I’m a firm believer that there are a handful of lures and baits that any serious angler should have on hand at all times. Examples of such lures include buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms, and the topic of today’s Anatomy spotlight: spoons. I’ve been throwing spoons since I first started fishing, and have always had amazing results with them. Today, let’s take a look at spoons and examine what makes them work so well on the water.

At first glance, there’s not much to spoons. While there are a few different varieties, the basic design remains the same: curved, teardrop-shaped metal with a hook at one end. This design may seem simple, but it’s that simplicity that walks hand in hand with the lure’s deadly performance and makes spoons so effective.

Spoons are crafted to imitate fleeing baitfish during the retrieve. Their side to side motion, accompanied by their metallic flash, enables spoons to emulate the movements of a fish perfectly, which entices predatory species to strike. The lure’s heavy body allows it to be cast extremely far, which means covering a ton of water during the retrieve.

The body of a spoon varies from brand to brand, and can even vary within a single brand. There are a variety of color patterns available, and anglers definitely have their favorites; red-white stripe, nickel, and yellow with red diamond patterns, for example. Pike fishermen will swear by the diamond pattern, while bass anglers will tell you to throw the nickel. I’ve had great luck with both, as well as a few others, so experiment with a few different patterns. Aside from varying color patterns, spoons can come in a smooth body or hammered body. Much like golf balls, hammered spoons are covered with indentations that provide further water displacement during the retrieve.

Aside from texture, spoons are available in two basic designs: weedless and non-weedless. Weedless spoons—very popular for redfish—forego treble hooks in favor of a single hook, as well as a wire to prevent hang-ups on weeds. The Johnson Silver Minnow is a great example of a weedless spoon, and it’s one I’ve used on reds down in Louisiana several times.

If you count yourself a step above the weekend warriors when it comes to hitting the water, be sure to have some spoon available at all times. Over the years, I’ve used spoons to catch a variety of fish, including bass, pike, and redfish, and when you have one lure that catches several different species, you hold onto it. While the design hasn’t changed much throughout the years, that very fact is a testament to the lasting effectiveness of spoons.