Your Shad Spoon Information Source
How to fish a shad spoon
Casting - The shad spoon can be casted from shore or a boat. Rig your spoon using one of the methods described on the "How to rig a shad spoon" page. Cast your line slightly up stream and retrieve fast enough to avoid snagging the bottom. Usually a steady retrieve works, but experiment with both speed and a slight jigging motion until you find what works best with the fish. Also trying different color spoons is an option if the one you are using does not produce. Varying the size weight to avoid snags or getting closer to the bottom is another option. Slightly bending the hook down on the spoon will change the speed of the wobble. This is another trick you can use if the fish are not cooperating.
Dead Sticking - This is a technique which can be done either from a boat or shore. The idea is to let the spoon do the work for you. What you do is let your line drift back in the current of the river with enough weight so it will be off the bottom. Then you just hold your rod or put it in a rod holder and wait for Mrs. Shad to grab the spoon. Varying the location of your line and the depth is advisable until you find the fish. Also changing spoon sizes and colors can make a difference at times. Many boat fishermen use this technique with downriggers to get the proper depth. Remember to check your line frequently to remove any debris since it will ruin the action of the spoon. Rigging with a good small swivel is recommended to avoid twisting your line.
Jigging - I have had good luck jigging shad spoons both through the ice and from a boat. I have caught smallies, large mouths, trout, crappie, perch and panfish using this technique. I usually tie the spoon directly to the line with a shad spoon snap or split ring. Then I use a small split shot or rubber core sinker to get the spoon to the bottom. I work the spoon on the bottom for a while then gradually move the spoon up in the water column until I find the fish. The normal single shad spoon rig with a shad spoon weight will also work, but I recommend using a shorter leader if you are jigging. Experiment with the weight you use, so you get a good feel with the lure when you are jigging. With a little practice you will find this technique will work for you.
Bait Fishing - Believe it or not, on occasion I have used shad spoons bait fishing. Sometimes when the trout, walleye, perch, or panfish are not cooperating and hitting a shad spoon, I will add a worm, powerbait, minnow, or salmon egg. I just throw out the line and let it sit on the bottom. I twitch it occasionally and sometimes try a slow retrieve. It does work. Give it a try.