My Go-To Fishing Lure: Spoons

Every angler has a “go to lure”, the one they break out when nothing else seems to be working. For me, and many other anglers, that comes in way of spoons. Spoons are not only one of the oldest recreational fishing lures they are also one of the most versatile.

Look at any spoon and it is not hard to see how they got their name, the literally look like a shallow spoon with the handle hacked off and a hook attached. This shape may be simple but it is also the key to their success. As the lure falls through the water column , is cast & retrieved or troll in open water it wobbles from side to side just like a wounded bait fish. Add some color or flash and you have a lure which not only looks like that same wounded bait fish but can be seen for a great distance. In other words it is exactly what you look for in a go to lure.

Besides offering a near perfect presentation spoon are also capable of being used in a wide range of situation. Trout fishing on a small stream? Try a spoon. Casting far into your favorite lake, trying to entice deep water trophies? Try a spoon. Trolling, jigging or even through the ice there is a spoon for that too. But not all spoons are created equal and I have found that the Acme Little Cleo of the perfect spoon for me and I bet it will find a spot in your tackle box too.

The Little Cleo has a little extra twist, or more accurately a bend in the middle, which I believe allows it to perform time after time. I tried my first Little Cleo about 20 years ago and have been sure to have several in my vest ever since and have caught more fish than I can count on them – and almost every species too. With a wide range of sizes and color combinations the Little Cleo is as versatile as any lure I have ever used.

When I am trout fishing on one of the local Southcentral Pa streams I prefer to go as light as possible. Even the smallest 1/16 ounce model literally flies of my ultralight rod but is still light enough to flutter in the shallow riffles. If I encounter a deeper pool I can simply slow the retrieve and allow it to sink a little more, skirting the bottom for big brookies. When I am fishing on open water I move up to bigger models which retain the same action but provide the beef needed to cast farther and sink deeper.

As for color I have experienced success with a wide range of options but still have my favorites – gold, silver or silver/blue. Each of these colors offer the perfect combination of flash and bait fish look needed to drive fish crazy.

Pick up our own set of spoons and see for yourself!

Good luck, good fishing!

image credit: By Hubert Derus (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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