Autumn Topwater Buzzbait Bass 

by Capt. Jake Davis

Over the years, I have noticed that most bass anglers agree there is nothing more exciting than watching the water explode in response to the action of a topwater lure. Enticing a surface strike requires you to get their attention. Among topwater lures, few if any, come close to creating the attention and surface disturbance as does the buzzbait! The unique splashing, sputtering and gurgling commotion created by a buzzbait is very hard to resist, even for a bass that is being lazy.

It is most important to use the proper equipment! I use and outfit my clients with 7’0” to 7’6” heavy action Duckett Micro Magic Rods with either a 6.4.1 or 7.1.1 LEW’s Speed Reels spooled with 50-65 pound test Vicious Braid. Having a fast reel with a strong rod and line is a must when fishing buzzbaits. Here are some pointers which should help improve your strike and hook-up percentages with a buzzbait.

I prefer 3/8 ounce or 1/2 ounce buzzbaits made of high quality materials that can take a beating from the largest of fish and hold together. Worn-in lures tend to produce a squeaky noise which I believe gives the lures added appeal. One of the “noise” enhancing modifications I like to make is to bend the blade arm slightly downward so that the blade ticks the shaft or head as it rotates. Another is to drill several holes in the blade so that it emits a “bubble” trail as it moves across the water.

Learning how to present your lure properly is simply a matter of practice and trial/error. One day it may be a fast (burn) retrieve and the next it might be just fast enough to keep the lure chugging along the surface. It is important to engage your reel just before the lure hits the water. Doing so removes any slack from your line and allows you to start your retrieve before the bait has a chance to sink. During the retrieve, I hold my rod tip up which keeps the bait in proper contact with the water, but not so high as to lift the bait from the water. Steer the bait into objects such as logs, lily pads, docks or rocks. Some of the best action can be just as the bait deflects off an object.
As the bait approaches the boat, use caution in the last ten feet of your retrieve. A fair amount of the time fish will follow your lure all the way back to the boat and try to take it from you at the last minute. It’s always a good idea to figure eight your lure just prior to losing contact with the water.

For colors, I prefer white, black/red best in clear water; in stained water I have been known to tie on a combination chartreuse/white, chartreuse/blue or red. My color choice is usually predicated on the light conditions, water clarity and time of the year. Also, varying the color of the prop from polished aluminum to a black or gold can make all the difference in your fishing trip.

Lastly, let’s talk lure make-up. I like the Boogerman and Assassinator Baits. The heads are turned to the side which adds lift and allows the lure to be worked slower on the surface. With the Assassinator, the primary wire has a 45 degree bend which provides for a better hook up ratio and can handle the biggest of fish. The Boogerman has to be one of the noisiest buzzbaits on the water. By simply adjusting the blade to strike the head of the lure you can draw bass from depths of 6 feet or better in the thickest of cover.

If you have any questions drop me a line at or checkout my website at Better yet, let’s go fish’in…Just give me a call at (615) 613-2382 to reserve your day on the lake with Captain Jake Davis, Mid-South Bass Guide.