Key tool in winter success: vertical jigging spoons
Many anglers associate vertical jigging spoons with walleyes, but they’re also for crappies, sunfish and jumbo perch. Vertical jigging spoons provide flash, vibration, color and drop speed, and I associate them with four key styles:
Straight vertical jigging spoons are usually heavier (for a faster fall with minimal action), and they’re great to use for aggressive fish and in deep water.
Bent jigging spoons deliver a more pronounced action and flash for targeting fish in a neutral mood.
So-called action spoons are lighter thus offering more movement and flash because their slow fall is more suited for negative fish.
Bent and thin will fall slower with maximum wobble and are excellent for tough biters.
Try to match the fish’s appetite by experimenting with size, color, action, and appropriate rod movement.
For walleyes, try a fathead or shiner minnow head on one tine only. A fathead or shiner hooked parallel to dorsal fin on one tine point forward provides a more natural profile.
Vary your rod movement until you find something that clicks with the fish and generates a bite. Then duplicate that action, always holding it for a few seconds in between. There are times when pounding bottom creates interest but this is not the only approach. Ask yourself, for example, are we using too much pounding?
Rattles and glow are factors to explore too. Manufacturers vary glow intensity in lures as will rattles.
Watch for line slack when dropping spoon down; this is when the bite takes place but not always. Concentrate!
And don’t always anticipate a thump when a fish, even a big one, strikes.