Perching is a pastime of most ice anglers at some point of the season or another. Whether that’s an all-season backwaters bite, Dakota’s slough tiger program, or a classic up-north style late ice bonanza where just getting in front of them and staying with the school means everything. For all of those reasons and more, the Northland Bro Bug Spoon could be the perfect perch bait and shines in a variety of other panfish and even walleye situations.
Eyes are a focal point on any bait, both for fish to target in terms of where to hit the bait, and also to attract them. The 3D eyes on the Bro Bug Spoon look, for lack of a better word, “buggy.” That combination of attraction and focal point, along with the slender profile makes it look part minnow, part invertebrate and intrigues a variety of species. Perhaps more importantly, that same thin profile makes for a “quick” bait to fish, dropping like a rocket to any depth and keeping hungry fish present before moving on.
So often, that quick response as an angler is needed to keep fish that school and feed on open flats or basins from moving on. Perch especially are notorious for working through certain areas, requiring a great number of holes and hole-hopping to keep up with. That makes a quick bait like the Bro Bug Spoon a crucial part of any day where fish blow through an area before being located again, as more time in front of the fish and less time dropping the bait to the proper depth means simply more fish iced.
Another neat part to baits with such a long vertical profile is the way they swing and quiver in the water. Quick pops make the bait dart up at a slight angler, and then when dropped to a tight line, have a pendulum effect of sorts. That means that even when still, this bait is eliciting some momentum and previous motion that is ever so subtle and lifelike. Similar to soft hackle flies or marabou, it’s a hard bait or spoon version of a quivering minnow you can’t keep completely still.
Add some bait or plastic to the treble hooks, and you’ve got two things going for you. One, is a simple rapid bait delivery system as a simple means of dropping live bait to fish that love it. That said, you’ve also got a bait that does impart a fair amount of action to attract fish. Especially in clear systems, where fish have the time and opportunity to study baits for a good while, the latter quality can mean everything in sealing the deal on lots of fish that come in and linger but don’t eat.
These same characteristics make it a phenomenal basin crappie bait, allowing you to dart down 30 feet or more quite quickly, while still presenting again the live-bait option that can be such a “must” during dead parts of the winter. Because of that thin profile, heavier versions are less like to spook crappies and other panfish that might shy away from traditional heavy spoon options with a hulking, larger profile. For that same reason, you can deliver the smaller sizes to trophy bull gills as well with confidence, knowing that it’s unlikely the profile will spook them.
For walleyes, try tipping the treble hook with a minnow head and “dragging” it on the bottom. The technique involves dropping the bait to the bottom and picking up the spoon just enough without losing contact with the bottom. Because of the bait’s length, you can wiggle and pause, simulating a dying baitfish struggling on the bottom, or an invertebrate coming out of the lake bed. This is a deadly technique for walleyes and perch both, as depending on the day, they can prefer feeding into the lake bottom versus looking up and eating towards the light.
No matter the species, the Bro Bug Spoon is an interesting offering that deserves a look for a variety of species and depth ranges, especially if you’re trying to fish fast and keep their interest.