In the last 38 years of traveling to fish for big pike, I’ve never boarded a boat without a good assortment of pike spoons, and I never will. I love fishing spoons. What’s not to like? They’re great hookers, never leak, never need tuning, just a hook sharpening now and then. And they sure catch a lot of fish.

Spoon History
While details are hazy, it appears that spoons made their initial showing around 1820 when young Julio Thompson Buel took a spoon from the dinner table, cut the handle off, drilled a hole in each end, added a hook, and began making tremendous catches. After some twists and turns, he founded the J.T. Buel Company in New York in 1848. This fantastic new lure paved the way for a flurry of competitors throughout the rest of the 1800s. Men like Floyd Lobb in 1849, William Mills in 1852, G.M. Skinner in 1873, and E.F. Pfleuger in 1880 brought out similar products.

A few fishermen experimented with making their own spoons. One example was Lou Eppinger, who hammered one out to take to Canada on a pike trip in 1906. His lure produced so well that he started production that fall. His company, Eppinger Mfg. is a top maker of spoons today, and they’re still producing impressive catches.

Other well-known spoons followed. In 1920, Louis Johnson brought out his weedless Silver Minnow and Charlie Stapf introduced his Doctor Spoon, and Williams Wabler made its first appearance on the market. Four years later, C.V. Clark unveiled the Wob-L-Rite and the Little Cleo, and in 1928 Frederick Hofschneider’s Red Eye Spoon appeared.

In 1952, Art Lavallee started Acme Tackle, which soon offered a diverse line, including the Kastmaster, Phoebe, and Side-Winder. He then expanded by acquiring the Cleo and Wob-L-Rite from Clark. Buck Perry soon introduced the world to structure fishing with his Spoonplugs, an odd cross of a spoon and a crankbait. The pace of spoon invention has hardly slowed since and French angler and lure designer Patrick Sebile brought out the novel rattling Onduspoon in the last decade.

My own experience with spoons goes back to the first pike I ever caught. My dad taught me at an early age the power of the spoon with a devils head on it. The first traveling pikers I met nearly 40 years ago were older guys who rarely threw anything but spoons. And they caught lots of big fish. This was common in those days. There’s little doubt that for the first 60 years of the last century, spoons were the main choice for pike. I later learned of many options to catch big pike, but spoons still remain a top choice in many situations.

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