For bass fishing there for me is a category called situational baits. Specific baits that work under certain weather, water conditions or seasonally, let me introduce you to the buzzbait. The appeal for bass is a raucous, whirling, gurgling surface intruder, for the bass angler there is the anticipation of a heart stopping hit from a determined bass trying to kill/ ingest that noisy, shiny fleeing creature.
Bass on Buzzers –Buzzbaits catch any size bass, buzzers aren’t necessarily a “number” lure but at times are used to target trophies. A super-size fish bass will hit with either a water splashing explosion or a silent sucking vortex or somewhere in between and then head for cover or deeper water. While most of my time is in pursuit of largemouth bass, the sight of a smallmouth attacking a surface lure is undeniably one of the greatest thrills in fishing. Buzzbaits can draw ferocious strikes.
When- Most anglers start throwing buzzers too late. Regardless of your region, tie one on as water temperatures reach the high 50’s and remain stable. As temps rise into the 60’s and 70’s bass eat more often and digest quickly. Spring, summer and fall have the potentially payoff for the angler willing to cast buzzbait. When bait fish, in the form of shad, are schooled bass are vulnerable to the appeal of buzzbaits. Fall, when bait and bass are schooled up, can provide a buzzing bonanza. When bass herd bait to the surface a buzzer will many times draw strikes from the aggressive bass.
Where- Most likely buzzing waters range from literally inches to double digit depth. Key considerations are water color, wind velocity and available cover. In clear water single small blades is preferable, as the waters takes on more stain, up-size the blade size or try the twin bladed models. The double blades make it easier on the angler to keep the bait on the surface and allow for a slower retrieve. Wind matters because it changes the amount of sunlight that penetrates the water. Bass feed by sight but remember they are looking up add seeing minimally the silhouette of artificial lures. When the sun is bright and the water clear largemouth bass will move into heavy overhead cover. Consider submerged wood, weed beds, boat docks, chunk rock and shoreline objects. With their location predictable a well-placed vast beyond the cover sets the stage for a buzzer catch. Cast beyond the object to keep from spooking the fish and minimizing it’s time to view the bait essentially forcing the fish to strike or miss out on a substantial meal.
Endless Possibilities- There are several varieties and different configurations; there are again the double bladed buzzers, buzzers with clickers and one blade models, plastic bladed versions and there is always the option of altering your bait. Adding a small willow leaf blade behind the buzzing blade, or pulling the skirt and adding soft plastic minnow bodies are potential alterations. Try bigger or even colored blades, for aggressive fish or lure shy fish. Skirt colors vary but matter little; they are more fishermen’s preference than bass’s preference. One big plus with these lures is that they allow for the use of heavier line, braid or 30 pound test monofilament. In most instances the line is well above the surface and not likely to be seen by the bass. A 6 ½ foot medium action rod with a high speed bait casting reel is preferable for casting and retrieving buzzing baits.
Buzzbaits appeal to the predatory nature of bass. Experiment with different baits; vary your retrieve speed until the fish tell you what they want. You’ll know you have it right, the water explodes and through the spray you see a heavyweight bass dancing on top of the water.
The Big buzz in bass fishing – Buzzbaits