February 04, 2013
By Ned Kehde
On Jan. 14, we posted a blog that examined the three ways that Jacob Wheeler works with TriggerX's Buzz Tail Worm, and in this blog we explore some of Davy Hite's insights about using this unique, six-inch soft-plastic worm that was introduced to the angling world during the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in early July of 2012.
For Hite, the Buzz Tail Worm is mainly a shallow-water bait that he retrieves either across the surface or about two feet under the surface. It has become one of his shallow-water options when the angling pressure is intense around the locales that he is plying and the bass can't be readily allured with a buzzbait, an ordinary topwater lure or a shallow-diving crankbait.
The Buzz Tail Worm is packaged with a paddle tail, and when Hite retrieves it at a slow pace, he cuts the perforated edge of the tail, making it into a curly or ribbon tail worm. Hite leaves the paddle tail in tact when he retrieves it at a rapid pace. It is interesting to note that this is contrary to the way that the folks at Rapala and TriggerX recommend it to be fished.
When Hite is using the Buzz Tail Worm around thick emergent and submergent vegetation, laydowns, flooded brush and timber or any kind of extremely snag-filled environs, he works with a seven-foot, medium-heavy rod and a 7.0:1 reel that is spooled with braided line. The lightest braid line that he uses in heavy-cover situations is 20-pound-test. At times, his reel is spooled with 30-pound-test braid. The heaviest braid that he uses is 40-pound-test. He says the size of the braid depends on the size of the bass and the nature of the cover that the bass are inhabiting. Onto the braided line, he affixes a pegged slip sinker. He opts for a 1/16-ounce sinker when he is retrieving the Buzz Tail Worm at a slow pace. He works with a 1/4-ounce sinker when he is retrieving it at a rapid pace. Then there are in-between paces when he employs an 1/8-ounce sinker. After the slip sinker is on the line, he ties a 4/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flipping Hook to the line. The Buzz Tail Worm is rigged Texas-style to this hook.
When Hite is fishing around what he calls open-water lairs, he wields the Buzz Tail Worm on a 6 1/2-foot medium-heavy rod, and his 7.0:1 reel is spooled with 15-pound-test fluorocarbon line. He uses the same slip-sinker options that he employs with his braided line presentations. But he Texas-rigs the Buzz Tail Worm onto a 4/0 VMC offset, wide-gap hook.
Although Hite primarily use the Buzz Tail Worm in shallow-water situations, he has occasionally used it around deep-water lairs with a half-ounce slip sinker. He rigs it Texas-style to a 4/0 VMC offset, wide-gap hook. Then he retrieves it across the bottom as if he is stroking a jig, which causes the Buzz Tail Worm to hop almost violently and frantically off the bottom. Some anglers compare stroking to the way anglers radically hop a spoon off the bottom.
For more insights about the Buzz Tail Worm, see the You Tube presentation by Mark Fisher, who is the director of field promotions at Rapala.
Here the link to Fisher's presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEgzRFIYLz4.
Fisher's style of employing it is different than Hite's and Jacob Wheeler's, which shows us once again that nothing in the bass angling world is written in stone. Thus, some Midwest finesse anglers might trim an inch or more off of its head and rig it with an exposed hook on a Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig.