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How to fish spoons on docks

Elite Series pro Brandon Card says he stumbled onto the tactic of fishing spoons around docks in 2009 on Watts Bar Lake. Photo by Seigo Saito

Many anglers how hop flutter spoons over the same points and ledges they comb with deep crankbaits, football jigs, big Texas rigged worms and Carolina rigs. When the spoon bite is on, it can put a limit of heavyweights in your livewell lickety-split. Relatively few anglers pitch fluttering spoons into marina boat slips, including most of the Bassmaster Elite Series pros. This oddball tactic appears to be a newbie trick, but not to Elite Series pro Brian Snowden who guides on Table Rock Lake.

“We’ve been doing that here for 15 years,” Snowden said. “Bass feel secure in the shade of those big marina docks. They move around and ambush bluegill, crappie and any shad that swim by.”

These days, two baits from Bass Pro Shops handle Snowden’s dock-spooning duties. They are the 5-inch, 1 1/2-ounce Flutter Jack Casting Spoon and the 2 5/16-inch, 1/2-ounce XPS Lazer Eye Strike Spoon. Snowden opts for a silver spoon under sunny conditions and white in off-color water and on cloudy days. The method, in a nutshell, consists of pitching the spoon far back into boat slips with heavy tackle, much as you would do with a jig. When the spoon hits the water, you leave the baitcasting reel in free spool. This lets the spoon flutter enticingly as it sinks, which sparks reflex strikes from bass.

Because marina slips usually have boats moored in them, you must work close to the dock and make precise pitches into narrow alleys. Miss your mark and you’ll ding the dock or the boat with the heavy spoon or snag a mooring line. This will spook the bass and quickly make you an unwelcome visitor with boat owners.

“When you let a flutter spoon freefall, it glides back under the dock, kind of like a Flying Lure,” Snowden said. “It reaches bass that other lures can’t.”