The classic spoon was first invented in 1906. Important to note that while we call it a daredevil today, it is officially called a daredevle. At first, when I saw this, I had mistaken it for a typo on the part of the writer, but I’ve come to believe that is how they truly spell it. With that said, I will continue to call it daredevil. Let’s get down to business. How do you fish with this type of spoon? Let’s have a look at how you fish with it.
One of the most powerful things about fishing with a daredevil spoon is how you don’t have to do anything special to use it. You can still catch fish using it. To begin, you cast your line out with the devil on it, and you retrieve it in the process. This doesn’t take anything special, and the fish will often go after it even with this much.
I have caught northern pike from doing simply this. You cast the line out into a weed line, and you hope a nearby bass or northern pike will take it. The retrieval is as simple as putting your hand on the handle of the reel and cranking it back in.
As you reel, one of the things that you can do that will especially help with catching more pike is to reel the daredevil in just fast enough to feel the vibrations. You want to adjust the speed to get the most vibration out of the daredevil. Northern pike, in particular, are an aggressive fish species, and they will often go toward the noise if they believe that they can take it as prey.
A lot of fishermen have said how even doing that much can help you to catch pike. It doesn’t take a lot of skill to use the daredevil, which is why a lot of fishermen will have this in their tacklebox. It’s a classic that seems to work every time.
The other way that you could look at retrieval with them is to cast in such a way that you retrieve it at a speed where the daredevil starts to rock from side to side. Each lure will react differently. If you feel them as you retrieve, you will learn what works best. Vary your speed to see what gets the strikes and what doesn’t.
Pike love to crush on spoons. In fact, spoons remain one of the few lures that withstand attack after attack from the aggressive northern pike. Retrieval especially has advantages in shallow water where you would cast and retrieve it. Even at insane retrieval speeds, if the northern pike or muskie want it, they will crush it no matter what the speed.
How to Cast
Important to note, you have a particular way to cast a daredevil that lets you cover more ground with retrieval. In general, you want to cast like a fan’s whirling. Start from the right, and you cast out one direction, retrieve it and cast a little farther to the left each time. I like this technique because of how it helps me comb the entire area for northern pike. You never know from what direction the pike will hit.
As you cast your line, you retrieve it and cast slightly more to the left each time. This ensures that you have combed all the possible areas where the pike might be. If you have done this for a while and you still haven’t noticed any bites, you may want to move to another location.
One of my favorite ways to fish a daredevil, trolling has the advantage that you can cover a lot of water fast. Trolling lets you fish at a more leisurely pace as well, and you have a special way to fish to say the least. In general, you usually want to troll the weed line because you will find a lot of northern pike that strike from this area. They hide in the weeds, wait for their prey to swim past and launch an ambush.
The other advantage of trolling comes from how you just cast out your line and wait for a strike. If you happen to get strikes in a certain area, I’d recommend that you spin your boat around and troll that area.
One of the things that you will notice is how areas where you get northern, you will get a couple more. That’s because of how northern follow their prey, so they’re never far away. Where you can find one, you will typically find more.
Troll that same area, and you will usually locate another three our pike. In addition, when younger, northern pike hunt in schools. As they get older, they become more solitary, and they will even cannibalize off each other.
How can you troll with a daredevil to have more success? You have a specific daredevil spoon that you will typically even use for trolling. In general, your best spoon will typically be a 3/4 oz spoon for trolling, but you can use any type. Usually, this is better, however, because of how it will look more natural in the water.
The exact speed that you should troll through the water will depend on each manufacturer of your tackle, but you should find a speed and look for what works. Usually, when you troll or do cast-and-retrieve, you want to look for water between 5 to 6 feet deep.
Meanwhile, a lot of fishermen have commented on how the classic red-and-white daredevil never fails. It does the trick every time, and you can’t go wrong with it. As I have said in previous articles, when fish see something red in the water, they view it as injured, and this can prompt an attack. I’d recommend that you buy a couple of different colors for daredevils because of how this can help you to catch more.
Consider a Weedless Spoon?
Shallow lakes especially will sometimes suffer from what is known excess nutrient input. When this happens, you will get a lot of weeds and dense underwater plant growth that can mean taking off weeds from your spoon quite often. If you happen to fish one of these lakes, you could find it beneficial to have a weedless spoon.
Weedless spoons may not get rid of all the weeds, but they have less likelihood that they will get snagged by them.
Switch up Your Colors
No matter what lake you fish on, fish change their moods, and they might strike based on what a spoon looks like under the water during a certain weather condition such as sunny days. You want to switch up your spoon colors because you never know what will work. If you want to fish with a daredevil properly, you will want to switch out spoons once in a while if you find them not biting. In general, spoons were made to attract the northern pike to the lures.
You have three important factors when it comes to lure selection:
How to Know When to Use What
With deeper water or a faster current, you will typically want to use a heavier spoon. The thickness and weight will give it a more natural appearance in the water like this to tempt a pike to strike it.
You have four different categories of spoons and each spoon category can be best used for different circumstances. I’m going to highlight each one so that you have a better understanding for how to use each one effectively. The categories of spoons include:
- Trolling spoons
- Casting spoons
- Jigging spoons
- Topwater spoons
Manufacturers typically make trolling spoons much lighter and thinner. In general, you will have a hard time casting spoons like this because they weren’t designed for it. Usually, they will have a wider wobble when you troll at slow speeds, which mimicks the injury of a fish.
Usually, trolling spoons will only be three inches, and they will weigh 1/8 oz.
Casting spoons were built for casting, and they will usually have both thickness and weight. Usually, this type of spoon wobbles back and forth in the water. If you have a thinner casting spoon, this will usually work best for shallow waters.
You have to retrieve a casting spoon more quickly, which means it works best for going after active fish. With casting spoons, you will often have a split ring and a quality snap swivel on it with the purpose of giving it more wobble action.
Thick, flat and heavy-that’s what you get with jigging spoons. When you go to cast them, the fun part is how they cast like a bullet from a gun. You may find it more agreeable to use a baitcasting reel for this spoon because of its weight. If you haven’t checked out my article, What is a Baitcasting Reel, I highlight some of the benefits of them, and you will learn how to use it to your advantage. For example, heavier lures work better with a baitcasting reel, while lighter lures work better with a spinning reel.
Jigging spoons jig well vertically, and if you want it to do this, you will retrieve it in a stop-and-go fashion. As they move across the water, they will flutter and jig. What works well for jigging spoons is that they cover a great deal of area in a short period of time. You cast it out, let it sink and reel it back in.
After you cover the water with a jigging spoon, you will learn where the fish are hiding. Once you have identified their hiding places, concentrate your casts to those areas to especially have an effectiveness with it.
Whether you go fishing on lakes or on rivers, you want to have your daredevil about one foot above the fish. In this way, the fish see it and go after it. Topwater daredevils will usually be thin to help keep them from sinking too deeply.
You may want to attach a split ring and swivel to your topwater daredevil because of how this will help it to wobble even at a slower speed. The wobbling mimicks an injured animal, which usually provokes the fish to strike if hungry. For example, northern pike find this irresistible.
The Right Depth Matters
When you use a daredevil, you want to have it at the right depth because you won’t catch as many fish if you put it at the wrong depth. This depends on the type of daredevil that you use, and the other thing is the speed that you retrieve it determines the depth. In addition, you usually want the daredevil to float over the fish’s head. That can provoke him to strike.
To use the daredevil correctly, you want to retrieve it at the right speed, and you also have to have it at the right depth. Usually, it is better to have your daredevil at a higher depth, however.
What to Do When the Fish Follows the Daredevil
You might have a case where the fish even follows the daredevil. If you notice a monstrous northern pike following your lure, stop reeling and let the lure fall back and hit him in the face. In this way, it will provoke an attack on your lure.
I wished I had known this before because while fishing on the Mississippi River, I had caught a small pike following my lure while fishing from a kayak. Unfortunately, I didn’t know to do this. The other problem is that I had a clam that had firmly bit down on my lure. Think clams can’t eat lures? I know for a fact now that they can from my own experience. While I did go home without a pike, I tell it true when I say that I did make clam chowder that night.
In shallow water, lighter spoons will usually give you the bigger advantage.
Many Different Techniques
What you will find is that you have many different techniques that you can use with daredevils. You don’t have a right or wrong way to use them, and because northern pike often aren’t picky about what they attack. If it moves, they will eat it. That’s the philosophy of northern pike.
While I previously said that above the fish is better, you can also let your daredevil sink to the bottom to retrieve it for an equally effective technique. However, you don’t have to do anything too complicated.
One of the reasons that the daredevil remains in the fisherman’s tacklebox is because of how it works. They had their peak of popularity in the 1950s, but even today, most fisherman have daredevils in their tacklebox, and many times, they will have a variety of different daredevils because if one doesn’t work, they can switch out the color to try a different one.
How to fish a daredevil spoon depends on the personal preference of the fisherman. For me, I don’t like to do anything too fancy because the northern pike will bite it all the same. My preference when fishing for pike is to get in a boat, turn the trolling motor on and go with a couple of fishing buddies, but I have found it equally effective to do casting. I don’t do anything fancy, but maybe you find it better to use some of the more complicated techniques with the daredevil.
1 thought on “How to Fish a Daredevil Spoon”
Very good advice! I’m from Michigan now living in western Washington state. As a kid , I fished for Pike an Muskie an the daredevil lures never failed!! I can’t find the red an silver an the black an silver, I should red an chrome, black an chrome.