Fall is just around the corner and so is steelhead season. While there are a large variety of ways to target them, “spoon chucking” has become a popular technique for early-season steelhead. This allows you to cast your baits far, cover water and catch fresh chromers. While spoons are the most popular choice, there are plenty of lures that work great for this application. Here are some of the top lures to chuck for steelhead this fall.
Acme Little Cleo
From the West Coast to the East Coast, this spoon dominates. Any steelhead angler will tell you these are among the favorites of all steelhead lures. The Acme Little Cleo’s come in a large variety of colors and are made with strong hooks and split rings.
Bay Rat Lures S3 Shallow Divers
These were introduced by Bay Rat to target very shallow water. These baits are excellent for casting and trolling. They only dive 1-3 so they can be used casting off of a beach and in streams and rivers. Many of the colors available for the S3 Shallow Divers are designed specifically for steelhead and other trout species. The Short Shallow Diver is very similar, with the main difference being the maximum diving depth is 1-2 feet deeper.
Blue Fox Pixee Spoons
These spoons made their mark on the West Coast primarily for steelhead and salmon. The soft fluorescent inserts give the Blue Fox Pixee Spoons colors that steelhead cannot resist.
Yo-Zuri Pin’s Minnow
The Yo-Zuri Pin’s Minnow is great for both stream and shallow lake fishing. These lures are lightweight, great for low, clear water and they will not spook the fish as easily. Pin’s Minnows are also extremely heavy duty and will hold up to the test of time, season after season.
Blue Fox Vibrax Bullets
When you need to cast long distances with a bait that weighs a half-ounce or less, this is the bait for you. The colors of the Blue Fox Vibrax Bullets are specifically designed to target salmon and steelhead. The design of the blade gives off more vibration for fishing deeper water and in a current.
This is one of the best producers for steelhead. With a huge variety of sizes, these baits can be cast on the smallest streams or into deep water off of sea walls. The Acme Kastmasters are a very realistic imitation of a minnow and it will not twist your line. The aerodynamic design of these baits makes them excellent to cast far. The Acme Rattlemaster Kastmasters are great for chasing finicky steelhead or fish that are tracking the baits down from a distance.
Rapala Original Floaters
For many years, these baits have been a secret of steelhead anglers, fishing smaller stickbaits in calm water pools. Rapala Original Floaters come in ideal small profile sizes and can be fished fast or slow. They also stay close to the surface, making them a great choice for covering shallow water.