“Hey, can I borrow one of those?”
Accomplished Helena, Ark. bass angler Derward Mauldin has heard that question many times before in his boat when he’s fishing with a Delta Lures buzzbait during tournament action in Arkansas, Mississippi or Louisiana. It’s perhaps the ultimate compliment, or endorsement if you will, for any artificial lure manufacturer who puts a product on the market.
Usually, Mauldin said the question is asked by a bass angler fishing a buzzbait with a clacker, or one of the many assembly line brands of buzzbait on the market. Mauldin, a buzzbait fishing aficionado, always obliges.
The 50-year-old Mississippi B.A.S.S. Nation title contender knows of 10 tournaments won on the buzzbait this year — three by him and seven by his bass fishing buddies, including four by Jared Thompson of Marvell, Ark.
He’s hopeful of making it 11 wins this year for the Louisiana buzzbait when he competes in the second Mississippi B.A.S.S. Nation tournament Nov. 3-4 at Ross Barnett Reservoir out of Tommy’s Trading Post in Brandon.
Mauldin, a hairdresser, said he plans to throw the Delta Lures buzzbait even in November, if the water temperature is higher than 50 degrees. That’s how much confidence he has in the artificial lure he’s been using since 2011, much of the time all day — cloudy, partly cloudy or bluebird.
Chances are good he’ll be fishing with his all-time favorite, a black-on-black model put out by Fred King and Roy LaBorde, both of LaPlace and founders and co-owners of Delta Lures LLC.
“I call it the ‘Baby Coot,’” Mauldin said.
The Baby Coot has done its share of damage on the bass population. On May 27, Mauldin and Mike Damron won a tournament with 20.36 pounds — including a 5.06-pounder — on Delta Lures buzzbaits.
A week earlier, during the spring Mississippi B.A.S.S. Nation event on the Arkansas River out of Dumas, Ark., Mauldin used the sputtering topwater bait to finish fifth the first day and first the second day with a 21-pound bag — all on the Delta Lures buzzbait.
Mauldin, a play-by-play radio announcer the past 12 years for the Barton High School Bears, said he loves to fish Delta Lures buzzbaits everywhere, including his favorite areas in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Venice.
In Louisiana, he’s partial to the model with the anodized lime blade that he special orders with a rubber black skirt.
“I think Fred and Roy really designed that bait well. With the thickness of the blade and the thickness of the paint on the blade, they’ve got a great combination there,” he said.
King, 46, and LaBorde, 44, who both work in the oil and gas industry and have been fishing together as a team since 1997, began making the buzzbait and other artificial lures in 2011 after local suppliers of their favorite spinnerbaits, jigs and buzzbaits went out of business. Unable to get their hands on what they wanted, they started making their own and, soon other bass anglers were clamoring for them.
Delta Lures was born.
“We were determined to produce high quality, effective baits at an affordable price,” they wrote on their website, deltalures.com.
Both of them throw, catch and cash in with their buzzbait.
“I love it. We built it to the best of our ability to the way we want it. There’s a little tweak that we put into it, like the keeper and the hook and the head design,” LaBorde said.
“Our black one is definitely the most popular. You see a lot of them at Doiron’s (Stephensville), from Arkansas to here, all over,” King said.
Delta Lures buzzbaits have anodized gold, copper, lime and black blades, he said.
“One thing we do completely different is the blades. We get them anodized. I don’t know of any other buzz bait that has an anodized blade,” King said, noting the anodized black blade makes a critical difference in the sound it makes as it’s pulled across the surface.
“It’s our favorite blade for a buzz bait. We love that blade because of the sound of the blade. The anodized blade gives you a squeak right out of the package,” he said. “The black blade is the most expensive to do that. That’s why we try to do a couple year’s worth of them to keep the price down.”
Delta Lures Buzzbaits also are armed with a premium hook. King said each one features a Mustad Ultra Point black nickel plated hook just like the company’s Thunder Jig, a popular version of the ChatterBait.
“It’s a lot sharper and more corrosion resistant,” he said.
The buzzbait also has a soft plastic trailer keeper similar to the keeper on the artificial lure manufacturer’s spinnerbaits.
The Delta buzzbait comes with an original H&H rubber skirt, or custom 44-strand silicone skirt. Mauldin said he uses the rubber skirt.
Delta Lures buzzbaits ride good in the water because of the overall design and the frame, which is a .051 wire for the 3/8- and ½-ounce models (0.45 in the ¼-ounce models).
“One thing we do different in the ¼-ounce buzzbait is we use a smaller wire, so it’s smaller than what a typical wire is. It squeaks right out of the pack because we have more room between the wire and the blade. The ¼-ounce is more compact, which is why we did it with that,” he said.
And the buzzbait is durable. Mauldin said he has caught 40 pounds of bass on one before retiring it.
The ¼- and 3/8-ounce models are the most popular, King said, noting ½-ounce models are available only on the website. The others are on shelves in a growing number of places, including Texas and Arkansas.
“Our name’s getting out there. This week, a guy from Pineville called to get them in his store this year,” he said, noting 15 stores have added the line of artificial lures in 2017.
For more information on Delta Lures Buzzbaits and other Delta Lures products go to deltalures.com.