Spinning is growing in popularity so fast that it seems to have left the infamous dropshot fishing in its dust. These days there is a huge variety of hard plastics and metal spoons available, giving the light tackle enthusiast ammunition that can catch just about any species of fish from a shore-based location along the entire South African coastline.
Before I get too much into the various spoons and lures, let’s cover the tackle used for spinning.
The beauty of spinning is that the tackle becomes much lighter than is usual for shore angling, making the fight a lot more challenging and way more fun. Because of the huge variety of spoons and lures and their weights it is important to decide what you want to achieve and which species you would predominantly like to target. The new technology surrounding the good old ‘coffee grinder’ or spinning reel means spooning has evolved into a much more widely practiced angling art. This art is not new but rather the combinations of rod, reel, and braid are brand new, allowing us to get great results from the lightest of outfits and once again putting the important part of angling at the forefront, namely FUN!
There is a huge variety of lures in all shapes and sizes that have done the trick for me in the past. Some you may know very well or have heard of, others are new on the scene. I will cover each of my favourites with the when, why and how relating to each.
The chase range of bullet spoons remains one of my favourite spoon choices; these spoons are made using white metal, which makes them incredibly durable and allows you to easily add some shine whenever they start looking a little dull. What I really enjoy is the fact that each model is individually swim tested, which sets your mind at rest that you are getting a really good swimming action going; being cast tested on top of that means that each of the models is designed for balanced long-distance casting, allowing you to target fish off the South African shore usually reserved for some tropical island most of us cannot afford to go to.
No 5 – 45gm
This spoon is my all-time favourite and has accounted for more fish than
any other spoon I have ever used. It is very aerodynamic and truly casts a
mile; the short sharp edges give it a very erratic swimming action that closely
resembles a fleeing bait fish, which will even get a goldfish interested. Being
made of white metal, this spoon is robust and very easy
to shine up using the back of a knife.
This spoon is designed to be cast out as far as possible and retrieved in order to imitate a fleeing or injured bait fish. My favourite method is to cast the spoon out there and allow it to sink to the bottom; you can feel the knock on the braid as it touches Mother Earth. Then retrieve it. Here I vary the retrieval speed until I get a bite; once you have found the speed producing the bites, then stick to it as you will find this will be exactly what the fish wants.
This spoon has accounted for many species, not only for me – many other anglers have notched up some awesome catches. The most commonly caught fish on this spoon is the queen mackerel; however, I have also caught springer, kingfish, shad, garrick and wolf herring, while I have seen queenfish and couta (king mackerel) caught.
No 3 – 70gm
This spoon is my favourite for sardine run time; its slightly larger profile is the perfect imitation of a sardine and its aerodynamic design with longer edges gives it a great swimming action; with a slow retrieve it kicks its tail end back and forth, while a fast retrieve has it darting about erratically and occasionally splashing on the surface, just like a sardine fleeing for its life. Most game fish that hang around sardine shoals find this spoon irresistible.
As mentioned, it is a bullet-shaped spoon that casts a mile, and that is your aim – cast out, allow the spoon to sink and work back to the beach or rocks with the rod held low, varying the retrieve speed until you find which speed triggers the fish to pounce. In the sardine run I like to crank this spoon