Fishing Guides Perspective
Effective Blind Casting on the Fly
Line Management Techniques
Lures of Choice for the Fall Season
More Tec Tips - King Mackerel
New Trout Techniques
Ready at the Rod
Spring is in the Air
Tech Tips - "Donít Give Up"
Tech Tips - Itís a Drag
The Ladies Have More Fun
The Chosen One
The "Ibis" Built by Newwater Boatworks
The Old Gold Spoon
Time to Fish Free
It's Red Fishing Time in South Padre
Trout Fishing the Lower Laguna Madre
Trout on Topwater Flies
Wading the Lower Laguna Madre