Going Weedless on Big Fish can be the Trick


It was a quiet evening as the sun disappeared into the Canadian forest behind us. The water was flat calm as darkness descended upon us. We were pitching spoons into a shallow rocky bank and bringing them back to our boat, which was slowly drifting along the shore.

My buddy, Bill Job from Little Chute, Wis., and I were on a fly-in fishing trip to Ontario, Canada. Earlier in the day we caught walleyes and our group had them for dinner.

Now we were fishing for northern pikes. Our goal was to catch a big fish. We were fishing a shallow, weedy bay on the other end of the lake from the cabin where we were staying.

Bill and I were using the one bait made for this kind of fishing. It was The FishTrap, a weedless spoon made by the Weedless Bait Company in Glencoe, Minn. We were both using a different variety of one of their yellow spoons. Before leaving home, I specially packed these spoons in my tackle bag for just a night like this.

The spoons worked perfectly as advertised. They slid through the weeds without ever fouling up. We picked up a couple of smaller northerns as the spoons flashed and fluttered through the weeds, but we were looking for bigger fish.

Bill slung his bait toward the shore and started to crank on his casting rod as his spoon splashed down in the water. He had probably made no more then two or three cranks on the reel when there was a huge swirl the size of a bathtub around his bait. He pulled back and this thick casting rod was doubled over, rod tip plunging as the fish was racing off.

“Big fish,” Bill grunted. I quickly reeled my line in, pushing aside other gear to get to the net.

By this time I could hear Bill’s drag singing as it gave out line. He stopped the fish, turned it and was getting it to come back, when the fish took off again. This battle went back and forth. Bill turning the fish and getting it coming toward the boat when it would just race off again. But Bill was slowly winning. He was getting the fish closer each time.

Finally, we could see the fish, a northern pike, and it looked big as it slid just under the surface of the water. Bill pulled back on his casting rod, getting the fish closer as I extended the net while Bill pulled it closer again and I pulled up. The fish thrashing in the mesh as it cleared the water.

We quickly got the hooks out of the fish and Bill cradled the fish in his hands as I took a photo. We measured the fish and it was 35 inches. It was a fat fish for a northern pike and we estimated it weighed about 15 pounds.

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The FishTrap spoon worked again. I found these spoons some 15 years or so ago at the Minneapolis Sportsman Show and have been taking them to Canada ever since. Although we fish for walleyes to eat, when it comes to chasing trophies, we fish for northern pikes. That is when I rely on the FishTrap weedless spoon. It has worked for years and most of the big northerns we catch have come on the FishTrap. We have also caught some big walleyes on it too, so it has always been our big fish bait.

The FishTrap is ingenious with an unique design. In the middle of the spoon is a cut out track. A treble hook is attached to a slide running back and forth along the track. Two of the trebles slip into a two small bubbles at the back of the spoon when the hooks are slid forward. The third hook is then fastened to a flexible, thin metal weed guard on the bottom of the bottom of the spoon.

With the hook is not exposed, the FishTrap is completely weedless. I have tossed this spoon in some heavy stuff and it comes through the worst mess of weeds and even sunken brush without hanging up or being fouled with weeds. You can’t catch fish if there are weeds on your bait and that is what makes the FishTrap so successful.

When a fish hits the spoon the hooks pop loose, sliding backward to expose the hooks, so you can set the hook. I will admit it sounds a bit complicated and it made me wonder about it until I used it and caught my first big northern with it.

The FishTrap has been around since the late 1940s and has gone through a number of owners over the years. Today the FishTrap is part of the Weedless Bait Company owned by Al and Jan Conklin located in Glencoe, Minn. Al and Jan have owned the company for 11 years and have initiated significant changes.

When they first started the FishTrap came in only about a dozen and a half colors. Now they have almost doubled the number of colors available. They still make all their spoons so they are American made. However, they have branched out beyond our boarders and now have a distributor in both Canada and Europe.

The FishTrap comes in three sizes. The Junior is 3 inches long and 5/8 ounce. The senior is 3 5/8 inches long and 1 ounce. The muskie size is 5 1/2 inches long and 2 1/8 ounce.

Although I have used The FishTrap for northern pike, I have found they also work well on walleyes and bass. It is the right bait for big fish.

The FishTrap spoon is the right bait for big fish like this northern pike Bill Job is holding.

For more information…
To view the baits and available colors or to learn more about The FishTrap check out their website and online catalog at weedlesslure.com. They a can also be contacted by phone at 320-864-3138.