Ice Fishing With Spoons – Part 3 of 4

  • How to Use Winter Spoons
  • Deadly Trick When Winter Fish get Finicky

By Forrest Fisher

Minnesota fishing guide Brad Hawthorne, an ICE FORCE pro offers his advice on several of the new spoon baits for fun fishing on the ice.

Tumbler Spoon
While the Tingler is a flutter-type spoon, the Tumbler is more of a “drop spoon,” Hawthorne says. “It does the much the same thing on the way down, but it stays a little bit more vertical,” he explains. “It will sit there right in the strike zone doing flips and rolls.”

A small, metallic attractor blade imparts additional flash and sound when it collides with the Tumbler Spoon’s body and hooks. “That kicker blade adds a little bit more for the fish when they’re right in the zone, pretty much coming to you,” Hawthorne says.

Fish Tumbler Spoons in water 25 feet and deeper. In holes where your sonar shows a walleye tight to bottom, drop it on a slack line. As soon as you drop it to the fish, use your rod tip to pop it four to six inches off the bottom and let it fall back on a slack line. “With just a very subtle jigging action, that spoon will do circles and roll around down there,” Hawthorne says.

Tumbler Spoons are available in two sizes, 1/12, 1/8 oz. Hawthorne will start with the smaller model, but will upsize if the fish are biting aggressively. He rigs the treble hook on a Tumbler with a half or full minnow.

The half-minnow presentation will cause the Tumbler to fall and spiral a little bit more erratically, Hawthorne says.  It also provides “a little bit more smell and profile.”

Despite conventional wisdom that dictates downsizing baits when fish are finicky, that’s when Hawthorne will dress a Tumbler Spoon with a full minnow.  “This has caught my clients more fish over the years than anything in a neutral-bite situation,” he says. “When you lay a Tumbler Spoon right on the bottom, the minnow will freak out and the fish explode on it.”

For more on the Tumbler Spoon:

Look for Part 4 of 4 on Ice Fishing with Spoons next week.