Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits
by Charles Stuart
When I saw my first
spinnerbait, I found myself asking, "what kind of
fish would be stupid enough to strike at a lure like this?"
It did not take too long for me to find out! The next day I
caught a largemouth bass around 2 pounds and was hooked on the
Spinnerbaits come in many forms. Single, double
and triple bladed versions are available with a multitude of
replaceable skirt colors to choose from. This lure can be adapted
for used in shallow and deep-water presentations by using lighter
or heavier bodies. I often add weight, either wrapping lead wire
around the lure or pinching large sinkers onto the wire frame to
make it sink faster in very deep water.
Buzzbaits, while looking completely different
from it's cousin the spinnerbait, also come with single double
and triple rotating propellers, again offering interchangeable
skirts for exciting top water action.
I will deal with each lure individually, to avoid
confusion for the novice and talk about the many ways these lures
can be used. Even our more experienced anglers may find something
here that will suit their favorite fishing hole the next time
they "wet a line".
important things I would like to let our readers know is that it
does not have to be a windy day to throw a spinnerbait. I have
used these lures with great success on calm days. The only
difference being that I increase the retrieve rate so the fish do
not get a good look at the lure. Secondly, in weedy situations do
not use a trailer hook, as this will only cause the lure to snag
and you will spend more time cleaning weed or debris off the lure
than fishing. I will only use trailers in open water situations.
Finally, making sure all your hooks are constantly being
sharpened. I carry a small file and stone for this specific
purpose. You will thank me for reminding you, I promise!
Single bladed spinnerbaits are often used in
murky water conditions or for dusk and nighttime fishing. Most
often, the single blade is in the "spoon like" Colorado
style. This type of blade gives a tremendous amount of vibration
in the water. As the bass have trouble seeing the lure due to
water clarity or lack of daylight, they strike at this vibration
and will track the spinnerbait with their lateral lines. I like
black skirts for this application so that when the bass are
almost on top of the lure, the color does not stop them from
attacking the bait. I have found that light color skirts in dark
water tend to reduce the "hook-up" ratio.
Double bladed baits are my go to bait in clear,
shallow conditions in the lakes around the island. Double bladed
lures vary in design. I have a lot of willow leaf bladed
combinations (these blades are shaped like a fish without a
tail). They are mounted onto the frame of the lure with a smaller
blade leading the lure and a larger blade following. This
presentation mimics a medium sized fish trying to catch a small
one! Bass love to sneak up behind another fish in the act of
hunting as in their mind, they think the attacking fish is
concentrating so much on the chase, that it will not see or sense
the bass attacking from behind.
I have found that during spring and early summer,
a small Colorado blade in front of the willow leaf blade will
give added vibration to the flash of the willow leaf and get more
attention. As the weather continues to warm, the double willow
leaf combination emits a lot of flash from the sunlight and a
curious bass will attack these lures when fished at high speed in
clear water. If the water is stained or muddy a slower speed
should be used. Triple bladed spinnerbaits are just adding more
"fish like appeal" to the lure and as there are a new
selection coming to the market, it is something the bass in your
area have perhaps not see, so more hooks ups are possible.
Skirt color is a personal choice. I prefer orange
and gold for shallow and clear water presentations, and all white
or white and chartreuse for windy days and deeper water
For all the combinations above, when I am fishing
a moving body of water, (and occasionally in very deep lakes) I
like to make long casts and allow the bait to
"helicopter" in a downward spiral, allowing the flow of
the river to gently push the bait towards me on the retrieve.
Often, as you connect with the lure to begin the retrieval, the
fish will strike the lure, so make sure you keep good contact
with your lure at all times.
Buzzbaits. These are
probably the most unusual looking of all the lures we cast for
bass. I believe like many others that these lures imitate a rat,
mouse or a frog, scurrying along the surface of the water.
This is a big bass bait! I have seen huge bass
caught with this lure, but the presentation is critical to your
success. First, you must "tune your buzzbait". This is
accomplished in several different ways.
- Tying your lure to your driver side wing mirror on your truck
or car and allowing the blades to rotate as you drive. These
high-speed action will (after a few miles!) make the lure squeak,
if it is raining, so much the better! This squeak will enhance
the attraction of the lure and certainly increase your chances of
catching a bass.
- Drilling small holes in the propeller blades will increase
the surface movement.
- Bending the arm of the bait downward to place the hook lower
in the water. This will increase your hook up ratio greatly.
- Removing the rivet casing that holds the blades in place so
that they will turn erratically.
- Bending the body so that the lure returns when retrieving
line in an arc rather that a straight line. I have said before,
that fish do not swim in straight lines so why should your lures?
- Add a trailer hook but turn the barb downwards! It's sneaky,
but it does increase the hook up percentages in your favor!
Stuart is a pro angler, journalist and NY State Guide who fishes
the B.A.S.S., RED MAN, FOXWOODS and the ABC Tours in the
Northeast. Born and educated in England, Charles fished
professionally in England when he lived there. Charles has now
lived on Long Island, NY for over 15 years. He's fished most
lakes, rivers, streams and ponds on the island. He has fished
from the Canadian border to Florida in search of largemouth and
One of Charle's
objectives is to use the knowledge he has gained to teach young
fishermen and women the joy of the sport and the art of
"catching". Charles feels that, unlike other sports,
all members of the family can enjoy fishing together. To Charles,
fishing is a sport that does not place pressure on a child to
succeed, thereby building the child's confidence and self-esteem.
Charles is sponsored by
Bullet Weights, G.Loomis, Budz Fishin Wayz, Gamakatsu, Lake Hawk,
Chevy Trucks, Hawg-ly Lures, Power Resources cranking &
trolling motor batteries, Uncle Josh, Ike-Con Fishing Tackle,
Snap-Set Spinnerbaits, Map-Trap, and Stamina Components.
You can email Charles