Every now and then, I’ll stumble across an article in a fishing magazine that is so helpful and so rich with information that will help any angler—beginner or pro—that I want to share it with everyone with whom I fish. Recently, I read a great article in the Spring 2011 issue of Bassin’ magazine, by Keith Sutton, entitled, “18 Little-Known Ways to Put More Bang in Your Buzzbaits.” I’d like to share some of Sutton’s tips with you, in hopes that you may learn one or more ways to get more out of such a popular lure.
I won’t repeat Sutton’s article, word-for-word, but I will touch upon his subtle, but incredibly effective, tactics one by one. A tight line during the retrieve is top priority when using buzzbaits, and most anglers accomplish this by keeping their rod pointed upward. This leaves no room to set the hook. Instead, point your rod tip at the lure between 9 and 10 o’clock and be sure to use a reel with a speedy retrieve. Regarding the retrieve, Sutton recommends varying speeds every now and then when the action is slow. By speeding up so the bait jumps, or even slowing down so it sinks below the surface, you may entice fish that were only looking at the bait before.
Line plays an important role, as well, and you should alter your setup depending on the cover. Vegetation and grass will require heavy braid, but when logs are an issue, Sutton suggests switching to heavy monofilament, as it will slide over the wood, rather than dig into it, like braid. Sutton advises anglers to always keep a black skirted, black bodied, black propped buzzbait in their tackle box at all times, as the dark silhouette will play to a fish’s curiosity and predatory instincts.
When it comes to setting the hook with a buzzbait, many anglers are so excited with the explosion of the strike that they set the hook far too quickly. When a fish hits, stop the retrieve, count to three, and then set the hook. If you get a roll or a nibble on the bait, Sutton suggests dropping the rod tip and allowing the bait to sink a little, to get a “second shot at the same bass.” If that doesn’t work, he advises anglers to keep a second setup handy, rigged with a plastic worm or jerkbait, and cast it to the same spot.
Those are some of the incredibly useful and innovative tips Sutton provides in his article, and they’re not to be taken lightly. While buzzbaits are quite a popular bait, Sutton does a great job of highlighting not only tweaks and subtle changes that will make them more productive, but also some areas where anglers unknowingly make mistakes when using the lure. If you’re a fan of buzzbaits, I highly suggest checking out the Spring 2011 issue of Bassin’ and reading through Sutton’s article, “18 Little Known Ways to Put More Bang in Your Buzzbaits.” I learned quite a bit and I know you will, too.