Ice Advice for Fishing with Spoons – Part 1 of 4

  • Visit with Brad Hawthorne – ICE FORCE Pro
  • When, How, Why Spoons?
  • What Line for Ice Spoons?

By Forrest Fisher

Some of the new lures on the ice-fishing market don’t exactly shake, rattle and roll, but they do have new names that remind me of that old Elvis song.

“You’ll know in the first hour if they want an eye-catcher spoon like a Tingler or a Tumbler,” says in-demand Minnesota fishing guide Brad Hawthorne, an ICE FORCE pro. “Then if they’re really actively feeding, just crushing your baits, upsize your spoon for a chance at bigger fish or switch up to a Flash Champ Spoon to get down to them faster and catch more coming through.”

Fish the right VMC spoon at the right time and place this winter and chances are good you’ll put more and bigger fish on the ice and if you notice you’re getting bites only after banging one of the above spoons on a hard bottom, tie on a Rattle Spoon.

“That’s the rule of thumb that I’ve used,” says Hawthorne, who guides on the famed walleye fishery of Lake Mille Lacs near Minneapolis, a huge glacial lake with gin-clear water, rock reefs, gravel flats and mud flats.

As popular as spoons are, many anglers still struggle with when and how to use them, and which type to use where.  Following is an in-depth look at Hawthorne’s rules-of-thumb for when, where and how to fish VMC ice spoons. For all the following, he favors gold and silver in clear water and/or daylight hours and pink and orange UV colors in stained water and/or at dawn, dusk or night.

Hawthorne fishes all his VMC ice spoons on a main line of 5-pound-test Sufix Invisiline Ice 100% Fluorocarbon line connected via VMC barrel swivel to an 18- to 20-inch leader, or “tip line” also of 5-pound-test Sufix Ice Fluoro. Adding the swivel, he says, gives the spoons better action.

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