I’m often asked what to use on what fish. I like using what other people aren’t using so I don’t fish with the YR 5-of-Diamonds very often. However, I’d recommend that pattern as the best place to start for most species.
I like to match the size of the lure to the size of the water I’m fishing. In other words, little streams, little spoons. Big rivers, heavy spoons. Little shallow lakes with small fish, smaller spoons. Big deep lakes with big fish, biggest spoons.
These are my preferences. Please develop your own list.
You’ll notice a lot of Nickel Blue and Flame in my choices. I tend to use Len Thompson colours that aren’t the top sellers, thinking I’ll try the ones that fish don’t see as often.
I also tend to fish a lot of local (Albertan) streams for Trout. I’d take RW first for Rainbows, but Yellow first for Browns. Cutts and Bulls seem to care less about colour. I’d take Yellow or Nickel for Walleye and make absolutely sure you get to the bottom by using some weight. I’d put on a RW or GF first for Pike but they can be quite picky about colour so don’t stick with one colour too long if they aren’t biting.
Everyone uses YR for Lake Trout. As camp operator Hank said at Lynx Tundra Lodge, “If they aren’t biting five of diamonds, may as well go home because they aren’t biting anything!”
Richard Pallister is the Director of Thompson-Pallister Bait Co. Ltd. He has been with the company full-time since 1974. Photo Credit: "Sportfish of Alberta" - The Alberta Guide to Sportfishing 2015.