Baby Buzzbait™ tips and techniques by Lee Bailey Jr

Welcome to Baby Buzzbait™ Tips and Bass Fishing Factors™, tactics, tips and tricks for bass, by Lee Bailey Jr.



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Late Season Baby Buzzbaits

November 10, 2019 by lbailey

If you’ve put away your Baby Buzzbaits because the water is getting “too cool,” you’ve made a mistake. I’ve caught more bass with Late Season Baby Buzzbaits in 50-degree water than I have 70-degree temperatures, yet most anglers think hot water makes for optimum buzzbait fishing.

Late Season Baby Buzzbaits

Don’t get me wrong; you can catch bass on these noisy lures when the water is warm. But cooler temperatures can trigger quality Baby Buzzbait action. And it all starts right now when the bass start moving shallow and it runs into early winter.

It’s long been my experience that the buzzbait will attract bigger fish and more vicious strikes than any other topwater baits that I’ve ever used. You can fish my Baby Buzzbaits right out of the package. I have customized them to offer a different appeal in appearance and sound. Bailey says that right now – the late summer and early fall transition period – is one of the best times to sling a Baby Buzzbait as bass are looking up to chase shad and willing to feed on top. He’s got it dialed in with a system that’ll catch big bass from now until winter.

Watch for baitfish movements

When shad transition from deep to shallow in early fall, Lee says the Late Season Baby Buzzbaits bite starts to improve on most lakes and rivers across the country. Their transition is usually spurred along by some environmental changes that anglers anywhere can watch for. “The nights are getting longer,” says Lee Bailey. “The water temperature hasn’t dropped a whole lot, but the nights are getting longer, and there are a few fish starting to get shallow. As that happens, a buzzbait is a good tool to cover water.

Baby Buzzbait big bass lure

October 31, 2019 by lbailey

As top water lures go, for many years the Baby Buzzbait big-bass lure has earned the title of a big Bass bait. In my opinion baby buzzbaits are still underrated! Many anglers will tell you that buzzbaits are novelty lures that work during a few specialized situations. They also claim that they really aren’t a strong big bass lure. Well! They are wrong! I will be the first to argue this point with anyone. And I’ll tell you something else; out on the pro tour buzzbaits are something many of the pros as do I use regularly.

Their reputation becomes especially true when the bass are in heavy cover. That being said, heavy cover in this instance means all types of cover. Cover that touches the surface or is close to the surface is best for this Baby Buzzbait compact design. Matted vegetation or clumped grass is extremely hot for catching bass with baby buzzbait.

I have been asked by many anglers when to use the 1/8 oz over the ¼ oz Baby Buzzbait. Well in a lot of situations it doesn’t really matter. However I will choose the 1/8 oz Baby when I am fishing really thick matted grass. The stuff that looks like you could walk on it. The lighter bait comes across the top of this vegetation like no other buzzbait. Now with our compact ¼ oz bait I like to throw it where the grass is a bit more open and scattered especially in stained to clear water. Mostly because I can throw the bait further without spooking the fish with my boat.

Bass do not need to be aggressive to catch them on Baby Buzzbait big-bass lure. Non-aggressive bass are enticed into striking this big bass lure because they are not spooked by a loud noise. Instead this little compact buzzbait comes across the surface with a small gurgle. Cast and retrieve the bait all the way through the cover. Bass can hear it coming toward them from a long distance. This gives them time to set themselves up to strike the buzzbait as it approaches their lair.

Baby Buzzbait big-bass lure

Heavy structure is the primary ingredient to consistent buzzing. Don’t be timid about throwing the baby buzzbait into the heaviest and thickest cover you can find. Concentrate on weeds, logs, rocks, docks, bridge pillars, etc. Bump into as many objects during a single retrieve as possible. This bumping action causes the bait to change it’s speed, noise, and direction just enough to trigger those big bass into striking.

Keep tuned into your buzzbait at all times because the strike will usually come as you bump the object or just as you pass it. Also, try retrieving very slowly so the buzz has a chance to make as much commotion as possible. Many anglers feel that a buzzbait must be fished fast. Let me set the record straight, you will catch more fish on a slow retrieve than that of a fast one. As always let the fish tell you what they want. I have had days when you couldn’t retrieve your buzzbait fast enough. The bass would chase it down and just crush it.

“Catch the Dream”

Fall River Smallmouth Bass

October 13, 2019 by lbailey
Big River Smallmouth Bass

Fall River Smallmouth Bass can be so highly concentrated, catches of a dozen smallies from a spot hardly larger than a bathtub are common. Many times, I’ve gotten strike after strike in a single small spot. Better yet, many of these strikes are larger fish. Why do the big fish hit better? One explanation offered for the larger number of smallies over 15 inches caught in the late season is that the smaller bass’ metabolism slows quicker in cold water than it does for bigger smallmouth. So even though you may be casting through a pod of a dozen small fish and just 5 larger ones, the big boys are the ones still actively feeding.

I caught 22 smallmouths on 22 consecutive casts

Lee Bailey Jr remembers fishing a small local tournament on Lake Lillinonah and finding a deeper water area just below the rapids of the headwaters. I found a bath tube size boulder sitting right on the bottom of the ledge drop. I caught fish all day long casting a small jig just up current of the boulder and allowing the jig to tumble to the boulder. Every time the jig came to the very front of the boulder I would get bit. I weighed in 17lbs of big Fall River Smallmouth Bass to win the event. I counted 22 smallmouths on 22 consecutive casts at one point during that great fall day.

Fish the Deep Cabbage

September 29, 2019 by lbailey

What makes it so good? For starters, Fish the Deep Cabbage. I have seen it growing as deep as 14 feet with stalks that reach all the way to the top. When you find it like this, it’s going to provide cover and shade for bait fish and predators. The Binsky works well in the deeper grass. Let the bait fall and rip it up through the grass, then let it fall on a slack line. Some monsters can be caught this way

One of the best characteristics of cabbage is its relative scarcity. Even in lakes with a lot of it, it’s not everywhere. For instance, on the New York side of Lake Champlain you can find beds to Fish the Deep Cabbage that are 20 to 30 feet deep. There may be none of it for a few hundred yards in every direction. This makes it a magnet for all the fish in that area.

Fish the Deep Cabbage

The fact that it does not grow the same every year is interesting as well. In general, it seems to be steadily expanding in the Northeast, as the lakes gradually become more fertile. On the other hand, some of the most productive cabbage beds I have don’t grow every year. This means you have to invest the time to find it each year.

Finally, Fish the Deep Cabbage because it can be some of the last grass to stay healthy as the fall approaches. Meaning it can be a great fall pattern.

Changing Your Fishing Line

September 14, 2019 by lbailey
Changing Your Line

When it comes to Changing Your Fishing Line, I am sure an anglers fishing line is perhaps the most important piece of equipment that they have. Anglers at all levels may not recognize this fact, but it is nonetheless true. I have seen many anglers who go for months if not seasons without changing their fishing line. To me going for an entire season or even a month or so without changing my fishing line seems crazy, especially seeing as how I change my line every day during competition and every time I go out fishing.

I know that many times anglers look at their line and if it looks fine they figure its OK. I also know that line can be expensive. However, how important is catching fish to you!

Stress on the line will greatly wear it down. Whether fighting against a ten-pound fish or trying to pull your lure free from a snag. The line gets weakened whenever it is taut. Monofilament fishing lines stretch in order to control the catch. They can take a lot of stretching, but this will still contribute to the line weakening. Any object taking on stress will weaken over time. This means that your fishing line needs to be changed often. The older the line, the more likely it will snap in the middle of a fight with a strong fighting fish.

Fishing line receives damage easily without you even noticing it. If you want to be sure your line will not snap, change it before each outing. Different hazards like rocks and sticks can damage the fishing line from contact, so occasionally check to make sure it is clear of any nicks or knots. If you find a weak spot like this higher up on the line, simply cut it off and retie. Also, when replacing fishing line, be considerate of nature by cutting up the old line and properly disposing of it. Many anglers will leave an old line out where animals can easily be tangled in it and die.

Below are a few situations that will weaken your line when fighting a fish.

  • The fish goes deep, pulling the line across rocks, logs or other hard objects.
  • The fish is big and the line will rub across its body, tail, or teeth and
  • Simply, the line will stretch and become fatigued, eventually

eventually prompting the line to break. Taking care of your fishing line is very important. I travel all over the country and I am constantly going from extreme heat to extreme cold, moist conditions, whatever it may be. Keeping your line in an airtight storage container that you can find virtually anywhere will keep your line in great shape. Especially if you are using bulk spools that take longer to use up and sit around more. UV rays from the sunshine will harm your line as well as extreme heat and cold temperatures. Damage can happen if you keep your line out in the boat or in the truck. It can become weak and damaged. Keep your line in a storage container, keep it indoors and your line will stay strong.

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 Swimbaits the all depth lure 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 all depth lure, 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.

Swimbaits the all depth lureThe 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).

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