Lake Fork Fishing Tips
From Lake Fork Guides
Flutter Spoons for Lunker Bass
Article: November, 2007
It’s amazing how a small variation of a traditional bass lure often makes a tremendous difference. Jigging and casting spoons have been around much longer that I’ve been fishing—or even been alive for that matter—catching many species of fish. A few years ago, a number of us guides and locals started fishing big heavy casting spoons in deep water for Lake Fork bass and the results were instantly gratifying. When bass were suspended and turned their noses at regular spoons, tail spinners, and swimbaits; these big spoons often whacked them. And not only did they catch fish, but often lots of them and big ones, at that. Word of the success of big spoons spread quickly at Lake Fork over the past couple of years, although many anglers still haven’t seen or used them. Meanwhile, very few bass outside of Lake Fork have ever seen these baits to this day.
Fast forward to the summer of 2007. Lake Fork Tackle Pro Staffer Kelly Jordan smoked fish after fish for several weeks on national TV on “Ultimate Match Fishing” at KY Lake while wearing out other top pros with a big spoon. Furthermore, several local TV shows and “In-Fisherman” magazine did a couple articles on big spoons, bringing national attention to this type of fishing. So now that the secret’s out, take advantage of this hot new presentation before the bass become conditioned to it.
My new favorite bait for this technique is the new Fork Flutter Spoon made by Lake Fork Tackle (www.lftlures.com) to Kelly Jordan’s standards. It comes in 3 sizes (3”, 4”, and 5”) and several productive colors. In addition to a traditional chrome finish, there is a “Bar Fish” yellow bass pattern and a silvery “Magic Shad” color, 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 will stay on once they hit it.
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 raise the spoon very briskly, while other days a slow steady lift 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.
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’ medium heavy rod with a fast tip and 20 lb P-Line fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon transmits your bites much better than mono, 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. For the smallest spoon (3” size), 12 to 15 lb P-Line fluorocarbon rigged on a 7’ medium action rod gives the bait better action than big line, while retaining enough strength to land big fish.
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!
by Lake Fork Pro Tom Redington