The Trolling and Casting Spoon
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The Trolling and Casting Spoon

The Trolling and Casting Spoon


The Trolling and Casting Spoon

The Trolling and Casting Spoon

With the advent of the short bait-casting rod and the free-running reel has come an increase of interest in artificial lures. Bass fishermen of an experimental turn of mind are kept busy trying out each new bait as it makes its appearance, and the collections of these lures which some enthusiasts have made are indeed fearful and wonderful to behold. The non-angling person if shown one of these museums, without explanatory remarks, would be inclined to believe that it was the life work, complete to date, of an extremely ingenious maniac. With all this interest in the new and sometimes fantastic lures, not that some of them do not catch bass, the old and very reliable "spoon hook" has suffered a temporary eclipse. And yet, taking everything into consideration, the spoon is without doubt the best of all-round artificial bait ever invented. Upon it, when skillfully and seasonably used, every important game fish of fresh waters may be taken. Its attractive motion when in action is hardly equaled by any of the later inventions, and as a casting bait it may always be relied upon.

The original spoon was merely a spoon-shaped blade with a hole at one end for attaching the line and at the other end a single hook was fixed. It caught fish. Since then the tackle dealers have put on the market manifold variations of the original, some of them sufficiently ingenious, but none of them in any way more consistently successful than the standard trolling and casting spoon as it is now furnished. The different forms of these variations are entirely too many to be considered. One variation, however, it might be well to mention. Spoons are furnished in several different materials, the principal ones being nickel, brass, copper, silver, and gold. As between these forms when in use the brass, copper, or gold spoons are less flashy in effect. Many anglers affirm, with reason, that in accordance with the well-known rule as to the use of artificial flies, the less noticeable spoons are more successful in very clear, bright weather.

As to whether the tuft of feathers with which the trebles of most spoons are furnished is advantageous, there is a decided difference of opinion. Their original excuse was probably merely as a concealment for the hooks. As far as this is concerned they are useless. Concealment is unnecessary. The question is rather as to whether the addition of the feathers renders the spoon more attractive. In this regard expert opinion seems to favor the feathers for bass, while as regards pickerel and pike it is a matter of indifference. As the feathers are usually tied there is a generous sprinkling of red; and as the black bass is known to have a strong predilection for this color it would seem that, since the use of the feathers is hardly a definite disadvantage, the wise angler should at least hesitate before following the advice of those who advocate the use of the bare treble or single hook in connection with the spoon.

In reading the authorities it is the duty of the layman to believe implicitly all that he reads and, as far as possible, to go and do likewise—otherwise of what use are authorities? Sometimes, however, this is a matter of no little difficulty, for these gentlemen of great experience along similar lines quite frequently arrive at exactly contrary conclusions.

Here is an example. William C. Harris held the opinion that the use of a spoon in connection with a minnow rendered the minnow much more effective. Dr. James A. Henshall has stated that, in his opinion, this use of a spoon is not only of no advantage but that "moreover, it savors of pot-fishing." And there you are. In view of this, it would seem that others are entitled to a very firm opinion one way or the other. The consensus of opinion is probably that a small spoon so rigged as to lead the minnow is an advantage. The flash of the revolving metal, easily seen at a greater distance than the natural sheen of the minnow, attracts the fish from a wider area than would the minnow alone, with the result that they eventually strike the bait.

Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.

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