BassWestUSA - January/February, 2010, Page 25

bass with your electronics. “You don’t need to overcomplicate spoon fishing,” comments Hemphill. “Three-fourths of the battle is finding the bait; only one- fourth is fishing the spoon. “In fall and winter, don’t take your eyes off your electronics,” advises Hemp- hill. “Just turn your meter on, hope you don’t crash into shore, and go hunting.” In- terestingly, he points out that simply find- ing the baitfish may not be enough. “If you see a tight ball of bait, what’s going on? Nothing! Nothing is chasing them. “When the bait is being chased, you’ll see hooks,” Hemphill continues. “You’ll see a disorganized group of baitfish and

mass obliteration.” And that’s just the kind of wa- tery mayhem you’re look- ing for. Once you’ve found a congregation of active bass relating to baitfish, catching them on a spoon is relatively simple. On a typical retrieve, Hemphill lets his spoon free-fall all the way to bottom, noting that bass are most often hovering 10 to 15 feet above it. He then reels in about 5 feet of line, twitch- es the spoon upwards and lets it drop a couple of times, and if there aren’t any takers, reels the spoon in another 5 feet and repeats the process. Both Hemp- hill and Thompson advocate letting the spoon descend with controlled slack so bites, which more often than not happen on the fall, can be swiftly detected. As far as spoon choices go, Hemphill opts for 3/4- to 1-3/4-ounce Blade Runners in Morning Dawn and Black Shad, along with Crippled Her- rings and heavier versions of Acme’s old standby, the Kastmaster. Thompson fa- vors XPS Tungsten Jigging Spoons from Bass Pro Shops (he won the 2004 BASS Open on them) along with Hopkins spoons in weights ranging from 1/2- to 3/4-ounc- es. “I like silver and gold when the water is clearer. Also, for spotted bass, I throw painted spoons in white or chartreuse.” Thompson typically does his spoon- ing with a 7’ Fenwick Techna AV medium- fast casting rod, choosing an Abu Garcia Revo SX high-speed reel spooled with fluorocarbon of 10- to 12-lb test. He notes that lighter line provides better feel.

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January/February 2010

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