The lovin’ spoonful

A guide’s top tips to catch more redfish with spoons

Fall is prime time for redfish, and the venerable old spoon is still an effective, fun lure to throw in interior marshes for solid action.

In fact, guide Eddie Berthelot Jr. , who runs Spots & Specks Charters out of Golden Meadow, Grand Isle and Fourchon, La., said it remains one of his favorite techniques to reel in line-pulling reds.

Berthelot shares his top tips to make all that flash translate into fish:

1. Control the lure’s entry into the water.

“I like my first cast to drop on the edge of the grass, and then I pull it off to make a soft entry into the water, so I can flutter it across a point or a cove,” said Berthelot (985-637-3177). “The second cast, if I know a fish is in there, I’ll throw it in and let it splash into the water and start pulling it. That way if the first one didn’t get their attention, the second splash will.

“When a spoon hits the water, it sounds just like a redfish eating. If he hears something around feeding, he’s going to look and turn to see what’s there.”

2. Make sure the weed guard is set properly.

“In (areas where) there’s a lot of grass on the bottom, so you want to fish with it about 3/16 of an inch above the hook,” he said. “If it’s higher than that, it can affect the wobble of the spoon itself.”

3. Be patient on the hookset.

“Don’t set the hook as soon as they hit it,” Berthelot said. “Give it a second. Let them put it in their mouth and start moving before you set the hook.”

4. Sunny days are better.

“You definitely want sunlight whenever you’re fishing a spoon,” he said. “On cloudy days, you just don’t get that sparkle, and they don’t hit it as well. The flash is what they’re looking for.”

And if you’re sight-fishing, Berthelot said polarized sunglasses are vital to your success.

“I like the green lens in the marsh,” he said. “You can literally see the fish eat your bait.”

Typically, Berthelot throws either a 3/8- or ½-ounce spoon.

“I (prefer) gold for redfish, but I’ve seen trout hit silver better,” he said.

5. Keep your rod tip down.

“I like to keep my rod tip down near the surface of the water. That way, you get a good straight pull, and the lure is 6 to 8 inches under the surface,” Berthelot said. “Sometimes you might want to bounce it on the bottom, but it’s a matter of keeping it wobbling.

“With your rod tip up, it will ride on top of the water — and that won’t do you any good.”

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