Lake Fork Fishing Tips
From Lake Fork Guides
Fork Flutter Spoons for Lunker Bass (Revised)Article: July, 2011
For deep water bass on offshore structure, no bait has been hotter for the past few years than big spoons like the Fork Flutter Spoons. Bass key in on shad in the summer and fall and these lures look like an easy to eat baitfish. The quick rip of the flashy spoon, followed by its slow dying flutter, tempts bass that are active or dormant, suspended or on bottom. Spoons have become another key tool in the offshore arsenal, just like the Carolina rig did a generation ago, joined more recently by the drop shot. If you haven’t started fishing big spoons yet, here are few of the basics on one of my new favorite techniques.
My choice of lure for this technique is the Fork Flutter Spoon made by Lake Fork Trophy Lures (www.lftlures.com). It comes in 3 sizes (3”, 4”, and 5”) and several productive colors. In addition to a traditional plain chrome finish, there is a bright “Bar Fish” pattern for stained water and a silvery “Magic Shad” color for clear water, both with highly reflective scale and sparkle finishes that are produced by adding several layers of coatings to the raw spoon. An ultra sharp Gamakatsu hook makes sure that fish get stuck when they hit it. These big heavy spoons will cast a mile, but the big cup in their sides make them fall wildly like a light feather in a swirling wind.
Fishing the Fork Flutter Spoon is unlike fishing a regular jigging spoon; rather, it is more akin to retrieving a Texas rigged worm—only with more exaggerated motions. I start by making a long cast and letting the spoon fall on slack line. Slack line is the key to flutter spoons, as it gives the bait its distinctive dying shad fluttering action—the trigger mechanism for big bass. Once the bait hits bottom, reel up your slack, holding your rod at the 9 o’clock position. Raise your rod to the 12 o’clock or even 1 o’clock position, pulling the spoon way up off the bottom. Some days you want to lift the spoon very briskly, while other days a slow steady rise works better. Once you’ve lifted the spoon, leave slack in the line and let it fall back to the bottom. Repeat this process all the way to the boat, making sure to leave slack in the line each time it drops for that key fluttering action. If the fish are suspended instead of on the bottom, follow this same process, except count the bait down to the desired depth instead of letting it fall all the way to the bottom on the initial cast. Finally, for less active fish (especially in cold water), I simply hold my rod tip high and give the lure a few cranks of the handle and then let the bait fall back down on semi-slack. Instead of a big rip off the bottom and a wild fluttering motion, a gentler rise followed by a subdued fall on a slightly tight line (less slack gives it less flutter) is more appealing to less aggressive fish.
Bites on the spoon will feel like a very sharp thump and your line will often jump. As soon as I feel a bite, I do a short snap set of the hook as quickly as I can. Bass often strike the spoon several times before hooking up, so if you miss a fish, continue your retrieve until you hook up. Bass almost always come to the surface and are notorious for spitting spoons when they jump. To prevent lost fish, I stick my rod tip into the water and reel briskly to keep tension on bass as they come up.
To get the best action and feel from your bait requires the proper tackle. For the largest 2 sizes of the Fork Flutter Spoon, including my favorite—the massive 5” model—I use a 7’8” Dobyns Extreme DX784C rod with a fast tip and 17-20 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line. An ultra sensitive rod and FluoroHybrid Pro line transmits your bites very well, allowing you to feel more bites and to react faster. Many bass snap at the bait and don’t hold it, so you need to quickly set the hook as soon as a bite is felt. With big fish often rocketing towards the surface and then heading back down on power dives, the super long rod helps keep them hooked up. For the smallest spoon (3” size), 12 to 14 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line rigged on a 7’3” Dobyns Champion 733C rod gives the bait better action than big line, while retaining enough strength to land big fish. To help reduce line twist, adding a quality ball bearing swivel to the top of the spool saves a lot of hassles.
The secret has been out for a while now, but apparently all of the bass don’t know yet. Now’s your chance to catch some bass on big flutter spoons before some else educates them!
Fishing Tip by Lake Fork Pro Tom Redington