Tuning spoons for slow speeds like those encountered when running cut bait in your spread is a must have in your arsenal. We will discuss how we do it and when. Once you master this technique, your catch rate will definitely improve.
Not All Spoons Are Created equal
There are certain spoons that lend themselves to be tuned or in this case bent to the desired shape to produce the proper action we are looking for at slower speeds. The blanks have to be thin and flexible enough for this to happen. Our preferred spoon brand is Michigan Stinger. They are flexible enough to bend and also keep their shape. Our most success has been with the Stingray sized spoons.
Tuned Spoons Perform Best On Long Lines
Best success for us on our Lake Ontario Fishing Charters have come on long lines such as coppers and lead cores running spoons this way. Coppers perform the best with this technique. We often find ourselves running coppers along with our meat program. It’s when we are pulling slow that we incorporate these tuned spoons into our spread. By now you must be wondering, “how do we bend our spoons”? Please read on!
Why Bend Trolling Spoons
I first learned this method from the late, great, Kevin Davis. During a morning charter, Kevin was crushing the kings on 400 coppers off the boards. He had one out on each side and couldn’t keep them in the water. He told me he was running a stingray “Chicken Wing” pattern. We switched over to that pattern, but no bites. Mean while, Kevin was putting the finishing touches on a four man limit of kings. Of course I had to know why he was getting them and we weren’t. He did tell me that he “bent” the spoons to get them to kick.
The Banana Bend
Fortunate enough to be docked next to Kevin in the Oswego Marina, Kev showed me the actual spoons he was doing the damage with. They were the exact same Chicken Wing stingrays that we had out, but his had a bend in them shaped like a banana. The Banana Bend! Since then, we have spoons with the coveted Banana Bend in them to run with our slow meat program for staging kings or when the fish are on a slow spoon bite.
How To Bend Them
Kevin bent his spoons by hand at the time. With observation and a little experimentation, we tried bending the spoons around a rod holder. Voila!!! This gave them the perfect curvature and shaped them just like Kevin’s banana bend. No kinks and a perfect arch!
When To Run Them
As you may have gathered by now, a spoon bent this way will not carry high speeds nor is it very speed tolerant. A mentioned before, Stingray sized Stingers yield best results.. We typically run our slow speed meat program at or less than 2 mph. This is the speed that spoons tuned this way will shine. It’s always best to check your tuned spoons boat side in clean water, at trolling speed, to make sure the spoons are kicking and flipping correctly. Tuning spoons for slow speeds when running cut bait is deadly most days.
If you have any questions , feel free to contact us at 413-346-7675 or via our contact form with any of the questions you may have . We will be happy to answer them. If you would like to book a trip please call 413-346-7675 or feel free to use our contact form as well!