45-year-old Greg Hackney of Gonzales, Louisiana, is the newest member of the Mossy Oak Fishing ProStaff. In 2018, he won the Major League Fishing (MLF) World Championship.
Most people fish buzzbaits for bass in the spring, the summer and the early fall. However, I like to fish a buzzbait in the fall and the winter, especially in the Deep South where I live. The water temperature there generally doesn’t get so cold that bass won’t stop taking a topwater lure even in late January. Once the water’s surface temperature gets below 60-75 degrees, I can fish a buzzbait successfully all day long. Some people call this situation an Indian Summer but at home in Louisiana, we simply call this nice weather.
Most people who fish buzzbaits during the spring and the summertime think they’re the most effective during first light and at last light. However, in the fall and winter months in the South, I can fish a buzzbait successfully all day for bass – no matter whether the weather is sunny or cloudy. The only time I don’t fish a buzzbait is when a lake has a severe cold front move through the area.
One key to fishing the buzzbait successfully in the fall and the winter is that a black buzzbait with a black frog on it seems to be the most productive color. In the summer, I’ll use a chartreuse or a white frog on the back of my buzzbait, no matter whether the weather.
I think one of the reasons the bass may like a black buzzbait in cooler weather is because the bass are really aggressive then. I think black is a color that’s easily seen by the bass. As the days become shorter, and various places have had some cool weather, I believe that the bass are very aggressive then.
I’ll put a black Strike King Gurgle Toad on the backs of my buzzbaits at this time of the year with no skirts – just the frogs. Not many anglers take the skirts off their buzzbaits and replace the skirts with frogs. Strike King makes a Hack Attack Select Buzzbait that comes in a package with four frogs. I very seldom fish a buzzbait at any time of the year with a skirt on it. The biggest reason I like to have a frog on my buzzbait instead of a skirt is because the hook-up is so much better with the frog. The frog is like a piece of meat on my buzzbait. When a bass comes up to take the bait, the bass feels the frog.
Another advantage to fishing the frog on the back of a buzzbait is that the frog allows you to reel the buzzbait much slower than possible if the buzzbait has a skirt. If you slow down a buzzbait with a skirt on it, the lure will sink. However, the frog on the back of a buzzbait will float the buzzbait, which enables you to reel it much slower. I usually cast this buzzbait with a frog on a 6’6” to 7’ medium-heavy action rod with a relatively light tip. The rod I use is basically the same style of rod I fish as when I’m casting a spinner bait or a bladed jig.