It’s time to reveal an industry secret which has been kept quiet by area tournament fishermen, and has been producing nice paydays to some anglers including myself. Until recently no one was selling these products on the open market as most were home-made, and these products were only in beta test by selected individuals (John Hynes, Steve Paulsen and Mark Schram) on the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Winnebago.
The concept is a slow death spoon. You’re probably thinking that’s something you’ve heard about….the crazy spinning live crawler that you drag super slow. Fish don’t bite live bait that spins. You’re probably thinking that can’t work, right? No one should fish that slowly. The pros of the FLW and AIM walleye circuits proved that theory wrong over the last several years after Mustad hooks came to the market with the slow death hooks.
The evolution of this lure takes the slow death hook and adds it behind a specialized trolling spoon, which was developed by Paul “Coot” Williams. The spoon provides a unique wobble to the presentation, while the slow death hook and crawler assume a spinning presentation. This unique blend of wobble and spin drives walleye insane.
One major advantage to the system is its versatility related to speed. Normally, a slow death presentation has speeds below 1.0 mph. The spoon system can be fished at the slow speed; however, we have found successes at as high as 3.0 mph on Lake Winnebago. Ideally, on most days, speeds of 0.8- 2.0 mph were common.
One interesting aspect of this system was we could use this presentation while using crank baits on other lines. Typically a live bait presentation and a crank bait presentation can not be used simultaneously, because of the speed differences required to make the presentations most effective. This allowed us to determine if the fish were more inclined toward live bait or artificial on a given day. This advantage allowed us to dial in preferences much earlier in the day, ultimately creating a larger window of success on tournament days.
The manufacturer of the system, Tommy Harris Blades (Kenosha, WI), has tested the product for several years and now and has refined the components to make this deadly presentation ready for the walleye market. Most anglers are familiar with Tommy’s product line and quality which almost borders on fine art. The complete lineup is named Spoon De-velie and offers 32 colors.
Tommy will be at some local sports shows over the next several weeks, making the product available to the general public for the first time. The shows include the Madison Fishing Expo Feb 22-24 and Northeastern Wisconsin Fishing Show in Appleton, WI on March 1-3. On average, the system runs about $5 per lure. The product will be available via tommyharrisblades.com in the future.