by Bob Jensen
If you were to look through the tacklebox of an ice-angler who
concentrated on walleyes, chances are you’d see a lot of spoons.
There’s a reason for that: Spoons catch a lot of walleyes. In many
areas, spoons are the go-to bait for many, probably even most,
accomplished ice walleye anglers.
There’s a good reason why spoons are so effective on walleyes under
the ice: There are spoons that rattle, and spoons that are quiet. Some
spoons flutter and fall slowly; others have less action and fall
faster. Spoons come in a variety of colors, and sometimes color is a
very important consideration.
of these different qualities, it is possible to select a spoon that will
most effectively match a walleye’s desire on any particular day. Here
are some things to think about when selecting a spoon to catch walleyes
that are living under the ice.
First consider water clarity. In stained water, bright colors are
usually better. Select a spoon that glows. Also go for a spoon that
rattles. Bright spoons that are glowing are easier for the fish to see,
and a spoon that rattles is also easier to find. Be sure to use one of
those little flashlights like the Glo-Buster to re-charge the glow on
your spoon every now and then.
In clear water, early and late in the day, you’ll want to try the
same spoon you might use in stained water. However, more subtle,
natural colors might be best during the bright part of the day.
And, there are times when the walleyes want something different than
you would think. You should always keep an eye on your sonar to help
determine what the fish are more likely to take. If they’re coming in
and looking but not eating, you need to do something different. Maybe a
more or less aggressive jigging action is called for, perhaps a smaller
spoon is in order, and never hesitate to change spoon color. Unlike
open water fishing, with a good sonar unit you know when a fish is
looking at your bait under the ice. If they’re looking but not eating,
you need to give them something different. The MarCum LX-5 or LX-3
units do a great job of letting you know when a fish is looking at your
bait, and the TrueColor feature provides excellent separation.
In most situations it works well to attach a small snap/swivel to
10/4 FireLine Crystal, then attach your spoon to the snap/swivel. This
prevents line twist, and the FireLine provides superior hooksets and
When it comes to selecting a spoon, you can’t go wrong with a
Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon. They have been proven to be outstanding
walleye-catchers, they provide lots of glow that doesn’t need to be
recharged frequently, and the rattles simply attract more fish.
Buck-Shot Rattle Spoons are what many of the best walleye anglers reach
The walleyes are biting through the ice right now throughout the
Midwest. If you get the chance to go, be sure to take some spoons