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Publication: Bass Matters
Buzzbaits

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><> ><>        BASS MATTERS - August 9, 2006         ><> ><> 
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Comment The Post Below...

Hello Anglers,

If you are fishing in a river or stream you should cast 
upstream or 'up and across' the current. Fish face into the 
current this will prevent you from pulling the bait from 
behind the fish which will produce fewer strikes.

Remember you can comment on any story or read comments   
by visiting: Bass Matters Blog

Enjoy a week of fishing!
Brock
email Brock


Buzzbaits
By Alan Paczkowski

If you are like most bass anglers, I am sure you will agree, 
nothing is more exciting than watching the water explode in 
response to the action of a topwater bait. Enticing a lunker 
bass to strike a surface bait requires you to get their 
attention. Among topwater baits few, if any, come close to 
creating as much attention getting surface disturbance as 
does the buzzbait. 

To a hungry bass, the unique splashing, sputtering, and 
gurgling commotion created by a buzzbait is very hard to 
resist. In addition to reinforcing the worth of this time 
proven big bass catcher; this week's article is designed to 
provide you with some BASICS which should help improve your 
strike and hook-up percentages with a buzzbait. 

Since a buzzbait is designed solely for surface fishing it 
lacks some of the versatility of a spinnerbait. Nonetheless 
I have found a buzzbait is often more effective than a 
spinnerbait when fishing over grassy, weedy areas, or visible 
timber. Why? First of all it is less likely to become fouled 
in the grass or weeds. Secondly, in murky water or thick 
vegetation, the sound created by a buzzbait not only alerts 
bass to its presence but allows them to more easily locate, 
track, and acquire it. 

Thirdly, there is just something about a buzzbait which 
ignites the predatory instincts of a bass. Buzzbaits work 
best in relatively calm water, however I do not hesitate to 
use one when there is a light surface chop. Obviously, too 
much wave action negates the disturbance caused by the buzz-
bait, so let common sense prevail. Also do not be captured 
by the myth regarding their effectiveness under anything but 
low light or overcast conditions. 

If the surface temperature is above 60 degrees and the water 
conditions allow I will throw a buzzbait at high noon under 
bluebird skies. I especially enjoy throwing a buzzbait into 
thick grass or cover during hot weather. You would be 
surprised by how effective a buzzbait is at drawing bass out 
of the densest grass or surface matting. 

I have also found that buzzbaits are a good choice when try-
ing to locate bass with a topwater bait. They cast farther 
and are retrieved faster than most topwater baits thereby 
allowing you to cover a lot of water in a relatively short 
period of time. Additionally, the fact that they have a 
single, upturned hook which allows them to be fished around 
all types of dense cover adds to their appeal as bass l
ocators. 

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the buzzbait is the fact 
bass often completely miss it or strike short. Similarly, 
when fished over dense cover, they sometimes have problems 
catching up with the bait. If you have ever used a buzzbait, 
chances are greater than not, you have experienced a heart-
stopping swirl or cannonball splash but no hook-up! 

I would also be willing to bet that on occasion your quick 
reaction to an explosive strike has resulted in a premature 
hook set which accomplished nothing more than literally 
taking the bait right out of a bass' mouth. 

Much easier said than done, but the BASICS rule I try to 
follow with all topwater baits, and especially with fast 
moving ones, is to delay my hookset until I actually feel 
the bass take the bait and start exerting pressure to my 
line. Simply put, with topwater baits you must learn to "set
by feel; not by sight or sound!" 

When the bass seem to be striking short a BASICS practice I 
use is to add a single hook trailer, sometimes called a 
"stinger" to my buzzbait. Doing so will greatly increase 
your hook-up percentage with short strikers. If I am fishing 
in dense weeds or grass I turn the "stinger" up the same as 
the main hook. 

Continued...

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In open water or light cover, where I am not as concerned 
with fouling, I like to turn the "stinger" down, opposite 
the main hook. Doing so not only improves my hooking odds 
but more importantly increases the chances of hooking a 
bass in its lower jaw thereby reducing its inclination to 
jump. Remember the more time a bass spends in the air the 
greater the odds are it will throw the bait. 

As with all baits, successful bass catching requires us to 
make adjustments in our presentation until we hit the one 
the bass seem to be most responsive too. Using a buzzbait is 
no different. I prefer 1/4oz. or 1/2oz. buzzbaits and really 
do not pay a lot of attention to the blade shape or style as 
long as it makes a lot of noise. 

Older, worn-in buzzbaits tend to produce a squeaky noise 
which I believe adds to the bait's appeal. One of the "noise" 
enhancing modifications I like to make is to bend the blade 
arm slightly downward so that the blade ticks the shaft as 
it rotates. Another is to drill several holes in the blade 
so that it emits a "bubble" trail as it moves across the 
water. 

With regard to speed, I initially like to work a buzzbait 
just fast enough to keep it on the surface. However there 
are occasions when burning it through the water, or an 
erratic, fast-slow-fast retrieve is what the bass want. Be 
patient, don't be afraid to experiment, and listen to what 
the bass are telling you. 

When a really slow presentation is what the bass want I 
either use a two-bladed buzzbait or cup up the blade a 
little on a single-bladed buzzbait using a pair of pliers. 
Either will allow you to slow down your retrieve without 
the bait sinking. 

Learning how to present your buzzbait properly is simply a 
matter of practice. It is important to engage your reel just 
before the buzzbait hits the water. Doing so removes any 
slack from your line and allows you to start your retrieve 
before the bait has a chance to sink. 

During the retrieve I hold my rod tip up high enough to keep 
the bait in proper contact with the water but not so high 
as to lift the bait from the water or prevent me from 
generating a solid hook set. As the bait gets closer to the 
boat I gradually lower my rod tip thereby allowing the bait 
to maintain proper contact with the water. 

Lastly, let's talk about colors. I like white or black best; 
although I have been known to tie on a combination 
chartreuse/ white or chartreuse/ blue. My color choice is 
usually predicated on the light conditions, water clarity 
and time of the year. Quite honestly I do not believe there 
is a magic formula with respect to buzzbait color. In my 
experience, sound, speed of retrieve, and water conditions 
are much more critical than color. 

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        GopherCentral's Question of the Week
        
Do you think Fidel Castro's death would be good for the 
Cuban people?

Question of the Week

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                  FISHING JOKES CORNER
------------------------------------------------------------

A fisherman's wife was sitting on the bank of a river when 
along came the ranger came along and said "Excuse me madam 
but I need to speak to your husband. Can you tell me where 
he is?" She replied, pointing to a clump of reeds. "Go over 
there and look for the pole with a worm on both ends."

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Questions? Comments? email: Email brock
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