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MONDAY, JULY 9, 2007
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Buzzbaits make for good day on shorelines

Using buzzbaits is a great way to cover a lot of ground when fishing around shorelines, points and floating or submerged grass beds on Wheeler Lake and Lake Guntersville.

In order to work this technique properly, you need the right equipment. A high-speed baitcaster with a medium-action rod or even a medium/heavy rod (to get fish out of thick vegetation) is a great set-up. Whatever type of line you prefer to use is fine, but make sure it is at least 17-pound test or stronger.

When running structure with buzzbaits, itís possible to catch fish on the lure itself, but sometimes you will find the bass are short-striking. If this is the case, attaching a trailer-hook is a good thing to do.

You can purchase trailer-hook rigs at bait-and-tackle shops, and believe me, they can turn a day of frustration into a day of fun.

As far as what color to use, this is something you will need to experiment with. I prefer using a chartreuse/white skirt to begin with. I also like a triple-fin blade. But keep this in mind — what works for someone else might not suit your taste. I strongly recommend that each angler uses products or colors that they feel comfortable with. Using something you believe in makes a lot of difference when you are making hundreds of casts in one day.

If you come upon a long stretch of floating vegetation, start at one end and head in the direction of the grass line. If I receive a strike and miss the fish, more than likely Iím going to cast back into the same area several times. I already know there is a hungry or angry bass nearby, so making a few extra throws makes sense.

After making or receiving a second strike with no hook-up, I normally put my buzzbait outfit down and pick up a rod-and-reel outfit already fixed up with a Texas-rigged plastic bait. There is an excellent chance that the bass you have been missing will chomp on the Texas-rig in a hurry.

If you still donít find success and are like me — you hate to give up — have a third outfit ready to go.

Usually, on this third outfit, I have a floating plastic worm or similar bait attached. Some anglers find that floating plastic rats or plastic frogs work just as well.

If by chance you do hook-up with the buzzbait, think about making a few more casts in that same area, even though you have already caught a fish. The excitement bass feel from all the splashing around could bring other largemouths or smallmouths in close, even though they may have been quite a distance away.

A lot of people who use buzzbaits absolutely hate the lure because they say itís too hard to operate. What they are talking about is all the fish they miss when throwing this particular bait.

When you see a big bass blow-up on your buzzbait, it is very difficult not to set the hook immediately. To set the hook right away is a natural reaction, but patience is a big plus when buzzing.

After seeing the strike on a buzzbait — hesitate. After the bass hits, wait until you feel the fish on your line before setting the hook. Doing this lets the hook get into position and makes your strike-to-catch rate a lot better.

Sometimes, covering as much territory as possible when bass fishing is the best way to have a great day or even win a tournament. A lot of the pros use this technique, and if itís good enough for them, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

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Paul Stackhouse
Outdoors
Paul Stackhouse

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