by Les Albjerg
One of my fishing and hunting buddies manages a private Bass Pond. Once or twice a year, I get the privilege of helping cull the middle class of fish. If they are not culled, the food supply in the pond runs out, and the pond over populates. Bass that should be in the 4-6 pound range end up weighing about 2.5 to 3 pounds. My friend's uncle who owns the pond, leases it from July through September to 20 people. I often get to fish it in October as well, one more time.
So, these fish are not shy. Last year, I fished all my fixed line rods over 5 meters and had a blast. This year, I decided to fish with the Tenyru Rayz Spectra RZS51LL; Shimano Cardiff; and Varivas Bait Finesse 2.5 pound. I have fished this set-up on the Boise River and Wilson Creek. It felt a little under gunned on Gilbert Lake, as I stood next to the shore. I had some spinners that I had bought from Frank Nale, and an assortment of spoons from Finesse Fishing. I knew that these fish were not going to be picky. So, I thought, "Why not do some comparison fishing between spoons and spinners?
Both caught fish! I wasn't after necessarily "which is better." I caught 84 fish in three hours. I began my session with a gold 2.5 gram Crusader spoon. After 24 fish, I decided to switch to a spinner. One difference with my spinners is I changed out the treble hooks for a single barbless hook. I find them just as effective as a treble hook, maybe even more effective. Releases are much easier with a single barbless hook too. I caught 30 fish on the spinners. I then switched to the Smith Drop Diamond Silver Yamame spoon. I caught the last 3 fish on a Diawa Presso Lupin spoon.
Catching fish is always fun! As I have thought about my fishing session here are some of my observations. I had a higher percentage of hook ups with spoons over spinners. I think it is because the hook is closer to the flash. I can see an advantage of a spinner in current. It does spin well at a broad range of speeds. I caught several bass on a very fast retrieve. Spoons seem to have a narrower sweet spot. That said, spoons do come in different shapes allowing for latitude of speed. I found that the fish seemed to slam the spoons harder. I found that spoons could be fished more accurately. The bass were following the drop-off around the lake. The spoons were more effectively jigged as well. Several times I had bass follow the spoons and nail it less that 10 feet from me as the lake shallowed. That didn't happen with the spinners. Both fished well, but I believe that the spoons edged out the spinners for effectiveness and versatility. I'll be doing some stream fishing this week up in the mountains. I will be starting with spoons.
I was simply amazed by the power in this ultra-light outfit. I caught several 4 pound plus bass on this featherlight outfit, and didn't feel like I was underpowered. It made the one pounders fun too. There are 16 nice fillets in the freezer from the two pounders I kept. I'm not sure what the other guys went home with. Chris, thanks for putting so much fun into my spin fishing!
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The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.