Home Fishing Tips Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Bartlett Lake, AZ – Tri-blade Buzzbait

Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Bartlett Lake, AZ – Tri-blade Buzzbait

Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Bartlett Lake, AZ – Tri-blade Buzzbait

– Oh, big fish. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s what it must be. Oh. Oh! [laughs] I was trying to get him to the surface too fast. Oh, my goodness. That’s heart-thumping. Heart-thumping. Bartlett Lake, cloud cover, fall fishing.

I’m throwing the Persuader buzzbait, the new triple blade. One, two, three. Triple blade buzzbait in black because I wanted to see– because of the cloud cover– if the black would silhouette better, see if I could get ’em to come up.

This thing makes a great noise in the water. We just got blowed up there by a pound-and-a-half, 2-pound fish right there. I kind of wailed on him a little bit too much, ’cause I wanted him to come out of the water, but next time we’ll get the next one in the boat.

That’s for sure. But anyways, I’m throwing this on braid, and we’re gonna see if we can’t catch some fish right here at Bartlett Lake on our buzzer. The difference between the buzzbait and throwing, say, anything else, is it calls ’em up.

We’re in some real stained, dingy water, and a lot of times, those blades will call those fish up, like that right there. [laughs] Oh, that triple blade. Brand-new, never seen before on the market. Right here, baby.

Look at that. [laughs] Yeah. Just as we were explaining what’s going on, look at that. Paralleling the bank. Oh, man, we’re gonna have some fun, throw some buzzbaits during the fall right here at Bartlett Lake.

I’m excited. I’m so excited. You’d be amazed how well black does when you have darker days and dingy water. A lot of guys like to go to white, which is great. White’s also great if you have white bladed ones.

They make these in all different colors, but this bait is awesome. What I love about this bait more than anything is, I can keep it on top of the water. By reeling it slower, it stays on top of the water better.

I don’t even have to do anything to these blades. It’s awesome. Years ago, I learned that throwing something just a little bit different color than everybody throws– that’s something different those bass aren’t using to seeing.

Plus, any time you’re in darker water, darker bait sometimes will work. So I like to really go to something that’ll really be something different that the fish aren’t used to seeing sometimes, and then of course, you know, like I said, with this darker water, go with a darker color.

With that cloud cover, all that’s doing is helping us right now. Oh, right there. Just paralleling, reeling it slow. Nice fish. Nice fish. [laughs] Not a giant, but a nice fish. Oh, come on. Using that braid, you can kind of swing him up in a little bit if you know you got him hooked good, and, I mean, he’s eaten the bait.

The bait is way back in there. Every time I throw a buzzbait, the first thing that comes through my mind is, “Oh, man, a giant fish is gonna hit this.” Back in 19– I think it was– I’m really dating myself going back a long time, but we had a big tournament here– a championship tournament here back in the ’90s, and I was doing the pro-ams, and I had a shot to win that thing– two-day tournament– and I was throwing a buzzbait.

Nobody else was throwing. They were out jigging. They were doing things, but in the fall, I knew that that buzzbait bite had to be there, and I was throwing in the back of pockets on this lake and had an opportunity.

That’s all you can ask for, going into day two. Lost my batteries, matter of fact, that day. I’ll never forget it, ’cause I ended up having to use my big motor– leave my vest on– use my big motor, and the wind would blow me into the–I’d only be able to make a few casts, but I’d usually catch ’em just like that, and then I’d have to pull out and go to the next cut.

So… This time a year, if you got to pick up a worm, it’s terrible. [laughs] I love throwing topwater. [twangy guitar music] ♪ – One thing you’ll learn about a buzzbait too: it seems like, when they want it, they’ll hit it.

You get a lot more tentative bites and things like that when you’re– when you’re throwing the poppers and things like that, but– or they’ll come up and kind of slap at it, but not with these baits. A lot of times, when they come up, when you get one, he’s there because he’s gonna eat it.

These particular baits, too, come with a little grub trailer automatically with them that you can put on the back of the bait. I’ll show it to you right here. That little grub trailer comes with the bait.

I’ve always talked about how much I love the grub trailer on my baits when I’m throwing spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, and they automatically come that way. So it makes it great. Talk a little bit about the buzzbait outfit again.

This rod I love. It’s got–it’s a medium-action rod, okay? But it’s got a real good backbone to it. It’s an 8-foot– almost an 8-foot rod– 7’6″, something like that, but– or 7’10”, actually, and I’m using a 65-pound test braid.

There’s no leader on that. I’m going straight braid, okay, and I’m using a fast-retrieve Johnny Morris Signature Series reel, and this is the setup I’ve got, and it works really good. Now, you’ve got to make sure, when you’re throwing a buzzbait, you want something that’s got– a pole that’s got some meat to it.

You don’t want to be using a medium-heavy, ’cause a lot of times what happens is, you’ve got to give the fish an opportunity to suck the bait in and turn before you set the hook, and if you decide to set just a little bit, you just need that little bit of tip on that rod, just that little bit of flimsy there before it starts going into the backbone, so where the bait’ll get in their mouth, and then you can really set the meat to ’em, but I’ll tell you, that’s the setup.

Sometimes the slower, the better, with buzzbaits. We’ve talked in the past about being able to cup your aluminum blades, things like that, to try to get your bait to roll a lot slower. I like to throw my buzzbaits slow, unless they’re chasing shad or something like that where you can move it fast.

This bait’s no different than any other bait. Sometimes you can move it fast. Sometimes you can just barely keep it on top of the water. I like to start with just keeping it on top of the water and having ’em blast it.

If they don’t, then I’ll move it a little bit faster, and then there’s also times when you’re retrieving this bait where you’ll want to throw it out there. When you throw it out there, you start off slow.

You might have a fish following it or something like that, and then you just kind of variate the retrieve a little bit, you know, maybe reel a little bit faster and chirp the blades a little bit, and then go back to slow.

Sometimes that’ll trigger a strike. So there’s all different kinds of retrieves you can throw with this bait, but I suggest starting off with a slow–slow as you can go to keep it on top of the water.

One mistake that I see a lot of folks do– and it’s hard to do when you’re first throwing these baits is– especially when I’m out guiding or something like that– you know, when we– when we take folks out on trips that don’t fish as much, they have a tendency to want to throw it out there, and when it–and then, once it hits the water, then they start–you know, they let it fall down, and it takes a few seconds to get it on top of the water.

Here’s the problem with that. A lot of times, the fish might be right there. So you want the bait to start– you want to start retrieving the bait as soon as it hits the water, so you’ve got to time it, and I use the rod tip to keep it up, and you can see I keep the rod tip up, and then as the bait comes towards me, I bring the rod tip down a little bit, and you never point your rod– never, on any bait that you’re throwing– never point your rod at the bait, you know? Always have it sideways, where you can use the rod for setting the hook.

That’s even when you’re drop-shotting. I just never point the rod at the bait, you know, or whatever you’re doing, when you’re making a long cast. A lot of times, if you’re using lighter line or something like that, if you point your rod at the bait, and they crush it, sometimes they can go the opposite way and snap your line.

You’ve got to be real careful with that. So you’ve got to use your rod to feel everything with too. Oh, got him. Got that one. Oh, that’s a nice fish too. Don’t you jump any more. [laughs] Oh, I knew it.

I knew it. I knew it. [laughs] Oh. That was a nice 2-pounder. – Oh. He hit it right there on that rock. Oh, that’s a nice fish. Don’t jump. We’ll get this one to the boat, folks. No, no, no, no, no. No! Oh, that’s a good fish.

Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. On that Persuader buzzbait. [laughs] Little triple blade bass. Oh, that’s a good one, folks. That is a good fish right there. Oh, look how I have that fish hooked. Bare–oh, I got it in the corner of the mouth.

Look at the size of that fish. Look at that–in the mouth, but boy, right in the corner. That’s a quality buzzbait bass, let me tell you. [laughs] I love it. Oh, that’s what I’m talking about, son. I’ll tell you what, man.

This buzzbait can get ’em. Here’s the deal. We’ve got this cloud cover, and was throwing this buzzbait, and I’m gonna retie it, ’cause I can– I–there’s– even though I feel it, just like I do monofilament, but I can see the frays in the– from the blades hitting the line.

So what I’m gonna do is go ahead and retie it, but what’s so funny about what just happened to us here– we’ve covered a lot of– lot of water, and the sun had come up, and I was just getting ready to say, “Eh, we’re gonna have to try something else, figure these fish out, because the sun’s up,” and then we get a cloud cover over the sun.

Soon as we got the cloud cover, boom. So remember that, when you have cloud cover, and you’re throwing these darker baits or topwaters or whatever, if the cloud cover goes away, you may have to find something else, but when it– you know, in the afternoon– but if it comes back, don’t be afraid to go right back to what you were doing.

It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. I tell you, if you have that cloud cover, it makes that topwater bite last a little bit longer, in my opinion. Okay, now the sun’s back out. The cloud cover’s gone.

We’ll still go down the bank. I’m still gonna go down the bank. I caught that fish off this chunk rock. Another thing I want to mention is, any time you get a little bit of this breeze, don’t be afraid to throw a buzzbait.

buzzbaits still work good with a little tiny breeze, a little ripple on the water. They’ll still work good. So don’t think that it has to be calm. A little bit of breeze actually–these things churn up so much water when they’re coming across, and they make enough noise to where it’ll call those fish up, so don’t be afraid of a little bit of breeze.

It actually could help the bite a lot, but now that we have the sun coming back out… We’ll see if it’ll change the bite a little bit again, and the cloud cover is kind of spotty right now, but we’ll keep playing around, see if some of those fish will stay up.

You know, when you’re fishing, and you’re trying to figure these fish out and trying to go out and catch fish, you don’t want to be force-feeding the fish, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be putting your baits down too soon, you know? There’s always a rule of thumb, but it doesn’t mean you have to abide by it.

I mean, it’s–you know, I’ve caught fish on spinnerbaits when the– when the water was glass, and growing up, everybody said, “Well, you know, when it’s windy is the only time to pick up a spinnerbait.

” I’ve caught ’em when it was complete glass. So you know, don’t be too premature of putting your baits away and trying something else. Now, if we go an hour or so without a bite, 45 minutes, you know, making a lot of casts, hitting some areas that look good, and you’re not catching ’em still on that bait, then it might be time to change it up a little bit, and that’s what happened to us, is the sunlight came out, and we went about 45 minutes, okay, without a– without a bite on it, and I’m like, “Okay, well, maybe it’s time to change.

” The cloud cover came over and instantly changed that. – Hey, folks. For my Tip of the Week, one thing really important to remember is, if you’re throwing a buzzbait– like, say we’re throwing the black buzzbait today, and they just kind of quit hitting, don’t forget that you can probably go to, like, a black spinnerbait, and– with some silver blades or gold blades– and especially with the wind blowing– the way the wind’s coming up here and there.

I’m finding pockets right now, but if you want to keep fishing some of these other areas and the wind’s blowing– the wind picks up, try that spinnerbait. Same color. It’ll just go into the water. Then the buzzbait.

The fish are still gonna be in the same areas, so give that a shot. You might catch a lot more fish. – You know, sometimes, you’ve got to try that something new. One of the reasons I’m really excited about this triple buzz is because it has a different sound to it than any other buzzbait that I’ve ever thrown, and even though it’s got the triple blades on it, it’s not that loud.

You would think that a bait like this would be really loud, and it’s not, and so you got to remember, no matter what lake you’re at, you know, in the fall, when the buzzbait bite’s on, you know, try some different blade patterns, but remember that when it’s a little bit breezy out, you’re getting a little bit more chop on the water, or the water’s a lot more dingier than what we’re fishing today at Bartlett Lake, and you get into some of that muddier type water, fish a little bit closer to the bank.

What you’ll want to do is, maybe try something that’s got more of a knocker to it or an aluminum blade that’s just a single blade, and one thing I really, really suggest when you throw any kind of buzzbait– this one in particular– brand-new out of the box– sounds great– but even this, I can tell now, we’ve used it so much, it’s got– getting just a little bit of a squeak to it, and it’s hard to hear it now, but the more I throw these baits, the more fun I have with ’em, because they start making their own unique little noise to ’em, and the one thing I love about the aluminum-type blades over any kind of plastic blade a lot of times, is you will get that little bit of squeak, and it–coming across the water, for some reason, that squeak really works.

You know, so that’s something to remember. I get a lot of folks asking me, “Well, you’re fishing Bartlett today, for example, and the buzzbait bite’s on.” You know what? It could be on at Roosevelt. It could be on at Apache Lake.

It’s that time of year where you could probably go to your local lake. I know even at home, you know, where I live up in the White Mountains– even when it starts starting to cool down, before that water temperature dips under 60 degrees, sometimes you can get a lot of big bites on that buzzbait.

This is a big fish getter a lot of times. You might be catching some topwater fish on any other bait, but I’ll tell you what. That buzzbait sometimes will get you that big, huge bite that you’re looking for in the fall, and that’s one of the reasons I like it, but don’t ever dismiss it in the spring either, ’cause it works great in the spring as well, But boy, I’ll tell you, today we’re having a lot of fun throwing this buzzbait around at Bartlett Lake.

One thing you have to also remember is that, if you can, parallel the bank, because if they’re gonna be sitting on the banks, instead of pulling it out from the bank, a lot of times you want to get yourself as close as you can and keep yourself parallel to the bank.

If you keep yourself parallel to the bank, you’ll be able to keep yourself in that strike zone a lot longer pulling that bait in versus coming way out here. A lot of times, those fish might be from 0 to 5 feet off the bank, and if that’s the case, you want to keep it in that strike zone as long as you can.

If you have a partner, it’s a little tougher to do, obviously, ’cause you got to keep your boat out so they can get a good cast in, but any time you’re out, you know, a lot of times, if you can parallel the banks, that’s the way to do it.

So always look for those angles, because a lot of times it is about angles. So you want to make sure that you parallel the bank if you can. I like to throw that 65-pound test braid on this, but, like I said, I like that flimsy tip as well, so it really helps me get those strikes.

If you start getting those bass that are actually blasting up on your bait and you’re not hooking ’em, and you don’t feel the bite– they’re kind of slapping at it– then you can go to a trailer hook.

Put a trailer hook on the end of it and those short strikers, sometimes you can get, but I prefer to see if they’ll hit it without the trailer hooks sometimes, because I like to use my little grub trailer, but make no mistake.

That trailer hook, a lot of times, oh, my goodness, can make the difference. So a lot of guys will not throw a grub on their baits. My spinnerbaits, my buzzbaits– I like to throw that little grub trailer on the back.

I think it adds that little extra that I need to get that bass to really commit to it, and what I mean by committing to it– and that’s eating the bait instead of slapping at it. So that’s something to think about.

Tell you what–that buzzbait’s a lot of fun to throw. You don’t want to dismiss it in the fall. – Well, I’ll tell you, what a day. It’s gonna start downpouring now. Good enough for me, man. I’ve had a great day on the water here at Bartlett Lake.

It’s been storming pretty much off and on all day long, but I’ll tell you what. Pick up some of those Persuader triple blade buzzbaits, and you’ll have a lot of fun on ’em. It’s brand-new on the market, and I’ll tell you what.

It gives a little bit different noise, and maybe that’s the ticket to catching some of your big fish during the fall. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you on the water. I’m Johnny Johnson.


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