With the shad bite on and getting stronger in October, one of Louisiana’s most-recognizable and personable bass pros chunks a modified buzzbait more often than not whether he’s fishing in his big “back yard,” the Atchafalaya Basin — or anywhere else.
Cliff “Cajun Baby” Crochet of Pierre Part takes the skirt off his favorite 3/8-ounce Crusher Lures Pro Buzz with a gold blade and replaces it with a pearl/white NetBait Paca Craw.
“The buzzbait comes into play this time of year,” said Crochet, who fishes the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour.
“Let me tell you this; that’s my No. 1 October bait,” he said. “What I do with it is cover water. I don’t put it down. The water’s cooling down. When the water temperature drops and you’ve got shad moving around, that opens up a bigger window on the topwater bite.”
In other words, the buzzbait comes into play more than just early and late in the day.
Crochet has been adding a soft-plastic trailer to the buzzbait for years. It’s deadly..
“It’s been a while now. I guess all of us figured it out together about six, seven years ago. You put a soft-plastic on there and that’ll slow it down,” he said, noting that some anglers add a Zoom Horny Toad, but that bait makes it too heavy for his liking.
Crochet plans to fish a buzzbait as much as possible this month. More than likely, he’ll catch bass on it in the Atchafalaya Basin, the nation’s last great overflow swamp. And, according to him, the water color doesn’t matter, unless it’s new, white chocolate water.
“Generally speaking, there’s not any water too muddy for a buzzbait,” said Crochet, who said the Crusher Pro Buzz has a “real good squeaking sound right out of the pack, no modification.”
Crochet throws it exclusively on braided line.
“Absolutely, 100%, no matter what. Braided line,” he said, adding he relies on 50-pound Seaguar Smackdown and a Bassinator Elite reel with a 8.1:1 retrieve on a 7-foot-4, Kast King Cliff Crochet Spirale Series casting rod.
It’s how you use that rod on the retrieve that counts with successful buzz bait fishing, i.e., getting a bass in the boat.
“What you want to do is keep the rod between, like, 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, so when the fish bites, you can get the slack out (of your line), giving you time to set the hook,” he said. “Stay away from pointing the rod at the buzzbait during the retrieve. You just want to reel into the bite. Then you can move that fish.”
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