The Buzzbait touched down just a few inches from shore, in less than a foot of water. I engaged the reel and began retrieving the bait toward a small section of a tree that had fallen into the lake. But before moving a foot, the bait disappeared into the mouth of Mr. Bass. I set the hook and played the fish momentarily. Mr. Bass then took up temporary residence in my livewell. This was to be the scenario for the remainder of that morning. I would throw the buzzbait toward scattered cover….. the bass would annihilate it! Buzzbaits, you ask? Aren’t they outdated? Didn’t people throw them so much that the bass won’t hit them anymore? Well, you can think what you want. And while you’re thinking what you want to, I’ll be busy catching bass on my trusty buzzbait. Buzzbaits aren’t a bait for all conditions, but there are times when they will out-produce anything else you could throw. Catch a few bass on one and you’ll gain confidence in them. The next thing you know, you’ll be looking for places where you can throw one.

Buzzin’ Conditions
There are some conditions that are more conducive to buzzbait fishing than others. Water temperature is one of the most important factors in the buzzin’ equation. Bass have been documented hitting them in water well down into the 50’s, but this is not common. The mid 60 degree range is a good starting point. The 70 degree mark is pivotal. Once the water temps hit 70 and stay there or higher, buzzbaits can become a deadly tool for the bass angler. Bass will not hesitate to slam one as it skitters overhead with it’s squealing, gurgling blade. I’ve heard and read of many bass anglers who prefer cloud cover for buzzbait fishing. I don’t necessarily agree. I have caught just as many, if not more bass, on bright sunny days as I have on overcast days. This is where your decisions come into play. The decisions I’m referring to are the ones that you need to make with regard to where to throw a buzzbait.
OK, Where?
Buzzbaits are virtually snag-proof. They can be thrown into rocks and wood cover and come back unscathed. They will also handle most types of weed cover with very little trouble. Lily pads and submerged weeds in shallow water beg for a buzzbait!! Some of the finer, more tangled types of weeds will undoubtedly foul the blade, but many times they will come clean with a quick snap of the wrist during the retrieve. Scattered pads are a prime place to use a “steering” type of retrieve. Cast to an open area and use your rod tip to maneuver the bait between the pads. Many times the change in direction, as you steer the bait, will be more than enough to trigger a bass that has been following it. Lay down logs and log jams are excellent places to chuck a buzzer. Retrieve parallel to the logs whenever possible and be sure to bump the bait off the cover too. This will drive the bass nuts!! They’ll just have to kill this thing that is so boldly invading their territory.

The Most Important Ingredient
The most important item is the buzzbait itself. Just about any buzzbait will catch a bass now and then, but to be consistently successful with them, you need to find one that you can develop confidence in and one that has its own unique characteristics. Different types of blades give a different look and sound. There are really only two types of blades worth mentioning with regard to the materials they are made from; Aluminum and plastic. Each one has its own time and place. Aluminum blades tend to be more noisy than plastic. The sound that they make tends to be more of a choppy, obnoxious type of noise. The plastic, on the other hand, creates a smoother more subtle type of gurgle. There are times when one will out-produce the other, but most times they work equally well. The choice between plastic and aluminum is purely personal. I used to use plastic exclusively. But 2 years of experimenting with a particular metal-bladed model brought me to believe in the squeal of that aluminum blade. I firmly believe that the squeal of aluminum is one of its biggest bass catching attributes. The fact that the aluminum blades have only two sides means that there is also less to hang up on weeds, etc. And a blade that is flat on each side also helps to keep the bait on the surface with less effort.
Big, Little or In-Between?
Buzzbaits come in 4 basic sizes, regardless of the blade type or the manufacturer. 1/4 oz. and 3/8 oz. baits are the most popular, with 1/2 oz. following fairly close behind. 1/8 oz. buzzers are not as popular because of their small size, but they will catch a mess of fish under the right conditions. I prefer the 3/8 oz. model. The lure is bulky enough to be cast with heavy line and baitcasting gear, but still light enough to stay on the surface with very little effort on the part of the angler. Most 1/2 oz. baits use the same size blade as their 3/8 oz. counterparts, so they must be retrieved at a faster pace to stay up on top. This is good for when the bass are very active and chasing bait. But we all know how seldom this happens in the real world. When the water is super-clear or the bite is extremely tough, the smaller baits will get the nod. Especially the 1/8 oz. baby buzzer. Tie this onto a medium or medium heavy action spinning rod with 10 – 12 lb. test line and toss it into some of the same places you would fish its bigger brothers. The results may surprise you. Bass will sometimes go for something small and subtle when they completely ignore the same lure in a bigger size.
Color….. For the Fish or the Fisherman?
Color is usually not considered to be all that important in buzzbait fishing. Strikes on buzzers are mostly of the reflex type. The bass sees or hears something invading their home turf and comes out to set things straight with this intruder. I do, however, try to use colors that match the conditions at hand. Clear or semi-stained water will usually put a White lure into action while stained or muddy water will get a brighter color such as Chartreuse, or a color scheme that I have experimented with called Firetiger. Black is also a standard for night fishing with buzzbaits. I feel more confident in my presentation if I know that the fish can see the bait with little effort.

Summing It All Up
Overall, Buzzbaits are a very misunderstood lure. They are a bait that you need to spend some time with, learning when and where to throw them. They are also a bait that will catch a bigger-than-average size bass. Get yourself a handful of these fish catchers and take them to the lake with you when the water temps start to climb. You’ll probably come home with a new favorite!!