Baby Buzzbait tips and techniques by Lee Bailey Jr

Welcome to Baby Buzzbait Tips by Lee Bailey Jr.

 

 

How to fish a Trick Worm

May 16, 2019 by lbailey

Flooded water largemouth caught on a Baby Buzzbait.The “trick” worm is a straight soft-plastic worm that is 6 to 7 inches long. It does not have a tail that is shaped to provide any swimming action. Even though the Trick worm is made in natural-appearing colors, it is often found in very bright colors, some of which are bubblegum (pink), Merthiolate, white, and chartreuse.

The only indication you have a hit is when your line jumps

I find the bright colors are the best producers on bright days and around heavy structure. Use the dark more bland colors when there are clouds and the fish are a bit spooky. I rig the trick worm with no weight and fish it almost like a topwater lure. When you twitch them, they jump back and forth like a Zara Spook. They can be fished in many ways but for me the most effective seems to be to twitch them just under the surface and then pause and let the worm sink. Sometimes the fish come up and hit the worm on top and you can see them. Other times, the worm just disappears when the fish sucks it in. If you let the worm sink out of sight, the only indication you have a hit is when your line jumps or starts to move off.

The trick worm can be fished in the early spring right through till early fall. When the fish are roaming in the shallows and where they are the most vulnerable. I fish this shallow water pattern with the trick worm for the most success. You can put a kink in the worm to give it more action. You can fish around vegetation, timber, flat banks, and deep suspended fish. You can catch these fish even on those cold front days when the fish are not moving much. It is a great locator bait when they are active or effected by the fisherman’s worst night mare the cold front.

Keep the worm from slipping down the shank

Tie the hook directly to the line. Sometimes I put a small swivel about six inches above the hook to keep the line from twisting. Use a 3/0 hook and insert it into the trick worm as if you were Texas rigging it. Make sure the hook is extremely sharp. I prefer an offset hook because it helps keep the worm from slipping down the shank. Use a standard 90 degree offset with a round bend. I find that fishing this trick worm in shallow water I sweep the rod a bit side ways when I set the hook. This round bend hook gives me a higher hook up percentage. I will rig this bait on a bait caster with a six foot six medium heavy rod with line sizes ranging from twelve to twenty pound line.

Add a small nail to weight the bait

When fishing vegetation you can throw the bait as close to the stuff as possible or up on top of it and slide it off into the water. Give the bait a slight jerk and let if sink then give it another jerk. When the fish strikes the bait let them have it for a few seconds before setting the hook. If you are working timber, throw the bait past the trees and stumps and work the bait up to structure and let it sink. Let the bait sink down then start a slow jerking motion till you come to another tree or stump. If your fish are suspended, add a small nail to weight the bait and count it down to where you know the fish are and then start a jerking motion in the area you feel the fish are at. As I stated earlier the colors are up to the individual. The brighter they are the better you can see them and can follow them as you jerk them over the surface.

This is also a good back up bait when you are using a Baby Buzzbait and the fish blows up on the bait and misses it. You can cast this bait in the area of the blow up and let it sink. Most of the time the fish will hit the trick worm on the fall. If the fish misses the buzzbait then cast back into the area with the floating worm and get ready to set the hook.

Swimbaits the all depth lure.

May 7, 2019 by lbailey

This article is focused on a category that is becoming more popular every year, swimbaits. The swimbait has exploded in recent years and there is a wide variety of sizes, profiles, and depth ranges to choose amongst. Look in any tackle store and you will find everything from tiny sized shallow running shad, crappie, and bluegill look-a likes all the way up to 12 inch long rainbow trout clones, that can weigh a whopping 7 ounces and run 30’ deep. Whatever the application of your angling mission, there is likely a swimbait designed to handle it.

While working swimbaits, the basic spinnerbait and crankbait presentation principles still apply. When fishing around wood cover, run your lure into stumps and through lay downs, pausing momentarily after making contact with the cover. Most bass will hit either on the pause or once the bait starts up again. In grass, make sure you are getting your bait deep enough to tick the top of the grass. When your lure starts to tangle in hydrilla or milfoil, give it a sharp snap. Many of your bites will come as the swimbait rips free. Low stretch lines, like Fluorocarbon, co polymers or braid make snapping your lure free of grass a lot easier.

A technique that top anglers swear by to trigger the most strikes is slow rolling the swimbait off the bottom. Cast the swimbait out as far as possible, usually out into deeper water, and let it spiral fall to the bottom. Once it reaches the bottom, let the bait rest there for a while. This will draw the attention of near bye lunkers. Then jerk the bait up suddenly, hoping it will hit a rock or other types of structure, glance off of it, and attract a reaction strike. If you do not get a strike at that point, then continue Retrieving the swimbait slowly up hill. As you are swimming the bait across structure allow it to track along the bottom contour throughout the cast. An anglers  strategy is while retrieving the swimbait through the target area, you want to jerk the rod upward, now and then to cause the swimbait to twitch and dart. Twitching the swimbait imitates a frightened or injured baitfish trying to flee triggering the hunt posture in all game fish.

Swimbaits are also great on bass during the prespawn and postspawn. You will often catch a lot of fish and some big ones, too. Fish swimbaits around structure and cover near spawning areas. Basically, this is any place you would fish a Rat-L-Trap or a spinnerbait or Baby Buzzbait. Our surveillance has shown that the top areas include main lake and secondary points, along deep or inside grass lines, and along creek channels running through spawning flats.

The fact that forage species such as shad or bluegill spawn just after the bass makes the presence of bait an important consideration when patterning post-spawn bass. This is especially true because the spawning baitfish aren’t as spread out as they are at other times of the year.

This knowledge will help greatly when selecting your bait size and colors. There are as many opinions about color as there are fisherman. Confidence in a favorite color certainly is a factor but there are general rules. Contrast is also important. A dark bait creates a much better silhouette on cloudy or dark day conditions. Where as, a clear or translucent bait will be easier for fish to find and track in clear water and bright skies. Double O 7 elite angler Lee Bailey will mix things up a bit on clear days and choose a swimbait with glitter to ad some flash. This can many times make a huge difference. Vibration is still the essential element of swimbait fishing. Many game fish lay in cover and can feel the vibrations put off by a swimbait as it approaches their lair. the fish will lay in wait ambushing their prey as it approaches and never actually see it until they strike.

Fishing a 10-inch worm

April 24, 2019 by lbailey

Mention plastic worms to most bass anglers and they visualize slim-profile baits 6 or 7 inches long – the kind that were the soft-plastic staple for decades. All anglers know about them, but in recent times, traditional plastic-worm fishing has slipped quietly into the background, while tubes and finesse plastics gained momentum as prime tournament tools. However, swimming a big 10-inch worm over and around structure especially grass edges has been a well-kept secret of the pros for sometime now. We all know that 10-inch worms are great big bass lures. I have caught many big bass (bass up to 10 pounds) on them. I feel these big plastics are more versatile than most anglers realize.

a well-kept secret of the pros

In certain situations, it is really the best choice. Watercolor and the size of the fish where your fishing will help you decide when it is time to rig up a giant worm. In stained or dark water that has heavy cover and a good number of quality fish, I will go with the 10-inch Worm. It has a big profile that is appealing to those fish.

When you are fishing one of these larger lures, you will also catch small bass, but when you are fishing a small lure, your chances of catching a big bass drop considerably. The action when swimming a 10-inch worm is amazingly life like and nearly compels the bass to strike.

It is ideal for shallow cover areas, and off the edges of weed lines. Because it has a larger profile and better visibility, you can fish it just about anywhere. I often times put a small 1/8 or 3/16 ounce weight at the nose of the worm and fish deeper grass edges and brush piles in 10 to 15 feet of water.

because of its big profile will draw fish out of the grass

Fishing this way, the worm, because of its big profile will draw fish out of the grass or brush when other presentations fail. To bass, the lure may appear to be an eel, or baitfish; regardless, because of all that swimming action fish can literally be pulled away from the structure and tempted into striking.

The swimming technique is by far the easiest way to fish a plastic worm. Simply cast it out let it sink to the desired depth and slowly reel it in! Yes, it is that simple! The secret is not to allow it to actually touch the bottom. Simply retrieve it at a slow, steady retrieve with a slow rise and fall of the rod tip. What could be simpler? You occasionally want to feel the bait tick the brush, structure or grass tops as you are slowly retrieving the lure. I use this rig a lot when fishing deeper weed edges. This is a killer technique when the fish are suspended in the grass along river and creek channels. Keep in your mind that all we really want is for the big 10-inch worm to run just fast enough to provide a slow tail action.

most of your hits will be very light

Position your boat in deeper water and cast the 10-inch worm up to the shallower top of the grass. Slowly retrieve the worm back to the boat pausing enough to allow the worm to tick the top of the grass as it sweeps down the ledge. Pay close attention to your line, most of your hits will be very light. Most often, you will only notice a slight twitch in your line, or it will slowly swim off to the side. This technique is at its best in exceptionally hot weather, giving us a good tool for catching tough summer time bass.

The best way to rig the swimming worm successfully is to use the old standby Texas rig. The Texas rig has been around for a long time. Slide a bullet weight 1/8 to 3/16 ounce on the line before tying on the hook. Once you thread the worm on the hook, the sinker sits on its head like a cap, or like the pointed nose of a live worm. This rig slips through grass, brush and any type of structure without hanging. With a Texas rig and a lighter sinker, you will not get bogged down in the grass as much, and it is much better when you are bringing your lure through brush.

I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something from this Fishin Factors tip.

Lee Bailey Jr

How early is too early for Baby Buzzbait?

February 17, 2019 by lbailey

Baby Buzzbaits big Bass Lure by Lee Bailey JrNever too early anywhere for a Baby Buzzbait, its just a myth. I’ve been known to throw them up on the ice and when it comes off. Well, its like coming off a lily pad with a frog…..Explosion! Now, its not optimal in cold water as the fish are less active. There are always fish shallow and ready to feed, just need the ice to melt a little.

I can fish a buzzbait successfully all day

Most people who fish buzzbaits during the spring and the summertime think they’re the most effective during first light and at last light. However, in the winter months in the South I can fish a buzzbait successfully all day for bass. No matter whether the weather is sunny or cloudy. The only time I don’t fish a buzzbait is when a lake has a severe cold front move through the area.

One key to fishing the buzzbait successfully in the winter and real early spring is; that the water has to be getting warmer before they’ll start eating them. I will start throwing a buzzbait on a regular basis when the water temp is around 58 degrees and higher. I like a black Baby Buzzbait. It seems to be the most productive color. In the summer, I’ll use a chartreuse or a white frog on the back of my Baby Buzzbait, no matter what the weather is.

Black is a color that’s easily seen by the bass

I think one of the reasons the bass may like a black buzzbait in cooler weather is because the bass are really aggressive then. I think black is a color that’s easily seen by the bass. As the days become longer, and various places have had some cool weather.

During the colder water I like to fish a frog on the back of a buzzbait. Even though the Baby Buzzbait is super slow the frog allows me to reel the buzzbait much slower. If you slow down a regular buzzbait with a skirt on it, the lure will sink. However, the frog on the back of a buzzbait will float the Baby Buzzbait, which enables you to reel it much slower. I usually cast this buzzbait with a frog on a 7’ to 7′-6″ medium-heavy action rod with a relatively light tip. The rod I use is basically the same style of rod I fish as when I’m casting a worm or jig.

Buzzbaits Prime Lure for Flooded Water

January 13, 2019 by lbailey

Flooded water largemouth caught on a Baby Buzzbait.Have you ever had a weekend bass fishing trip in which everything seemed to be coming together as you envisioned it — only to see the beautiful pattern you had pieced together evaporate overnight due to an unforeseen rise in water levels? Next time this happens to you try “buzzbaits prime lure for Flooded Water”.

The major problem in fishing rising water is locating the fish. Rising water pushes bass shallow, and often it moves them quickly. The bass scatter, simply because food is being washed in, and new cover becomes available. They typically don’t stay locked-down to the habitat to which they were relating previously. Let me caution you that in determining a bass’ reaction to rising water, the season has to be taken into consideration.

Don’t freak out

You should nearly always look for the best water quality available. Vegetation helps filter out mud. At the same time, however, you have to look at the cover and what’s available.

Even though bass may become more aggressive during flooding, the fish are moving, and that in itself makes a pattern harder to establish. I concentrate on waters 3 feet or less. The bass will often be spooky and jumpy so long casts are important. Whatever the situation, I must emphasize the importance of finding the clearest water possible.

With so much new habitat in the water, you can’t get caught up trying to fish every single little piece of flooded cover. You have to stay on the move and cover as much water as possible.

Lure choice in flooded conditions depends not only on the type of cover, but also on water clarity. My philosophy is to try to make bass come to me. For me this means fishing “Baby Buzzbaits”, spinnerbaits and jigs. But remember you must have suitable conditions (reasonably clear water).

Small Baits, Big Bass!

January 1, 2019 by lbailey

Baby Buzzbait catches giant bassNo matter your level of bass fishing, as a recreational angler or touring pro. You will have to make many decisions during the course of a day or over a weekend of fishing. Some of the first decisions made will be to determine what section of the lake to fish. Choose what baits are working the best and what the hot colors are. There are also decisions to be made about what type of structure the fish are relating to. Are they holding on timber, grass, rocks, docks, etc.?

Decisions can make the difference

As a recreational fisherman you make a couple of the wrong decisions it is no big deal. Basically because you can fish another day. On the other hand, as for the tournament fisherman. His decisions can make the difference in taking a check and going home empty handed. Too many wrong decisions. Will lead to not being able to be a touring pro for very long, if at all.

With all the decisions that anglers must make during a day of fishing. The lure size is one that is sometimes overlooked. Most anglers will go through the process of trying to figure out the lure color.  and many times will even match the appropriate line size. However, many forget to match lure size to the current situation.

Lure size is a wide-open topic and many times the size of the bait is relative to the fisherman fishing it. What one angler considers a small lure may not be considered small to another angler. I consider small baits as downsizing in that particular bait category.

There are several reasons to fish a small bait and this can play a big part of the decision process that anglers must make during their time on the water. Many factors such as water clarity, angling pressure, available forage, inactive fish, weather conditions, are variables that we face and small baits can play a vital role making a successful day on the water.

With this in mind, and proper conditions I choose a “Baby Buzzbait” all the time to coax giant bass out of heavy structure. It’s the baby buzzbaits unique gurgle, the precise cupped blade, that allows it to called a finesse bait. It creeps in quietly and slowly to take a big bass by surprise.

Frogs in the Fall

November 28, 2018 by lbailey

Big bass eating a frog.OK, frogs, many anglers have tried them, and many anglers especially those with no patience probably didn’t catch fish with them either. I am sure they have not touched them since! I am talking about those big hollow soft rubber-bodied top waters. We now know (thanks to Bassmaster Elite Series angler Dean Rojas) as Kermit.

Every bass angler knows that bass are equal opportunity eaters. Anything that swims, crawls, slithers, hops, or flies is on the menu for an aggressive fish. Forage species other than shad and crayfish can be found with far more frequency along the shoreline than in open or deep water. Some of these species can include frogs, snakes, birds, dragonflies, mice, young muskrats, baby ducks, and more. Therefore, when you need a lure that will penetrate into the type of cover where big bass are waiting for these types of food sources without getting snagged and hung up on every cast. You need to choose the best bait for this, and that is a frog.

The distinctive feature of the frogs

There are two main reasons why these baits often make a quick trip back to the bottom of the tackle box. One, you are not getting too many bites, and two; you are missing too many fish, or a combination of both. Chances are you are just working that frog a little too fast. If you are fishing the right stuff (thick weed beds or lily pads) then you need to slow down your retrieve. As I have heard said many times, big bass are big lazy couch potatoes. They just sit around waiting for a nice easy meal to munch on.

Frogs have become increasingly sophisticated over the past few years, resulting in lures that function exceptionally well in getting big bass out of thick, heavy cover. The distinctive feature of the frog is that the hooks are facing upwards making it weedless. The bait has no protrusions or sharp angles to pick up the scum floating on top of the vegetation. They are also almost exclusively soft and most are hollow plastic. The idea behind the development of the frog is to enable anglers to put a lure into areas where an exposed hook will either hang up or pick up aquatic vegetation and drag it along, which will make a hungry bass shy away.

Location is the key to success

Location is the key to success when it comes to fishing a frog. Typical frog water would be a large grassy area, especially with moss or ‘scum’ growing on top. Other good water would be sparse grass, pads, and overhanging bushes and trees. There should be sufficient depth of water under the cover you are targeting. Keep in mind though, that if a bass can propel itself, then you have enough water. I have found my best areas have easy access to deep water so fish will feel confident enough to get under the protective covering.

Locate good looking frog water

When you have located some good-looking frog water and you have the appropriate rod, reel and frog combo, then its time to start having some fun! Using the frog is easy. Cast it out on the grass and hop it back to the boat. When casting the frog, sometimes the best effect is to cause the frog to slap down hard on the mat, like a frog jumping off the bank. If you notice bass, spooking with your cast you might find it better to cast on the bank and ease the frog onto the mat. This technique is especially effective when the bass are right up on the bank and the slap may spook them.

What I like to do is pop, or twitch the bait once or twice, then stop for a few seconds and repeat the same method until my bait comes to a pocket, weed edge, lily pad or something else different in the mat. I will then let it sit, and sit, and then sit some more! I will often let that frog sit there for as long as 10 to 20 seconds or more. Trust me, if you know the fish are in there it is well worth the wait!

The important part

Now here is the important part, if there has not been a blow up by now, I will just barely twitch it without moving the bait much at all. This will make the legs quiver a little, and most often, this is where I will get a big strike. Try to visualize this, that when retrieving a frog over a mat of vegetation, if there is a fish in the area, he has to have time to hear the bait and see the bait, then swim over to the source of the commotion, then decide whether to hit it. Big fish can be very fussy that way.

OK, now you have just had a huge boil, set the hook, and the lure just floats back up. What happened? Well it could be a couple of things. You could be using the wrong equipment, or not setting the hook correctly. As soon as you get the strike, drop your rod tip immediately, but do not set the hook. If he has it, he will not feel you and spit out the bait. Set as soon as you feel him, or see any line movement. It is critical to have some slack in the line before you snap your wrist on the hook set. If you try to set on taught line, you will only pull the bait out of the fish’s mouth.

Hooking and landing the big bass

Hooking and landing the big bass that often inhabit this water can be challenging. Typically, experienced frog anglers will use heavy line and stout rods to get these fish. Monofilament lines in the 20-40 pound class are common, and braided superlines in the 50-80 pound class have gained immense popularity in the past few years. Super braids have the ability to cut through the grass more easily than monofilaments and they give you a great advantage in hook setting power, especially on a long cast. I prefer to use a flipping stick, spooled with 50 to 80 pound braid. You should use whatever is comfortable for you. Just make sure you have a rod that packs quite a punch. You will need the heavy equipment to horse fish out of cover and most importantly, to properly set that hook.

Do not forget buzzbaits

October 21, 2018 by lbailey

Buzzbaits remain a valuable tool as a big-fish lure. The technique is one I keep in the back of my mind, especially when fishing fall time on lakes that are beginning to cool down.

The Baby Buzzbait can be good year round, but late pre-spawn through fall cool down is a time you want one tied on. There is no magic temperature, but the lure shines when the water temp is between mid- 60s and low 80s. What makes this lure a good choice then is it’s so efficient at covering water and attracting big fish. With Fall in full swing in some parts of the country it is time to be throwing the Baby Buzzbait.

You can catch bass in clear or muddy water, but a little stain is ideal.

There are other things you need to know. In the buzzbait seasons, it’s imperative to work it slowly. Choose a Baby Buzzbait for the best disturbance available. My lures squeal and run true right out of the package and the blades are cupped and pitched so you can wind it at a slow speed. If you crank the Baby Buzzbait too fast, you’ll miss strikes or not get bit at all.

I fish my Baby Buzzbaits on a Powell Endurance medium heavy rod. If fishing tight to individual targets, I use a 6-9 model for better casting accuracy. But when fishing over open areas, like lily pad fields, matted hydrilla and other weeds I prefer a 7-4 or 7-6 length.

I also use a ABU Garcia baitcast reel with a 6.3:1 gear ratio. It allows me to get the bait to the surface quickly, yet I can slow it down to a crawl. And, once the lure is away from the target, I can wind it in fast and make another cast.

Above all, use heavy line. I throw Baby Buzzbaits on 20-25 pound Fluorocarbon that has a little stretch and allows the fish to eat the bait. If you’re after big fish revisit those buzzbaits stuffed in a corner. Or buy the new Baby Buzzbait here. You stand a good chance of tricking more big bass into biting.

I have designed Baby Buzzbait to crawl across the surface and to be the most compact size buzzbait ever. I get a lot of people ask about color. I have decided to sell only four colors, two in darker colors and two in lighter colors to make it much easier for you to choose.I usually choose the lighter colors for clear bright days and the darker colors for low light situations. The only change to this I make is I will through black a lot of times under any light. I have caught plenty of fish throwing a black Baby Buzzbait on bright sunny days.

Baby Buzzbait and heavy equipment.

October 5, 2018 by lbailey

Baby Buzzbait in it's packageThe age old question. Can I throw this Baby Buzzbait with heavy bait casting equipment? The answer is absolutely YES! I fish my Baby Buzzbait on a 7′ to 7′-6″ pitching rod. This rod gives me the power I need to get big fish out of the heavy vegetation and structure. A pitching rod will have a fast tip on it allowing for good distance on the cast and a slight hesitation on the hook-set. I will usually match this outfit with a 6:1 or higher gear ratio. Spooled with 20 pound SeaGaur Fluorocarbon and I have the best match up to sling this Baby Buzzbait.

Both the 1/8 and 1/4 size Baby Buzzbait can be cast a long distance. This is because of the unique compact design. They will restrict less air when casted. If you engage the reel and lift the rod tip to about 11:00 just as the buzzbait hits the water they will never sink and stay on the surface at an amazingly slow retrieve. Many anglers take a buzzbait and just haphazardly sling it everywhere. Baby Buzzbait is a compact streamlined lure that can cast a mile. But remember  a long cast that successfully catches a fish will spook all the water between you and where the strike occurred. So try casting to targets nearer you first.

A Baby Buzzbait is usually my primary lure when searching for fish. Buzzers can cover a lot of water in a hurry, efficiently and effectively. I designed the Baby Buzzbait series just for that. I wanted a bait that could cast good and be retrieved at a nice slow rate of retrieve. I also wanted a compact smaller profile that would match the size of the prey that most bass would be feeding on.

Baby Buzzbait Fall Bass

September 8, 2018 by lbailey

Fall is prime Baby Buzzbait time, whether you fish weedy natural lakes or rocky reservoirs. Cooling water moves bass shallow, and they feed aggressively under prime conditions. In fall, prime Baby Buzzbait conditions include both sunny calm conditions and overcast windier times.

As water temperature falls through the 50°F range, weed growth on mid depth flats thins, providing better feeding opportunities for big bass. In clear lakes, a strong buzzbait bite often lasts until waters cool below 50°F. A Baby Buzzbait, with it’s compact design offers a smaller profile. This compact size lures bass to the top better.This is a super strong pattern for the year’s biggest bass.

In reservoirs with a shad prey base, cooling water also brings a strong,­ shallow bite as bass push baitfish schools against vertical banks in the main lake or in feeder creeks. I rely almost exclusively on Baby Buzzbaits through fall and into winter. As the water cools, slow your retrieve rate. Wherever possible, run the Baby Buzzbait into stumps, rocks, or snags to suddenly change the cadence.

Baby Buzzbaits work in water clarities from ultra-clear to muddy, but I feel their odds are best with visibility from 6 inches to 3 feet. Water of intermediate clarity keeps bass relatively shallow, while still providing sufficient visibility for them to track the lure from below.

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