Fisherman holding up a crappie he caught fishing.

Fall is definitely upon us and with many warm days of late, there is that hint in the air that the cooler weather is finally coming. Hunting is in full swing, which has a number of anglers off the water, but for those that are still fishing, the late fall/pre-ice conditions are setting up nicely.

Turnover is complete, fish are schooling and they definitely have their feed bags on now getting ready for the long cold winter ahead. These days of fishing are definitely worth trying out some of that new ice tackle that you may have and also, giving yourself a feel for those baits before it is time to step foot onto the ice.

A crappie caught fishing a spoon.

For targeting some of the larger panfish, spoon-type baits that are tipped with plastic, are a good combination. A bait that has been working well when fished in these schooling pods of crappie or bluegill is the Eye-Dropper Spoon.

The uniqueness is the flash that is given off when jigging this bait and this is attributed to the prisms that are in the colors of the spoon. The spoon is also weighted, this allows the bait too quickly get back into the feeding zone so that you are able to catch fish more quickly.

For drawing fish in from a distance, vertical jig with an erratic motion until you start seeing them on the electronics screen. Then start slowing down the motion, but keeping the rhythm the same as this drew them in and finesse them into biting the bait.

A crappie caught on a spoon and being held over the water.

At this point, the plastic trailer starts becoming the key factor for sealing the deal and the enticing actions being worked with the rod tip will do this. So paying attention to how the fish are reacting on the electronics screen will show you if you need a finesse plastic trailer or something that is more radical.

By having the Eye-Dropper Spoon with some flash, this bait is another great option for when the fish are inside the weeds. What is meant by this, is that instead of the fish cruising the weed edges or barren flats, they are actually swimming or stationary inside the stalks of the weeds, in a sense of burying themselves.

This is an area that many anglers miss out on as their flasher screen when over weeds, is filled and they can’t see anything if there are fish present. Many electronics now have a low-power feature that reduces the power being sent down and in turn, allows you to be able to see through the weeds and actually pinpoint the fish and how they are reacting to the presentation of your bait.

A fisherman holding up a crappie he caught on a spoon.

This keeps you catching fish on those high-pressure lakes or also when the weather changes are happening that is pushing the fish into these weeds. This does take some practice to understand what you are looking at, but once you have that figured out, you just opened a whole new area for catching fish.

So with the Eye-Dropper Spoon, you are able to attract fish from a distance, then finesse them into biting. You are able to go into the weeds, where many others aren’t, and offer those fish this flash presentation which they are fairly un-pressured. With the blade being weighted, it allows you to quickly get your bait back into the fish and this, in turn, keeps them in the area long before they move on.

Kevin Dahlke

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