Fishing buzzbaits can be the most exciting style of bass fishing there is. They are one of the best topwater lures out there, and any bass fisherman will agree that theres nothing like seeing a bass explode on a topwater lure. What sets a buzzbait apart from other topwater lures is that it is a very fast moving lure, so the explosions tend to be a little more vicious. Also it creates a loud noise in the water that gets attention from bass. In fact, a bass will often swallow one just to shut it up.
Similar to a spinnerbait, a buzzbait is a bent wire where one end is molded into the jig head. The jig head is dressed with a rubber skirt and the line is tied at the bend. What makes it different from a spinnerbait is that instead of a blade it has a propellor, and it is only used for topwater fishing.
When the lure is retrieved, the skirted hook runs just below the waters surface while the propellor cuts through the surface making a loud “buzzing” sound. Buzzbaits come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors but their function is primarily the same.
This page is all about buzzbaits and how to fish them, but if your just looking for the best buzzbaits out there then check out what we have listed as the top three:
Types of Buzzbaits
When selecting a buzzbait the two most important factors are performance and durability. These fast moving lures take a beating from bumping cover and the thunderous strikes from below. The lures frame can get bent, props can jam up, and the skirt can get shredded.
When casting in tight areas and small openings in cover, you need that lure perform perfectly so your not wasting casts at prime targets. That’s why fishing a good buzzbait made by a reputable company is key. A well-built buzzbait will perform consistently and survive the wear and tear that not only bass put on it, but the bouncing off rocks and timber too.
There are all different variations of buzzbaits but for the most part they all work about the same. You’ll notice the Booyah Buzz has a “clacker” that hits the prop as it spins to create additional noise in the water. Some have two props side by side or inline with each other for again, more noise, but also to create more surface disruption.
If your just starting out, stick with a single prop. And go with a smaller size, they get hit a lot more often than larger ones. This will build your confidence in fishing buzzbaits because at first it can seem like a hopeless effort. Lets face it, its not the most natural looking lure, especially as its buzzing across the surface.
A Brief History
Spinnerbaits have been the go to bass lure for many anglers ever since Bomber came out with the first one, called the Bushwhacker, in the 1960s. It was developed with the help of legendary Bassmaster Floyd Mabry. A great lure, but as with all spinnerbaits, it has one weakness. In shallow water, as long as the blade stays under water theres no problem. However, if the blade breaks the surface, it stops fluttering and the entire lure flounders unless you stop and let it sink a bit.
In 1970, the Lunker Lure Company was born, with revolutionary idea that would overcome the shortcomings of a standard spinnerbait. Their lure looked like a spinnerbait, but instead of a blade on the upper arm of the wire, it had a 2-bladed propeller. Not only did this make even more racket in the water, but if one of the propeller blades broke the surface, it didn’t matter, because the lower blade would keep it spinning. This means it can be fished right in the surface film, where bass like to hunt. And, it has all the other great functions of a standard spinnerbait.
Buzzbaits are mostly used for shallow water fishing, especially in and around cover. The best way to fish them is to cast as close to cover as you can, and hold your rod tip high while reeling in, keeping the lure as close to the surface as possible. Strikes are usually sudden, and explosive so you need to be ready.
A benifit to being such a fast moving lure is that you can cover a lot of water quickly. You can stop on an area and cast to just about every spot in a shorter amount of time than you would with say a rubber worm.
They are a great lure if your night fishing for bass, especially over shallow flats where they like to hunt after dark. You may not see your lure, but you’ll hear a splash, then hopefully a huge tug on your line.
As winter comes to an end the shallow water warms up first and bass will cruise the shallows searching for prey. Running a buzzbait along these structures can cause murderous strikes. In very clear water, use darker colors, and smaller sizes. In murky, or stained water, go for the brighter colors, and bump up the size a bit.
Buzzbaits are for the most part weedless so don’t be shy about tossing them in or around lily pads or other vegetation. In fact, breaks in lily pads is a prime location for a buzzbait and often where bass will explode on it. They are also great for flipping and pitching around cover.
The only downside to fishing buzzbaits is they are often missed by bass. This is common for all topwater lures but especially buzzbaits because they move so quickly and only have one hook. Its important to retrieve the lure at the minimum speed required to propel the prop, making the lure a slower target and easier to strike.
Often times a bass will not try to strike again once it has missed it the first time ,but theres a cool trick that has a high success rate. Try casting a slow moving rubber worm in the area where the lure was missed. That bass is more likely to go after the worm than after the buzzbait again. You can apply this tip to any topwater lure.
Just because the hook up ratio may be lower than other topwater lures it doesn’t mean it should be over looked. Often times bass will prefer to chase loud and fast action over a slower, easier target.