By Capt. Joey Leggio
Bunker spoon basics get you on the big bass!
I was recently put on the Pro-Staff for Tony Maja’s Killer Bunker Spoons and I was very excited to try out these Famous Bass catching spoons. Tony sent me out a few spoons in a few different colors to try out and a set of his Out-Roders and let me tell you WOW!!! The craftsmanship was amazing.
The Out-Roders were built with the fisherman in mind. The spoons were much stronger then any other Bunker Spoon I have fished before. They weighed more and had a beautiful finish.
I was very excited to hit the water and try them out. I ran out of Debs inlet to about 35 feet of water and let out my first Bunker Spoon on my Custom wire-trolling rod. I got out to my depth and placed the rod in one of Tony’s Out-Rodders. I then set out the second rod and as I was placing the rod in the Out-Rodder , I heard the drag going on the first rod I put in…. Game on and we had the first fish of the day which was a 15 pound Striper and the targeted species.
One of the most common questions you will hear on the VHF when the trolling season starts is “Hey Buddy how fast ya trolling when you got that fish?” OK we need to know that there is NO set speed for Bunker-Spoon Trolling. There is something I call the 3.5 Foundation. When you are trolling wire with Bunker-Spoons try this. Once you have the rods set out bring your boat to 3.5 kts. This is a good foundation to start your speed. Now look at the tips of the rods. You want a nice soft pumping action. If you are going against the current you may have to change your speed and the same goes for if you are going with the current. The current may be pushing you 2 kts so you will have to pick up speed to get the pump back in the rod. Now if you go across current you will have to adjust your speed again. The answer will always be in the rod tip of how fast you should be going.
If the rod is pumping erratically then you may be going to fast and your Bunker-Spoon is just spinning which is NO good.. Slow it down and see if you get the smooth pump back. Just think of a resting heartbeat. Boom……. Boom……. Boom…… boom…. There ya go….
I mark my wire as follows; First color, yellow the wire is out 100’ out. After yellow I have Green Telephone wire marking 150’ Then Blue marks 200’ and Black marks 250’. As you let all the wire out you will be at the swivel connection which will be 300’ of wire now in the water which will bring your spoon around 30 feet below the surface.
Behind my wire I use 80 lb. Braid. You can use which ever braid you are used to. The new rounder stuff will work a little better in my eyes.
Reeling in a fish;
Another big mistake people do is pump the rod like you are fighting a Tuna.. This is not good and a sure way to lose a trophy Bass. Remember these spoons are heavy and the more you pump, the bigger you make the hole where the hook is set in. The right way is to keep a slight bend in the rod and just reel. You will lose less fish. A high speed reel makes this a little easier to. A small belt is good to use do to the weight of the wire rod and reel and the no stretch on the wire. Your arms will get fatigued when wire-line trolling. Don’t horse a fish when it is next to the boat. If he goes to make a run just let the rod do the work. Bunker Spoon rods should be soft so they will take a lot of the shock when a fish makes a sudden run. Well, good luck out there and get a 50….