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- Field Notes - Better Bass Fishing - Lesson 6
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Bass fishing adventures for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, black bass, lunkers and hawgs.
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Bass Fishing

Better Bass Fishing - Lesson 6
By Pete Douvarjo - Eggemoggin Guide Service

Greetings folks!  Here’s a column about my two favorite Largemouth baits…Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits.  Those of you that fish a lot for Largemouth probably have some experience with these two baits. It is a fact that more Bass have been caught on plastic worms then any other bait but I think that is mostly because so many anglers use them as opposed to other baits. I have caught Old Bucket mouth on all kinds of baits but for consistent hard-hitting action you can’t beat these two lures!

First lets talk top water…. One fallacy about Largemouth is that you can only catch them on top water baits early morning and just before dark. Buzzers call Bass up at anytime of the day…even in august at high noon! As I have stated in previous columns color simply doesn’t matter, except for one thing! When using buzzers you want to camouflage the bait. You really don’t want them to get a look at the bait.  Say you’re a Bass and it’s a bright sunny day…. when you look up, the water surface is like a mirror so you need to use a bright shiny buzzer. That way you disguise the bait somewhat (from the Bass’s prospective) and they key in on the noise and splashing action…  To them it’s something struggling on the surface!  They attack based on sound rather then sight…after all if you really look at a buzzer it looks like something you would hang off your xmas tree…it doesn’t really look like anything real or natural. 

On cloudy days use a black buzzer….While the silhouette might show up it doesn’t stand out and they again key in on the sound. On days they are feeding well I use a 3/8 oz. Buzzer, and on those fussy days I simply downsize to a ¼ oz. Bait. That usually does the trick. 

Throw that bait into weeds, grass, next to stumps and timber (make sure when casting to isolated structure that you throw well beyond your target and drag it over it)
You can pick them up in open water too! I have used them on extremely clear water lakes and had them come up from 15 feet to hit them. Use different speeds if they are not hitting. Start out with a fast steady retrieve first. If that fails then slow the bait up till it is just breaking the surface and the blades just spin. You will notice that the wake from the bait points directly to the lure, which helps Mr. Bass to locate the source of all that noise. 

Just a couple more points on Buzzers….when you are casting into weeds be prepared to start you retrieve as SOON AS IT HITS THE WATER! After some practice you’ll become adept at this. You will need to pull weeds off your Buzzer less frequently that way. Also when you buy buzzers take them out of the package and tape it to you car or truck mirror. After a day or so you will wear a groove in the shaft and it’ll squeak much more and bring you more hits! And your friends will then think your nuts.

Spinnerbaits are another really productive bait. You can fish them almost on top…. at mid-depth…. And on the bottom. Many of the Pro’s on the Tournament circuit use them as search baits. Once they catch a few aggressive bass they sometimes switch over to finesse baits to catch any others around that might be fussy.  I prefer the new Titanium baits because they are virtually indestructible and stay perfectly tuned even after a hundred fish! For those of you who don’t know what I mean by tuning it means that after you catch a fish most spinnerbaits get the wire bent and you then have to adjust it to keep the bait running straight and upright. You end up messing with them every few casts. Titanium has virtually eliminated that problem!  I generally use 3/8 oz. Baits but go smaller if they are not feeding and go larger if you want to fish deep. Any color is good as long as it’s white, yellow or black<grin>.

Dark days use a dark bait….bright days use a bright bait.  Those of you who have used them before or seen them on the fishing shows (or even just looked at them at the local big box store) notice all kinds of different blade combinations.

I know it seems confusing but it’s really quite simple. Use willow leaf blades in clear water and Colorado blades in stained water. The Colorado blades (big and round) make more vibration and will attract them better from a distance when water clarity is an issue. Willow leaf blades are longer and skinnier and less vibration comes off them so use them in clearer water. 

When they are biting short I use a stinger hook. This is simple to accomplish. Get another hook of similar size as the one already on the lure and slide the eye over the existing hook (make sure the hook point rides up!) Then I take a little piece of rubber worm and slide that on the existing hook as a keeper so your stinger hook doesn’t fall off.

I also like to use a trailer of some sort. You can buy them specifically for this or you can simply use the end of a worm or grub. Make sure that when you put on the trailer that the tail is pointing up…the action is much better that way!

Springtime means slow rolling them on the bottom….cast it out and let it fall to the bottom. Then begin a SLOW retrieve. You just want the blades to barely turn. Watch you rod tip and you can see if the bait is pulsing.  As things warm up you can then go to chucking and reeling! Vary your speeds till you find a retrieve that gets them excited. Throw it along edges of lily pads and weeds…into pockets in the weeds. Cast to any structure you see. Isolated things like one blow down with nothing else in sight is guaranteed to be holding fish! Remember again to cast well beyond the structure so you don’t spook them. Also try casting underhand…the bait will make a much quieter entry.

I know there are lots of ways and lures to catch Largemouth but I prefer these baits above all else. They’ve made my clients very happy over the years!


Tight lines! - Capt’ Pete
Next Fishing Tip: Better Bass Fishing - Lesson 7
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