Buzzbait Bite Behavior – Part I

So here’s some cool buzzbait footage and a bit of a fishing lesson from my May 27 outing.

I’ve compiled this clip to first show the strike and follow-up cast in real time, followed by a zoom view of both casts and finally a zoom view in slow motion. On the initial cast, watch the wake come from the left as bass zeroes in on a meal. This is one of the coolest things to observe when topwater fishing and while it happens very quickly it is interesting what transpires in terms of an experienced angler’s brain and muscle memory. Standard operating procedure in topwater fishing states that one should resist the urge to set the hook until you actually feel the fish. Observing the wake prior to the impending strike sure doesn’t make it any easier to remain calm in that split second as you wait to see if the predator’s aim is true. Even after decades of fishing and likely thousands of topwater strikes it can still be a challenge to not set the hook too soon.

Take a look at the video and read on for some further thoughts.


What’s also interesting and kind of weird is the same bass surfacing as my follow-up cast approaches. I’ve seen this behavior many times after busting off a bass hooked on a topwater lure. Often the bass will surface with a head shake to dislodge a bait such as a Zara Spook or buzzbait. My speculation in those instances is that the bass knows something just isn’t right and continues to try and dislodge the bait just as it would during a leap when that lure is still tied to your line.

In the case of this missed bass, I theorize that its mouth/brain was still registering the feeling of a hook thus a similar reaction minus a lure being stuck in the lip. To know for sure, I would have to ask the bass and I would guess that we are not on speaking terms. And who could blame him? I’d be a little upset and perhaps embarrassed as well. Hopefully not too long of a memory though as one of these days I’ll likely be back to pester him and his buddies again.

While I cast the buzzbait back for a second chance in this case, there is actually another technique which can be employed to see if the bass can be tempted to bite again. And as luck would have it, I wound up using just such a trick later in the day. That video and discussion is up next as we continue to explore the entertaining pursuit of bass fishing. Talk to you later. Troy

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