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Len Thompson is best known as a casting and trolling spoon that's effective for many species.
However, many anglers also use spoons on the ice. We threw out a poll on social media and 81.2% claimed using our spoons while ice fishing.
Why jig a spoon?
The benefit to using a spoon instead of a jig is that a spoon will give off an attractive flash to grab the attention of fish. The profile of the spoon is also easier to see versus a jig. A heavy spoon (like a Len Thompson) will get down to where the fish are much like a jig.
Richard Pallister (former LT President) describes using a spoon ice fishing as a "more aggressive presentation" which can be useful in the right circumstance.
"A jigged LT doesn't have an opportunity to swing its butt, to thump through the water, which I think is the key to the spoon working so well [while casting/trolling].
Sure, they work while jigging, in some cases better than most anything else. For example, when the newly stocked Lake Whitefish spawned over the gravel at Wilson's Beach in the 1990's, a danced LT would catch far more fish than a maggot on a wire worm. I took a lifetime tackle industry friend to Wilson's late in November. We walked out from shore, Terry Korth in his tasselled leather city shoes, drilled a hole in six feet of water, popped up a tent, attached a No. 6 FW on a short ice fishing rod, sat back and watched as Terry caught the "most fish he has ever caught at one sitting". Ask him about it today and he's still giggling."
Okay... So let's just say that maybe it's a good idea to pack a few spoons for those days where they work "better than anything else." We asked a few or our Brand Ambassadors (who fish WAY more than we do) on their top spoon choices during the Winter months.
Fishing the Wild West TV host Wes David likes to tie on our smallest spoons while targeting a variety of species, including Rainbow Trout.
"My favorite colours are solid gold (brass) or silver spoons or lures that have gold, silver, orange, and yellows blended within the lure. These lures give off a great deal of flash and vibration in the deeper water. The colours also resemble baitfish such as minnows, perch, walleye, and whitefish which are a common meal for predator fish."
Wes suggests that when it comes to jigging it's all in the technique.
"Make sure you snap your rod up quickly when ice fishing a Len Thompson lure. The vibration that's created in the aggressive movement of the spoon will attract fish by sending a vibration through the water reaching the fish's lateral line from farther away."
Scott Bulat has one go-to technique where he uses the largest size of Len Thompson on the ice to trigger more aggression. Here he's sporting the No. 4 LF Lemon Flame. UV stands for Ultra Violet. These colours are often fluorescent Lemon Yellows, Pinks, Oranges and Greens. These UV bright colours hold their colour at deeper levels. Glow Series spoons can also be used for maximum visibility.
Scott recording a really cool video while diving a few years back on how colours change underwater. The video posted below was taken in tropical waters, but it still gives you an idea on colour and its relationship with depth.
Lisa Roper's favourite Dimpled Series spoon is the Grey Ghost. The Dimpled spoon is a great and under appreciated choice as it causes more vibration in the water and the dimples create extra light reflection/flash.
Lisa also has a great tip on keeping fish wet and safe by drilling a live well. Check out this video.
Of course, there's always the trusted Five of Diamonds. Terry Allington, who is the man behind the camera for the former fishing show, Fishing Saskachewan likes to stick to his favourite No. 00 YR. He caught his PB walleye on the spoon.
Fun fact: Terry is also the guy with the Five of Diamonds tattooed on his leg.
Our Northern King spoon is designed for trolling. The spoons are light but also very shiney. The silver plating reflect light in even the darkest conditions. Here's how Al Benoit sets his NK spoon up as a flasher during the hard water season. He swears by this technique for targeting Lake Trout.
Top Three Ice Fishing Tips
Now get out there. Relax. Have fun!