Learn how ice spoons vary in their appeals to walleyes, crappies and other types of fish and how to match the spoon style to conditions and the mood of the fish.
Ice fishing spoons play a huge role in hard-water fishing whether you target panfish, larger gamefish like walleyes and pike, or anything that chooses to bite. Ice spoons send out flash, create vibration and offer baitfish-like profiles, and they can be worked a variety of ways.
Not all spoons are the same, though. In fact, different spoons have vastly different appeals for various fish moods and to work in a host of situations. We’ll compare three distinct styles of ice fishing spoon, their unique appeals and best applications for each to help you pick the best spoon for every ice fishing situation and consequently to catch more fish!
Loud & Proud
When fish are aggressive and are roaming in search of food, you want a likewise aggressive spoon that has a wide, erratic wobble and loud rattles. The Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoon, which has been a part of the Lindy ice line-up for many years, provides a perfect fit when you need an aggressive spoon. Shaken, it rattles loudly. Jigged, it throbs on the way up and does a wide wobble on the fall, often swinging wider than the circumference of the hole, helping attract fish from farther away.
Along with making noise and sending out plenty of flash, a Rattl’n Flyer Spoon move a lot of water with its winged sides, providing extra appeal to lateral line feeding fish in stained waters or dark areas.
The Rattl’n Flyer Spoon is an all-species ice spoon. It comes in four sizes, ranging from 1/16 ounce to 1/4 ounce, providing options for everything from bluegills to northern pike. Because it has such a strong action, it can be tipped with multiple waxworms or spikes, a large minnow head or even a whole minnow without hampering the action.
At times, the same bold action that can prompt strikes will seem unnatural to the fish or even spook them. That’s when a slow-falling spoon, like a Lindy Quiver Spoon, comes into play. Sometimes the situation dictates starting with a more subtle spoon. Hard mid-winter fronts with cold temperatures and high barometric pressure and heavy fishing pressure often dictate a lighter touch. Other times, a lack of bites or even observed negative responses to an aggressive spoon dictate a wholesale change.
The Quiver Spoon became an immediate hit when Lindy introduced it a few years back because it fits a different niche for spoon fishing. Created from lightweight metal, the Quiver Spoon falls slowly through the water column with a fluttery action. It can be jigged with gentle sweeps to repeat the slow fall that often triggers strikes or held suspended above fish with only slight twitches or jiggles added to engage a quivering action. The Quiver Spoon also has a narrow profile, which makes it look like an easy meal to fish.
While the Quiver Spoon is subtle in its action and profile, it gives off a lot of flash with its slow wobble. The backsides of all Quiver Spoon colors have plated metallic finishes, and a few are metallic, front and back.
Complementing the Quiver Spoon, the Rattl’n Quiver Spoon offers the same subtle action and enticing profile, but with single bead rattle that thumps each time the spoon shifts in direction to help fish find the bait from farther way and entice strikes when the fish want sound. The rattle is inserted into a raised eye in the spoon and neither adds significant weight nor alters the way the bait moves.
Virtually any ice angler who has fished both versions of the Quiver Spoon will tell you that both have their days. Neither is necessarily better. Some days the rattle prompts more strikes. Other days, the fish want the silent version. The fish will let you know their preference, just like they do with color and action.
Quick & Compact
The Lindy Frostee Spoon, a longtime favorite of many ice anglers, provides completely different appeals than a Rattl’n Flyer Spoon or a Quiver Spoon. The Frostee Spoon is very compact. It falls decisively and has a very tight action that keeps the appearance small, even as the bait moves. The Frostee Spoon bridges the traditional role of an ice spoon and an ice jig and is ideal for when the fish want the flash or baitfish profile of a spoon but don’t want wide movement.
The Frostee Spoon can be worked effectively many ways. The fall is sufficiently decisive to make this an excellent spoon for pounding the bottom to kick up sediment and make sound to draw in curious fish. It likewise can be jigged with quick lifts and drops anywhere in the water column or fished with far less action, with the rod mostly held still and only slightly upward or downward rod tip movements used. When tipped with larvae or a minnow, a Frostee Spoon also can be dead sticked.
Adding to the Frostee Spoon’s versatility and showing its popularity among ice angler pursuing a variety of species, the Frostee Spoon is available in 1/16-, 1/8- and 3/16-ounce sizes, with the two smaller sizes available in more than 20 colors.
New Glow Colors
No matter what mood the fish are in and what style of spoon best fits that mood, if light penetration is substantially limited, glow-in-the-dark colors can help fish find your spoon. With that virtue in mind Lindy added an assortment of new glow colors for the Rattl’n Flyer Spoon, Quiver Spoon and Frostee Spoon this winter.
The Rattl’n Flyer Spoon got new glow colors in all four sizes, the Frostee Spoon in three sizes and Quiver Spoon in two sizes. Each model got eight new colors, but the specific color selections vary by model.
Glow colors become extra valuable for mid-winter ice fishing. Most gamefish hold deeper through the middle of winter than they do earlier and later in the ice season. The ice also tends to be extra thick through mid-winter, and it has more snow on top of it. Each of these factors lessen light penetration to where fish are feeding. That makes traditional colors hard to see but accentuate the visibility of glow colors.
One reminder for fishing glow colors. If the bite slows, remember to reel up and freshen the charge from time to time.