We have been knocking him dead these past 2 weeks with an early morning spoon bite.
Size range used has been from a ~3" .6 oz Flex-it spoon to a Georgia Blade 5" right into a Parker Mini for the hybrids, striped, white and spotted bass. They all have their actions and applications, and fine tuning your spooning technique truly helps build confidence when tricking some fish with a piece of metal bent just right - add hook.
Let's talk about hooks quickly - at a minimum I usually like to bring it down to a double hook versus a treble,. Several of my go-to spoons are outfitted with a single
Gamakatsu spinnerbait 'stinger' hook properly honed. While maybe this has or hasn't happened to you, I can attest to my own experience with trebles on a spoon, and when casting versus trolling especially. I've watched as many a fish has had one to two solid hook points well set, only to watch another point prick in just enough to give leverage to a set hook point, and bam! Advantage - fish. There's a myriad of situations on where this can happen, but trying to lift or flip into the boat enough and it'll happen. Take either situation where the fish is unhooked itself and sent to half ounce to 1 oz spoon with barbarian hooks coming at you anywhere 40 to 100+ mph. That's the quick version. Now back to the bite.
Techniques vary here and can be as simple as casting a spoon on the schooling fish or effectively working it through a marked school or just working the water column. Start slow, and just slow reel it in till you see what type of action your spoon has. Get comfortable with it. See what it does when you twitch it. Utilize that. Most casting spoons provide a little darting on the drop where a nice big flutter spoon will do just that - flutter and sometimes just the right movement and speed of fall will trigger the right bite.
If we can get together on the boat sometime, I'm happy to show you up close and personal but pretty confident that time on the water and trying your own technique applications can be your best friend.
Now how early? Well, one of our best mornings of fishing last week was starting at 4:00 a.m. and though our bite died down by 7:30 that morning, we caught 70 plus solid 3 to 9 lb fish on Lake Allatoona.
As I am lucky enough to net, handle and unhook just about every fish that comes aboard, I'm well invested in good fingerless gloves, bandaids, farmers friend, merthiolate and even a good suture kit if needed.
Areas have been extremely widespread north to south ends, and you will find some higher quality water mid-lake right now.
For a few days we fished in kellogg to victoria, then a few days we fished galts to Bartow. Wearing them out on the channel edges with most bites being 15-20 feet down.
Couple times we've marked the bigger fish laying below a feeding frenzy, we put that big Parker spoon down in their grill with several fish in the near 10 lb class coming like this. Not tanks, but not bad size fish for the middle of summer in the middle of the reservoir.
Paramount in getting on these fish in quantity is locating and also timing feeding patterns.
Okay, so now you have their number. Start thinking about efficiency in unhooking a fish with a quick release back into the waterb or at least practicing a quick unhooking even if it's just to dispatch them with your club over a bed of ice. It's either this or your likely going to be cleaning more fish than you planned.
Did I mention recently? It sure can't hurt to have a nice top water tied on and for sure no matter what kind of bite we might be able to get into, having some frisky thread fin shad at the ready never hurts.
Tight lines, friends!