February 02, 2015
Buzzbaits might not be utility players that catch bass in every situation, but they remain deadly weapons for a variety of scenarios from summer into fall. Their irritating clack, clatter, vibration, and splash arouse bass of all stripes over weeds, on brush-laden flats, along weed edges, and in a number of other locations. And with manufacturers continually raising the bar in form and function, our options for busting bass on the ceiling have never been better. Too, tactical trends such as tipping buzzers with supple swimbait trailers are adding more tricks to this time-tested bait's repertoire. To help you get a handle on it all, we offer the following rundown of top choices on the buzzbait scene.
Arbogast Buzz Plug
- Perfect for punctuating surface presentations with shakes, twitches, and pauses, the near-weedless, floating Buzz Plug lifts its nose when shifted into neutral — putting the fiendishly sharp, upturned double hook in stellar position to stick striking bass. If that doesn't trigger a take, twitch the rodtip to make the bait's blade and snout slap the surface, daring nearby predators to take a bite. Make no mistake, however, Buzz Plugs take bass on straight retrieves, too, thanks to the body's waggling theatrics. Available in six colors.
Booyah Counter Strike
- My favorite feature about this bait is its counter-rotating blades, which create a distinctive sound different from single-blade buzzers. As a result, it's a fine choice for turning the heads of suspicious bass on pressured waters. The Counter Strike also sports a triangle-shaped head, which planes to the surface quickly on splashdown and plows through thick cover like a trooper. Other amenities include a supple silicone skirt, realistic paint scheme, premium silver or gold-plated blades, and an XCalibur Tx3 hook. Available in ¼-, 3/8-, and ½-ounce sizes in a variety of colors.
Eco Pro Tungsten War Cry Buzzbait
- Designed by topwater ace and touring pro Jared Lintner, the War Cry clicks and clacks mightily as its mirror-finish blade cavitates against the solid, one-piece tungsten head. Also features a supple skirt and 4/0 needle-point hook. Comes in a 3/8-ounce size and five colors.
- In a nod to the trend toward tipping buzzbaits with soft-plastic swimbaits, Megabass rigged the Renegade with a weighted, weedless hook, and packages it with a trio of trailer-worthy, paddle-tail bodies. You also get a pair of props — a twin-bladed metal option and four-blade clear-plastic prop. Although it's a killer on top, the bait also shines as a subsurface search lure.
- Touring pro Lee Bailey, Jr. helped MegaBass create this notable buzzbait. A quartet of holes stamped on the prop's blades help it grab as much air as possible during rotation, which the company says boosts commotion, reduces water resistance, and fuels faster spins at slower retrieve speeds. Other attributes include an 'oxbow-bend ' design, which positions the Gamakatsu hook slightly deeper than traditional designs for improved hooksets. Available with a variety of blade, head, and skirt colors in 1/8- through ½-ounce sizes.
Northland Buzzard Buzzer
- A topwater member of the company's venerable Classic-Series, which includes time-tested tandem and single-blade spinnerbaits, the Buzzard's clamorous aluminum blade clacks, squeals, and chatters irritatingly enough to draw curious bass from their lairs. The bait also features a tangle-proof R-bend, animated Crazy-Legs silicone skirt, and blood-red Lip-Stick hook. The Buzzard is available in ¼- and 3/8-ounce options and a dozen high-flying colors such as Canary and Parakeet.
Sebile Proppler Buzz
- A unique topwater option, the 3-inch, 7/8-ounce Proppler Buzz features a hollow, floating body that spins, churns, and splashes on a wire arm. Internal high-pitched glass rattles add to the attraction, as does the undulating skirt, which shadows the body on a weighted, true-tracking head. Thanks to the buoyant body, the bait works on ultra-slow finesse retrieves — even as a hybrid popper — as well as at faster paces. When a bass commits, the oversized, round-bend hook helps keep the fish from coming unbuttoned. Available in five color patterns.
Strike King Tri-Wing Buzz King
- Strike King makes a number of fine buzzbaits, but the three-bladed, diamond-pattern prop on the Tri-Wing Buzz King makes it a standout when bass want a super-slow retrieve with a different sound and light show than produced by standard buzzers. Choose from four Diamond Dust head and skirt colors in 3/16- and 5/16-ounce sizes, along with a pint-sized 1/8-ounce mini version.
Terminator Tandem Buzz
- Terminator ups the ante in buzzbait performance on several fronts with this twin-propped beauty. Its counter-rotating blades churn up twice the noise and bubble trail of basic buzzers, while broadcasting 47 percent more vibration into the surrounding water than run-of-the-mill single spins. One of the perks of such commotion is you can slow the presentation down to a crawl and still make your presence known to nearby predators. As a bonus, the professional grade stainless frame is 30 percent more resistant to bending than standard wire when a big bass takes the bait. Another plus, the premium silicone QuickSkirt engenders easy color changes. Available in ½ and 3/8-ounce options and three colors.
War Eagle Screamin' Eagle
- Although it tips the scales at half an ounce, the Screamin' Eagle is only the size of a ¼-ounce spinnerbait, making it a perfect choice for burning retrieves without adding extra ballast. If you like tearing up the surface for smallmouths, keep one of these Eagles rigged and ready to fly. The bait also casts like a bullet, runs true even when redlined, and stands up to a fair share of abuse without falling apart. Available with several blade options in a variety of colors, from Hot Mouse to Blue Herring.
Mister Twister Top Prop
- A staple of the topwater trade since 1995, the Top Prop features a buoyant body that lets you spice up standard surface retrieves with enticing stop-and-go maneuvers. Weedless, for plying nasty pads and surface mats without fouling, the bait also has internal rattles, a weighted main hook, stinger hook, and split double-tail trailer. Available in five patterns.