When it comes to fishing techniques, it doesn’t get much easier than throwing a buzzbait. Simply remove it from the package and start chucking, right?
Well, that’s only partially true. Choosing the right buzzbait is important, while a few simple tweaks in certain situations could help you land more fish.
1. Double-Buzz with Stinger
Though it doesn’t seem like the prime time to throw a buzzbait, cold-water periods when the water temperature is in the upper 50s can offer some excellent success if you have the right gear. South Carolina pro Brandon Cobb reaches for a 1/4- to 3/8-ounce double-bladed buzzbait.
“In cold water the fish tend to miss a normal buzzbait a lot,” says Cobb. “That’s usually when I’ll pick up that small double-buzz. The bass seem to commit to it better.”
The final touch is to add a No. 1 or 1/0 treble hook stinger tied to a 50- or 100-pound-test monofilament leader. Cobb rigs the trailer so it hangs back about 2 inches to nab fish that reluctantly slap at the bait.
If the fish are really short-striking the bait, Cobb will often rig a normal trailer hook upside down on the buzzbait’s stock hook.
2. Replace the Skirt with Plastic
Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury is a fan of the recent trend of replacing a buzzbait skirt with a soft-plastic trailer. Nearly any buzzbait will work for this, but Canterbury has designed a signature series Dirty Jigs Tackle Pro Buzz specifically for this approach.
“Putting a soft plastic on a buzzbait makes it cast a lot farther, and it skips a heck of a lot better,” says Canterbury. “If I’m fishing for largemouths, especially around heavy vegetation, I add either a Zoom Horny Toad or Bruiser Baits Thrasher to my Pro Buzz. These plastics do a better job of imitating the bream and frogs that those fish are up eating.”
For spotted bass, the Alabama pro likes to use soft jerkbaits or swimbaits for a more subtle action and to better mimic shad.
Whatever plastic is used, a little Super Glue will help hold it in place.
3. Bulk Up, Combo Colors
Even if you prefer to leave your buzzbait skirt, adding a soft-plastic trailer is a good idea. Tour pro Andrew Upshaw prefers to add a Gene Larew Sweet Swimmer to create a bigger profile that catches bigger fish.
“The profile of the skirt along with the Sweet Swimmer makes a great combination,” he says. “It also allows me to use a contrasting color versus the skirt color. I never match my trailer to the skirt color. I like it to add a little extra pop.”
4. Make Some Noise
Bryan Thrift increases his buzzbait catch by going after the bait with a pair of pliers. There’s usually a rivet behind the blade to help hold the blade in place. Normally the rivet isn’t crimped down all the way, leaving it free to turn. Thrift modifies it.
“I always like to crimp the rivet down on a buzzbait if it isn’t already,” he says. “Crimping the rivet gives the bait more of a squeak because the blade can spin against it, and I think that really helps to call fish in.”