Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

Top 11 Freshwater Fishing Spoons

This article will list the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons. Spoons are very simple, yet effective fishing lures. They have been around for a very long time. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. The bait can be of a metallic finish such as silver, gold, or bronze. Spoons are available painted as well. Some are even a combination of the two. Spoons usually have a single treble hook, though some spoons, especially weedless versions, have a single hook.


Spoons have several advantages as a fishing lure. They are fairly heavy and cast a long way. This allows anglers to both cover a lot of water as well as reach spots that are a good distance away. Spoons are also very versatile, they are quite effective as both casting lures and trolling lures. Spoons can be presented vertically as well. They can also be used throughout the entire water column.

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For the most part, spoons imitate live bait fish. They put out plenty of flash, vibration, and action. The shape of the spoon will determine its action. Wider spoons put out more of a wobble and are usually worked a bit slower. Spoons that are more slender can be worked faster and put out a more subtle vibration. As with all fishing, it is best to match the spoon to the forage species that the fish are feeding on.

top 12 Michigan game fish species

Best tackle for fishing with spoons

The tackle that anglers will use when fishing with spoons will vary due to several factors. The primary factor is the size of the spoon that the angler is using. Spoons come in a wide variety of sizes and weights, from very tiny up to several ounces. Obviously, light spinning tackle is the best choice when casting tiny spoons for panfish and trout. Conversely, heavier spinning tackle or bait casting tackle works well when casting heavier spoons.

best fishing techniques

Top 11 freshwater fishing spoons

There are many different spoons available to anglers out there on the market. When properly presented, all of them will catch fish. However, there are some spoons that have proven themselves over time to be a cut above the rest. Here is the list of the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons.

The top 11 freshwater fishing spoons are;

  • Eppinger Daredevil
  • Johnson silver minnow
  • Acme cast master
  • Johnson Sprite
  • Acme Phoebe
  • Swedish pimple
  • Mepps Syclops
  • Acme Little Cleo
  • Hopkins jigging spoon
  • Luhr Jensen Krocodile
  • Williams whitefish

These 11 freshwater fishing spoons will cover every situation than an angler fishing in streams, river, and lakes will encounter.

Eppinger Daredevil Spoon


The Eppinger Daredevil spoon is a classic fishing lure. It has been around for decades and still catches fish to this day. More northern pike have been caught on the half ounce red and white Daredevil than any other fishing lure. That is the most popular bait in this line. The five of diamonds pattern is popular as well, especially for anglers trolling for lake trout. This lure is available in a wide variety of colors and several sizes.

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Johnson Silver Minnow spoon

silver minnow

The Johnson Silver Minnow is a weedless spoon. It rides with the spoon side down and the hook up and also has a weed guard. This design result in a very weedless bait they can be worked through weeds as well is on top of them. While called the “Silver Minnow”, the most popular bait is a gold spoon and they 1/2 ounce size. It is also available and multiple color patterns and sizes. Anglers sometimes add a trailer such as a soft plastic or pork chop to enhance the action.

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Acme Kastmaster spoon


The Acme Kastmaster is a unique looking spoon. It is shaped a bit differently from other baits. It is denser than most spoons and is quite heavy for its size. This results in a lore that works very well in a variety of applications. Anglers can cast a long way, covering a lot of water. It can also be trolled. Finally, it is an excellent spoon to use in a vertical presentation, whether fishing in open water or through the ice. Silver with blue neon and gold are the two most popular finishes. The spoon comes in a wide variety of sizes.

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Johnson Sprite spoon

sprite spoon

The Johnson Sprite spoon is a classic casting spoon. It has the traditional spoon shape of being narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. It casts and performs best when used with a slow steady retrieve. It can be trolled, however anglers will need to use some type of weight or device to get it down in the water column. Silver and gold are the two most popular finishes and one quarter ounce and 1/2 ounce the most popular sizes.

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Acme Phoebe spoon

phoebe spoon

The Acme Phoebe spoon is most often used by anglers targeting trout and panfish. It is a bit of a niche lure in that regard. The vast majority of anglers using the spoons choose the gold finish. It is an extremely effective River trout fishing lure. It is very light, which allows anglers to fish shallow streams without hanging up. It is also a very popular ineffective ice fishing lure. Sizes from 1/64 ounce to 1/8 ounce are most popular.

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Sweedish Pimple spoon

brown trout lures

The Sweedish Pimple is a long slender spoon. It is an excellent choice in northern lakes when game fish are feeding on long skinny silver baitfish such as smelt and emerald shiners. A can be cast out and retrieved, trolled, and vertically jigged. It is an extremely popular ice fishing lure that catches a wide variety of species.

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Mepps Syclops spoon

mepps psyclops spoon

The Mepps Syclops is another long slender spoon. It comes in five sizes and a variety of colors. It is similar to the bait listed above. It is effective when cast, trolled, and vertically fished. It does have a bend near the eye that gives it a unique action.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Mepps Psyclops spoons

Acme Little Cleo spoon

little cleo spoon

The Acme Little Cleo is another classic casting spoon. It has that traditional teardrop shape. They are available and nine different sizes and many different color patterns. Like most casting spoons, they produce best for anglers using a slow steady retrieve. The heavier versions are excellent when trolled. They are also a popular ice fishing lure as well.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Little Cleo spoons

Hopkins spoon

hopkins jigging spoon

The Hopkins spoon is unique in that it is used almost exclusively as a jigging spoon in a vertical presentation. The half ounce spoon in the silver color with a hammered finish and white dressed hook is a classic fishing lure. It works extremely well for bass, trout, and other species when they are schooled up on deep structure. This lure realistically imitates a shad or other type of wounded bait fish. They are heavy and sink quickly and have an excellent erratic action.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Hopkins spoons

Luhr Jensen Krocodile spoon

Krocodile spoon

The Luhr Jensen Krocodile is a bit of a hybrid spoon, with a shape that is in between the classic wider casting spoons and the narrow jigging type spoons. The result is a very versatile lure that comes in 11 different sizes and a variety of color pattern. The spoon is very popular throughout the country and is productive on a wide variety of species. There is no one color pattern or size that is more effective than the other.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Krocodile spoons

Williams Whitefish spoon

whitefish spoon

The Williams Whitefish spoon is a specialized bait and is a bit more expensive. It only comes in three sizes, all of them fairly large. This spoon imitates larger prey such as ciscoes and is primarily used in larger open lakes for predators such as lake trout, pike, and the largest walleye. It is a heavy bait that sinks quickly and is most often used when vertically jigging or trolling, it is a bit heavy to cast for any real length of time.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Williams Whitefish spoons

Top 11 freshwater fishing spoons

These top 11 freshwater fishing spoons will cover every situation an angler will find himself or herself in. As mentioned above, the primary consideration is to match the lure size was importantly and colors secondarily to the available forage locally prayed on by game fish. Also, the size of the fish being pursued is a factor.

spinnerbait fishing techniques

Is important to use a swivel went fishing with spoons. Many anglers already incorporate a snap swivel on the end of the line to facilitate changing lures. By the nature of their design, spoons will roll and spin in the water. This action is what makes them effective. However, anglers who do not use a swivel will quickly find that the spoon will twist the line up into knots. The swivel can be right at the spoon, in the form of a snap swivel, or used between the running line any longer leader.

Spoon fishing techniques

One of the great aspects of fishing with spoons is the ease in which they are used. Unlike some freshwater fishing lures, spoons have a ton of built in action. That means that the angler can simply reel the bait in and catch fish. Of course, he or she can manipulate the rod tip to give the spoon even more erratic action. This ease of which they are used makes it a great choice for novice anglers. Spoons are also heavy and cast a long way, again making them a great choice for beginners.

walleye fishing

Anglers casting spoons simply make a cast, allow the lure to sink, then retrieve it back in at the desired pace. The entire water column can be covered by adjusting the time that the spoon is allowed to sink. Anglers do not want to Dragon on the bottom, or it will hang up.

Fishing with spoons in rivers

Spoons are extremely effective river fishing lures. The lighter versions work best in small, shallow streams as the bait can be worked at a fairly slow pace without it hanging up on the bottom. Conversely, larger heavier spoons are better choice in big fast-moving rivers. Silver and light colors work well on bright sunny days when the water is clear. Conversely, gold and darker colors are better choices under low light conditions and when the water has a bit of color to it.

fishing with spinners in rivers and streams

The best approach is to usually cast straight across the stream or river, then worked the spoon back in on a tight line is the current takes it downstream. Often times the bite will occur as the spoon starts to swing sharply in the current on the tight line. Many salmon and rainbow trout have been caught in this manner. The heads and tails of pools as well as the deeper runs between riffles are prime spots in rivers to fish with spoons.

Trolling with spoons

Spoons are fantastic trolling lures. They realistically imitate the forage that is found in most lakes and deeper rivers. The speed at which the angler can troll is determined by the shape of the spoon. Wider spoons must be trolled at a slower pace than long slender spoons.

trout lures

Heavier spoons in shallow lakes and rivers can be trolled by themselves. The angler simply attaches it to his or her line and using a swivel somewhere drags the bait behind the boat at a steady speed. However, in most cases anglers we have to use some other tackle or device to get the spoon down into the water column.

The easiest method is to use a trolling sinker. This is a cylindrical piece of lead with swivels at both ends. One end is tied to the running line and a section of leader is added to the other. The spoon finishes off the rig. The angler will have to adjust the trolling weight to the speed being trolled as well is the depth and current of the water being fished. In most cases, anglers will want to get the spoon fairly deep in the water column.

In conclusion, this article on the top 11 freshwater fishing spoons will help anglers select the proper spoon for the application being fished and result in more fish being caught!

Jim Klopfer

Capt Jim Klopfer has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. He grew up in Maryland, fishing the Chesapeake Bay waters. Capt Jim has been creating an writing articles about fishing for decades, contributing to many regional and national publications. He also lives part time in the North Carolina mountains where he fishes for trout and other species. Capt Jim Klopfer is a wel rounded angler with 50 years fishing experience, and he loves to share what he has learned with other anglers!

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