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Float Tube Fishing in Ireland

Having a really great time fishing from the world's best floating fishing platform

Spoonjig Fishing (sometimes called "Spooning")

First - What is a Spoon-Jig?  Take a look at these:

The Cabelas Real Image Spoon Jig in mother of pearl white. A proven killer bait for vertical fishing where the prey fish is predominantly silver in colour.  There are other jig spoons called Lazer Lure and Ghost Spoon, broadly similar, but smooth all over without the textured finish. They work well too. 

Real Image Spoon

Guide to Spooning & Sonar

Catching fish located with the use of a sonar (bass) by LT Bama. This is a great article on the art of spooning - fishing with jig style metal pirk type spoons in a vertical presentation.

This is a "must read" article if you have not yet learned how to fish vertically with artificials for visible (on sonar) fish.

Here's the link:  Spoon Jig Fishing (Spooning)

The Strata Spoon Jig (right) is made with a hammered finish over a brass solid body. This is another excellent lure for vertical fishing for predator fish.  The Strata is very popular stateside. Another good one is the excellent Acme Castmaster (below right). These lures can be "tipped", that is, a soft plastic tail or real worm added.

I  get along fine with just two types of heavy spoon and one jig. They come in various sizes from 1/4 oz up to 1 oz. For freshwater use the 1/4 to 1/2 oz sizes are most interesting to look at.

The lures I like to use for vertical spooning are the Real Image Spoon and Castmaster, and for lighter work I turn to Rapala mini jigs and my precious collection of old ABU freshwater ice jigs, no longer available. You can see them below right, alongside the Rapala ice jigs.

Strata Spoon


They are much smaller than you might think. To give an idea of size, those trebles in the top four are size 16, and in the larger lower spoon-jig size 14.

I have fished in Lough Dan, Co Wicklow with these and caught normal brown trout as well as small ferox trout by casting and retrieve as if using a fast spoon like a Toby. Then when it comes in closer to my tube, if I am over deep water, I change from the steady retrieve, morphing gradually into a spooning, sink-draw style for the remainder, until it gets close enough to lift out for the next cast.

It may surprise those you have still to try this, but perch of all species, really like this method of presentation.


 Two Rapala Ice jigs & Three ABU Pirk-Jig Spoons

Ice jigs for freshwater lake vertical fishing are available from Rapala. I prefer the standard type here, but a fatter shad body shape is available also.
The small middle treble hook does the hooking, and cutting the end singles off makes them easier to store and handle. Although they were designed for fishing through a hole in the ice covering a frozen lake, they have proved to be wonderful lures for fishing vertically for fish seen on sonar that are semi dormant due to cold water temperatures, or sub-optimal weather conditions, which are uninterested in a trolled lure or high speed presentation.
The Drop Minnow Rig shown right allows fishing a small natural bait vertically (pirking/spooning style) and in this case a dead minnow is the bait. Works very well on perch, trout, sea trout, and pike. It is also effective when fishing deep pools with undercut banks, or the sort of pools that form in a rocky gorge.
The drop minnow is interesting in that if you cast and retrieve you would be reeling the minnow in tail first. It is another vertical fishing technique, with a pirking fluttering presentation.
You can cast a drop minnow like a jig. The fish don't seem to mind that it rises up tail first, they sometimes take it like that. The drop down with a flutter, that is deadly. Soft plastic fish can be mounted on a drop minnow weighted pin and hooks. The Lunker City Fin-S fish is a suitable one.

Pike are always a possibility when using certain lures for perch and big trout. I have spools of 7lb and 10lbs wire for making ultra light traces of incredibly thinness and invisibility. Low breaking strain wire is difficult to obtain, but when you see some, buy it. It's invaluable when a pike takes a bait intended for trout, and you still land the toothy fish. This ultra fine wire can withstand the teeth of pike, but is fine enough that other fish are not put off.

Leadhead Jigs

Mini Trout Marabou Leadhead Jigs 1/32th to 1/64th oz: 
 The difference between spinning and fly fishing is being eroded as time passes.

There are fly patterns where the hook has a metal or glass bead to weight it down. Other flies have lead wire under the dressing to make them heavy with less visibility on the outside of the weighting materials.

These lead head jigs are designed to be cast on ultralight spinning gear, but they are so light that they cast just as well on lake fly fishing rod and line. The brighter patterns are very effective attractor lures, and the olive and darker versions make good imitative representations for mayfly nymph ,dragonfly nymph and damselfly nymphs. Fry imitation patterns are easily made. Crayfish imitations are also available, but any brown or tan marabou jig makes a fine imitation of these bitesized big brownie crustaceans.

Usually when the word "leadhead jig" are used we are referring to  something a bit more substantial, with a bit more weight in the head. It usually has a rubber or soft plastic tail behind the leadhead single hook mount.

Obviously, there is a big crossover in lures for spooning, jig fishing, and dropshotting. Just about all the lures shown on the drop shot fishing section are suitable for jig fishing also. The terminal tackle, or way of mounting and rigging the lure is different, that's all. I really like the Fin-S fish in 1 3/4" and 4" sizes for trout and perch. It is a great lure for pike in the larger size too, a very versatile lure.