The Baits that worked for me over the years. Please feel free to tell us about yours.
The Buzz bait has been a big part of winning tournaments over the years. Back in the 60s and 70s I was throwing a Homemade bait used in the swamps and usually on a long cane pole with 100 lb test Braid. The bait was run on a short line around stumps and clumps of thick vegetation. Many Old Masters of this technique called it Doodling and used a Figure 8 around the stump until a Big-Old-Swamp Bass would come up and eat the whole thing. I knew one of these Old Masters from Kentucky. He made my Buzz baits which were smaller images of the GO-Devil as mentioned above. His smaller version hammered from a kitchen Spoon was smaller and more compact for casting. He also made me the Pork Fat trailer called the SCREW Tail. The skirt was hand tied and made from Deer Hair. I have two of these baits in my collection and they are pictured below. One does not have the original blade as it was lost while running the bait out of the truck window to spin the blade fast in hopes that it would acquire a louder screeching sound for fishing tournaments.
In the late 70s I was throwing a new bait that was fitting my style of fishing for top water fish in the swamps and buck ball bushes of Ky. Lake and the Tennessee River. This bait was originally produced by Billy Phillips called the Do-Drop-In. As pictured the top row has Silicone Skirts. I took the bait and design my own version and of course the Living Rubber skirts were Minnow Scented. By this time I had met another Old Master that was using this same technique of dropping a spinner bait in the Buck Ball Bushes to catch enough fish for his family to eat. I took his bait and cloned my own naming it after his Big Eyed Baits which he called The Baby Doll. Thus all my custom baits are Baby Doll something or other. Ha.. This one as pictured is called Drop-The-Baby Doll. It has a jointed arm that allows the two thin line counter rotating blades to Helicopter down which drove the fish crazy that were hugging tight to cove for shade during the hot Summer time pattern. It can be Buzzed around heavy cover, slow rolled along the bottom like a spinner bait and dropped beside and into heavy cover for that helicopter technique.
In the 80s I made a big move to Texas. On Lake Amistad I found a new bait and a new Old Master. What were the odds of running into another fisherman that also believed in Scent, big eyed jigs, spooks and spinner baits. He showed me a bait called the Hydrilla Gorilla that he was using to catch some of the largest Bass of his life. This bait was not produce for many years; but is a good bait for me to build that catches fish on heavy cover, wind blown banks and the blade ticks the head which calls in the big fish. My Baby Doll Gorilla is also pictured below in black. The Original is pictured with a Blue/Chart./White skirt. I have to say this bait would have its days; but would not produce on a consistent basis like My Old Masters Spook and that is another story.
I just do not like fishing with a Trailer Hook; so I look for other designs that will make up for that set back. My last Buzz Bait is an Extended Shank with the drop hook design. This allows the head and hook to ride just under the surface so the missed strikes are all but non existent. This is the best bait that I have thrown at night or low light conditions with the Black Slow Rolling Quad Blade called the Black Baby Doll. With the standard blade on days of short striking or with light windy conditions; I call this bait my Baby Doll Set Back. It has the same head in White Hologram with a faster blade and a different sound.
Over the years this has been an easy ride because I fished with Old Masters that fished for food. The fish had to bite and they new how to make that happen. I have been told by many; that they just want one Buzz Bait that works. Well according to the Old Masters that cannot happen; because each of them carried a Coffee Can full of Buzz Baits. There are places that I fish that require the 60s model and there are places that require my new Set Back Buzz. I feel like I have gotten off easy with only 6 over all these years. It is pretty easy to pick the one needed to get the job done on that specific lake and under the existing weather conditions. It comes from experience of doing this over and over until you get it right.