John's Journal...

Specific Buzzing Tactics for Successful Bass Fishing with Bassmaster Classic Champion Rick Clunn

Day 4: Buzzbaits Make a Racket in the Grass and on the Rocks That Calls Bass with Rick Clunn

Editor’s Note: According to Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, four-time Bassmaster Classic Champion, “The big 1/4-ounce buzzbait will attract better quality bass than many other lures. I believe the bigger the bait and the more the racket it makes, the larger a bass must be to eat it. Big bass require larger bait fish for a meal than smaller fish do. And, when that buzzbait comes walking across the water, running into structure and acting dazed, a big bass is more likely to inhale it than a small bass will. However, I really don’t care why a lunker largemouth seems to prefer a buzzbait more than small bass do. I just know from experience that it does.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewGrass and weeds are my favorite structures to fish with a buzzbait. Weeds can present a problem to many anglers, because a large grass bed tends to spread the bass out. When you try to work that grass bed with a worm or a spoon, you have only a very-limited area in which to show your bait to a fish. However, with a buzzbait, the lure actually will call bass out of the grass and cause them to come in search of your bait, instead of the bait’s going in search of the bass.

One of my favorite techniques in fishing grass is to cast the lure deep into a thickly-grassed area. I fast-retrieve the racket bait through the thick grass and then slow the bait down when it comes to an opening or an area where the grass is thinner. I want the bait to make a slow, plop-plop-plop noise in the open areas, so the bass can hear as well as see the bait. I’m anticipating a strike in these open areas, because that’s where the bass generally will blow through the cover to inhale the bait. If you don’t slow the bait down when it comes to the hole, you still may get a strike. But your chances of catching a fish are cut in half. Bass usually have a difficult time coming through weeds, and for that reason the lure needs to stay in the strike zone for a longer time and move at a slower rate of speed than it normally will. The worst water weeds for me to fish and the ones that I personally feel are the least productive for a racket bait are lily pads. For some reason I just don’t catch as many bass around lily pads on buzzbaits as I do other baits.

Rocks and Rackets = Bass

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewRocks in shallow water absorb the heat from the sun, warm up and draw bass to them in February and early March. On those warm days during the later winter, I have seen big bass get into water so shallow that you can’t believe a big bass can swim there. But the fish are in there, and you can catch them on a buzzbait.

Rip-rap is one of my favorite structures to fish. I have found that paralleling the bank with a buzzbait is my best bet for taking big bass. Paralleling the bank is so effective, because the bass are moving in close to the rip-rap to absorb some of the heat from the rocks. The fish may be holding from right up against a bank to only 3 or 4 feet away from the bank. If you cast into the bank and retrieve your bait to deep water, your bait only will be in the most-productive waters from 10% to 20% of the time. But if you are paralleling the bank and fishing right up against the rocks, your lure will stay in the strike zone 70% to 80% of the time that the lure is being retrieved. Once again, I want the buzzbait to hit the rocks. You can fish too far away from the structure, but you never can fish too close.

Remember also to search for patterns within patterns. In fishing rip-rap, look for the bass to be where the bank ends, and the rip-rap begins, on either point where the rip-rap turns to go under a bridge, right on the bank or just out from the bank. If the bass are on rip-rap, they will be most likely on one specific area of that rip-rap. By determining what that area is, you will catch more fish.

To learn more about bass fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro,” “How to Win a Bass Tournament” and “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake: 18 Pro Fishermen’s Best Tactics, “Hot Weather Bass Tactics” and “How to Become A Tournament Bass Fisherman” or go to, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Catching Lunker Bass in the Timber with Buzzbaits with Bassmaster Classic Champion Rick Clunn

Check back each day this week for more about Specific Buzzing Tactics for Successful Bass Fishing with Bassmaster Classic Champion Rick Clunn"

Day 1: Bassmaster Classic Champion Rick Clunn on Buzzing for Bass Early in the Year
Day 2: Fishing the Torque of Buzzbaits and Buzzing Fallen Trees for Bass with Rick Clunn
Day 3: Buzzing Boat Docks for Bass with Bassmaster Classic Champion with Rick Clunn
Day 4: Buzzbaits Make a Racket in the Grass and on the Rocks That Calls Bass with Rick Clunn
Day 5: Catching Lunker Bass in the Timber with Buzzbaits with Bassmaster Classic Champion Rick Clunn

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Entry 771, Day 4