I’m used to fishing blueback lakes and chasing the bass that are chasing them. In the winter, though, blueback lakes sort of fall back into line with non-blueback lakes. That is, the bite reverts to a shad-type of bite as the bait and bass become more stationary and bottom-oriented. If the fish you catch spit up anything, it’s likely to be shad. For me, it becomes prime time again for jigging spoons. Spoons used to be a lot more popular as winter baits in shad lakes, but there doesn’t seem to be as many people fishing with them these days. They’ve sort of gone out of fashion, but that might be one of the best reasons to use them now.
Most of the time when I’m fishing a spoon I’m looking for bait – in creek channels, ditches, along deep points or on flats next to creek mouths – anywhere you might find bait schooled up. I graph and look for balls of shad. Then I just lower the spoon down to the same depth as the shad and start working it up and down; snapping it a foot or so and letting it fall back. If the line jumps or stops, I set the hook. I also fish spoons in brushpiles and the like because this is where some of the biggest bass hang out. Here, I just work the spoon right down in the middle of it. The spoon will hang up sometimes, but it’s usually fairly easy to jiggle out.
Although there are all sorts of jigging spoons around now, as far as I’m concerned it’s hard to beat a ¾-ounce Hopkins Little Shorty in hammered silver or gold. The bass like it, so I like it.