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Buzzbait Fishing 101: How To Fish A Buzzbait

This post was guest written by Clayton Davis of The Indiana University Bass Fishing Team

The classic topwater bait and big bass catching machine, the buzzbait, is a one of a kind bait that can’t be beat any time of year. There is no better feeling in the world as you drag a buzzbait across the top of the water and a big ol’ pig of a bass comes up for dinner. This blog is all about how you, as an angler, can better your buzzbait fishing.

Pick the Right Buzzbait Blade
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Buzzbaits may all look the same on the shelf, but each has its own special features that will work better in different places. A basic buzzbait will simply spin the blade on the top of the water making a slight trail behind it and a slight noise as it moves. A buzzbait with holes in the blade will leave a bubble trail that mimics thrashing bait and give it a unique noise on the surface of the water. An arm with a clacker will give the buzz bait a louder noise under the water while also adding a slight flash in the right light. The final buzzbait blade has the blade slightly touching the head of the bait as it spins. This will give the lure a loud vibration under the water and make bass go crazy.

Pick the Right Color
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Just like all other top water baits there are only two colors you should consider when the water is distinctly clear or  chocolate milk murky. When fishing in clear water, I would recommend white. White will imitate the bottom of almost every different bait, frog, lizard, or even mouse, that a bass would come across on the top of the water. For dark water, always go with black. Bass can’t see any more than you can in murky water, with a black color a bass will only be able to tell where the bait is and not what it looks like. When choosing either white or black, look for a bait that has a flashy flake on the skirt so that the bait has a more lifelike appearance.

Modify Your Buzzbait
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A buzzbait is a big bass catching machine out of the package, but there are a few modifications you can make to improve your hookup ratio. The first mod would be to add a trailer hook. Often you will miss buzzbait fish because the fish misses the hook. A trailer hook will make it much easier to catch a bass every blow up. The next bait modification you can make is bending the arm of the buzz bait so that the blade will hit the head of the bait, giving it an irresistible vibration in the water. The final modification you can make is adding a bait trailer. Adding a bait that will move in the water, ie swim baits, swimming craws, or even a buzz frog, will add a more lifelike appearance to your buzzbait.

Buzzbait Gear and Technique
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The best fishing rod to use with a buzzbait would be a medium-heavy or heavy, with a length of 7’ 0” or 7’ 0”, and a tip action of fast. For a reel only use a 6:1 gear ratio, a 5:1 is too slow while a 7:1 is way too fast. For line, either monofilament or braid for the floating action of the line. Never use fluorocarbon with a buzz bait, the line will sink and ruin the action of your bait. When fishing the buzzbait, start with your rod tip high when it hits the water. This will keep the buzzbait at the top of the water, then slowly lower your rod tip as it gets closer. A buzzbait will work just about anywhere, over sunken weeds or cover, over shallow flats, and perfect for going parallel with the bank.

Different Types of Buzzbaits
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The single metal blade buzzbait is not the only buzz bait on the market. There are buzz frogs, a weedless frog style bait with two paddle tail legs that make commotion above the water and is fished the same as a buzzbait. There is the River2Sea Double Plopper, which is a floating buzzbait with two “blades” that create a unique sound across the water. There is also a new craze sweeping the bass fishing market for a weedless frog with a buzzbait blade on the back.