Game and Fish Magazine
by: ken Duke
Lee Bailey Jr. loves buzzbait fishing so much that he’s designed several
commercial buzzers through the years. The former Bassmaster Elite Series pro now makes the Baby Buzzbait (Baby Buzzbait.com), which comes in 1/8- and 1/4-ounce sizes.
Why so small? Because the Baby Buzzbait is an absolute bass slayer around
“You need a small, light buzzbait to come through grass and pads,” Bailey
explains. “If you’re throwing a standard 1/2-ounce model — or even a 3/8-ounce bait with a frog body — it’s going to bog down when my Baby Buzzbait won’t. A smaller buzzbait also has a very appealing profile. It creates a strong surface disturbance, but it’s not so big that it deters any bass from striking.”
Unlike Dudley, Bailey prefers a skirt on his buzzbaits, not a frog body. And unlike Evers, he never uses a trailer hook because bass are less likely to miss his compact lure.
Bailey likes stable weather for his May buzzbaiting but notes that impending storm fronts can really fire up the bite. And though he makes the Baby Buzzbait in four colors, black is definitely his favorite, and he uses one very simple retrieve.
“I reel it as slow as I can and still keep it on top,” he says. “Bass want to eat, and they’re seldom in a mood to chase their food. A slow retrieve also helps them target the bait.”
Bailey’s final word of advice is not to set the hook too quickly. It often takes a second or more for bass to securely grab the lure after they take it under the water. To compensate, he uses 17-pound-test monofilament and fishes the lure with his rod at the 11 or 12 o’clock position. This forces him to drop the rod tip before setting the hook.
That slight delay, and the stretch inherent in monofilament line, gives the bass a better chance to inhale the lure and Bailey a better chance at a solid hook-up.