We all know some lures just work well straight out of the factory, while others require some adjustment. Customizing lures that haven’t been effective is an artistic project during your fishing down time. You can adjust the bends on your spoons, tie a fly on to the hook, or add UV tapes, glow tapes, sticky eyes, black or coloured Sharpie ink, and spray glow/colour paint. Your goal is to make the lures match the feed around your area and look like it is wounded.
Bending your spoon is a setup trick to get more action out of the spoon. But sometimes you just forget to do that when you are having a great time out on the water. During the downtime between fishing, adjust some of your spoons. Coho Killer spoons work way better with an aggressive bend on the front and back of the spoon (see Figures 1a and 1b). This will create way more action on the spoon. You will surely get more coho and Chinook bites out of your Coho Killer after this adjustment.
Bending your normal spoons will help get more bites. By adjusting your spoon to have a figure like a Chinese soup spoon (see Figure 2), it will mimic wounded bait that fish cannot resist.
The easiest way to achieve the right bend is by placing the colour pattern side down to the curve of the Chinese spoon handle and to try forming your spoon into that shape. Typical factory spoons have the slight bend in the spoon. Most people just use their thumbs to help turn bends into that Chinese soup spoon shape (see Figures 3a and 3b). Now try fishing that spoon and see how many more bites you get compared to before.
Some people like adding a small UV pink hoochie on the hook of the spoon for more presentation. Why not tie a fly on the hook to do the same without adding so much weight on the hook (see Figure 4)? A fly on the hook can make the spoon flutter more slowly and also adds a tail-like flash to the spoon’s hook—extra flash that can trigger that bite. You’ll need to troll a little faster to achieve the same spoon action as before the addition.
Some flashers and spoons just do not have that extra flash to attract the fish, and sometimes it is just too much glow. You can customize your flasher/spoon to what you need for your water and light conditions. If you tend to fish deep or in low-light conditions, add some glow tape to your flasher. If you find your flasher does not reflect as much light and color, why not add an UV tape or UV color tape (see Figure 5). This addition will help attract more fish towards your lure.
What about your old spoons? You can add a sticky eye to your spoon to make it work better. Yellow, red, white, chrome, and orange are the common color eyes to add on to your spoon, jig, or plug.
The good old Sharpie trick is a classic. That extra bit of contrast or dots to mark the spot for the bite is a great addition to your lure (see Figure 6). After you have added your sharpie addition to your lure, make sure to seal it with some kind of clear coat. Fly tying head cement works well, and so does topcoat nail polish with no acetone or harsh thinner agents. Cheap clear coat nail polish will remove paint off your lure.
Spraying color or glow on your lures and flashers will improve your chances to hook more fish. That red splash on the tail of the plug or flasher and the glow belly of the plug and jigs have proven to add more fish into the box (see Figure 7). After you spray paint your lures or flashers, seal them with a clear coat.
All these customizations can help you hook more fish. Don’t hesitate to try different artistic ideas on your lures. It feels great when you keep hooking fish on your own customized lures, and it feels even better if you are the only boat around hooking fish.