New Life for Old Spoons

Everett Johnson
New Life for Old Spoons
Here's an idea for you that I began using five or six years ago. I rely on weedless spoons when targeting redfish in the backwaters of Matagorda Island, an area where sea grasses flourish and soft plastics and surface plugs often resemble bad hair pieces with but a few turns of the reel handle. Spoons seem to be timeless, they have been around longer than any of us and still they work like a charm.

While the design is timeless, a new spoon in saltwater seems to last about as long as ice cream on an August sidewalk. A few days in the brine and even the best of them begin to corrode and fade. Add a sometimes lazy fisherman who neglects washing the contents of the wade box and you can build an impressive collection of not-so-pretty lures in a short time. I know!

It came to me one day when cleaning redfish for clients. We'd been on a good school that hung in Long Lake for nearly two weeks and the catching was easy. Everything in my tackle stash was showing the signs of hard fishing and little care. Looking at the stomach contents, every fish was full of small blue crabs. So if that's what they were eating, why not paint my rusty spoons to look like blue crabs?

I cannot tell you whether a redfish looks at a blue and white striped spoon and calls it a crab. More likely than not it's the flutter and wobble they cannot resist. But for whatever reason, I can assure you they work and so do the ones I've dolled-up with gold, copper, red, black and a host of other nail polishes.

Painting fishing lures is kind of like tying your own flies and reloading rifle ammo, things we enjoy doing because they encourage creativity in support of other favorite pastimes. So if you have a bit of tinker blood in you and enjoy playing with lures, give this a try. The rules are simple, take a rusted and not-so-pretty spoon and give it a new look. Just like when you took it out of the package, it will not last very long; a couple of days in saltwater and the beating that redfish can dish out will erase the sparkle, but your spoon will gain a second life and you can have fun learning which colors they won't hit. Funny thing, I haven't painted one the reds won't eat but I'm working on it.