UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

How to Make a Buzzbait Squeak

Bradley Dortch knows the value of a buzzbait, and he says it is particularly key on rivers all across the country.

“They just catch fish on rivers,” says Dortch. “If you go back and look anywhere, whether it’s Hackney at the Cup on Three Rivers, or the Tensaw River and Alabama River; it’s just a given they like it on river systems. Not that you can’t go to Toho and catch them on it, because I know some guys that have caught big ones on it. And I’ve caught some big ones on it. But it seems like on a river they eat it better than anywhere else.”

One of the key aspects of buzzbait fishing is the sound, and Dortch modifies his with a file and some pliers to get the most squeak he can.

“I’ll do it on all buzzbaits – I don’t care,” says Dortch. “The more it squeaks, the better it is. It seems like it catches bigger fish. There’s definitely something to it.”

Here’s his process:

 

1. Dortch starts by removing the blade and the rivet. Then, using a chainsaw file, he roughs up the back of the blade and the front of the rivet where they will rub against each other.

 

2. Next, he roughs up the wire of the buzzbait where the blade rides.

 

3. After putting the bait back together, Dortch crimps the rivet on the wire so it can’t spin, which creates maximum squeak.

 

The setup

Dortch modifies every buzzbait he uses so they squeak, and he mostly uses three baits: the Jenko Offspring, the Coosa Custom Baits Clacker and the Lunker Lure Buzzbait.

In clear and sunny conditions, Dortch uses chartreuse and white or white. He opts for black in overcast conditions. Blade colors vary, too: silver in clean water and gold in dirtier water or in Florida.

Dortch will sometimes use a trailer hook, depending on how well the fish seem to be taking the bait and how thick the cover is. When he uses a soft-plastic trailer, he typically sticks with a standard Zoom Split Tail in chartreuse or white.

 

Dortch’s tackle

Dortch bases his line choice on the cover he’s fishing.

“If I’m throwing it around scattered grass or thicker stuff I’ll throw it on 50-pound-test Berkley X9 braid,” says Dortch. “A lot of times on the river, around laydowns or something, I will throw it on 20-pound-test Berkley Trilene Big Game mono. I think when you throw it on mono you’re not as subject to take it away from them. It gives them that little extra second to get it.”

For casting in tight quarters, Dortch likes a 6-10, medium-heavy Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier. He upsizes to a 7-3 in more open water. His go-to reel is an Abu Garcia Revo STX in either a 7.3:1 or 8:1 gear ratio. Though he’s experimented with the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket and its 10.1:1 gear ratio, he’s found he prefers the slightly more traditional speeds.

“I try to reel it as slow as I can reel it, but keep it up on top,” says Dortch. “I reel it fast enough to make the blades turn and keep it up. I don’t ever burn it. A big thing is making sure that your bait doesn’t sink when you throw. You want it to be coming to you as soon as it hits. Most times, you’re throwing it upside the bank, and your best cover is right there as soon as it hits.”

Dortch loves to fish a buzzbait, and it’s been a producer for him in a lot of different tournaments and situations.

“A lot of people think it’s a great early morning bait and that’s it,” says Dortch. “That’s completely false. Some of the biggest fish I’ve caught on it I’ve caught in the middle of the day, throwing it under shady pockets and things. When they’re eating it, they’ll eat it all day.”

Tags: pro-tips-weekly  -buzzbait  -tidal  jody-white  article 

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

It is the final day here at the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake and another beautiful day with the top 10 pros and co-anglers trying their best to take home the title. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

The second day of the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake began with slightly cooler weather, but it has turned into a beautiful day here in the Golden State. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The first day of the Toyota Series Western Division event on Clear Lake started with calm conditions and pleasant weather. Some of the anglers surveyed today were struggling to get bites and others seem to have the fishing dialed in. It appears to be feast or famine so far, but there will be some solid bags crossing the stage starting at 3 p.m. PT this afternoon. READ MORE »

TITLE Coming to the Mississippi

TITLE Coming to the Mississippi

FLW and Explore La Crosse announced Thursday that the 2021 Tackle Warehouse TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship, will be held Aug. 17-22, 2021, on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Although FLW’s top championship has been held on the Mississippi River once before – in Moline, Illinois in 1998 – this event marks the first time that FLW has hosted its premier event in La Crosse. READ MORE »

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

Fish Northern Rivers for Smallmouth

From the Mississippi River to the Peshtigo River, Wisconsin and the surrounding region has miles of flowing water chock full of smallmouth bass. In the recent Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, Matt Stefan targeted rivers flowing into Green Bay for the majority of his catch, and in doing so, he was able to tap into a skillset that he’s groomed for years on the Wisconsin River and other flowages near him. READ MORE »

2021 Toyota Series Championship Hits Pickwick

2021 Toyota Series Championship Hits Pickwick

FLW and the Hardin County Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Wednesday that Counce, Tennessee, will host the prestigious 2021 Toyota Series Championship, Oct. 28-30, 2021, on Pickwick Lake. READ MORE »

Annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Auction Goes Digital

Annual Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Auction Goes Digital

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is excited to announce its first Digital Hall of Fame Week, which will be anchored by a massive online auction offering up an incredible selection of fishing-related items not available elsewhere. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

With the whole field boxed into the Detroit River for the first two days of the final Toyota Series Northern Division event, it’s natural that the main player was the river itself. But, on the final day, when folks could branch out, Scott Dobson actually ran to St. Clair and many of the other pros ventured into Lake Erie. READ MORE »

2021 All-American Heads to Douglas

2021 All-American Heads to Douglas

FLW announced Tuesday that the 38th annual Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American will be held on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake in 2021. READ MORE »

2021 National Championship set for Grand

2021 National Championship set for Grand

FLW announced Monday that the 12th annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship will be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in 2021. The tournament, slated for March 3-5, showcases the nation’s best collegiate anglers and awards the winners a $33,500 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Toyota Series Championship where they will compete for a top prize of up to $235,000. READ MORE »

Grubb Wins Co-Angler Side at the Detroit River

Grubb Wins Co-Angler Side at the Detroit River

Taking the co-angler win in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River, Tony Grubb weighed four bass for 14 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day for a 46-5 total. For the win, his second as a co-angler with FLW, Grubb takes home a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat worth over $35,000. READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Championship Saturday of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel followed its pattern of the week with anglers failing to capitalize on sparse opportunities. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

With the wind laying down a bit, the top 10 anglers in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River have been able to go wherever they pleased today. With crisp morning temperatures, plenty of sun and a north wind, the conditions have largely been quite good, with mixed results from the anglers. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Anglers said Thursday that current didn’t matter during the first round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel at Lake Dardanelle, but apparently it matters more than they thought. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

With strong wind from the north again, the Toyota Series Northern Division field was again confined to the actual Detroit River. On day one, the fishing was quite good, and several pros crossed the 20-pound mark and plenty of limits hit the scales. Today, things seem a little tougher. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

FLW learned today that former FLW Walleye pro Tommy Skarlis of Denver, Iowa, passed away after a battle with brain cancer. He was 55. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »