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Small Buzzbaits for River Smallies

Posted: 08.28.2015

By Bill Schultz 
Wilderness Systems Fishing Pro Staff

Wading and kayaking for river smallies is one of my favorite things to do.  About 10 years ago a friend told me of his success using a small buzzbait on rivers and gave me one to try.  He was right, immediate success and what a blast.  From that day the Booyah Pond Magic Buzzbait has been at the top of my list for river smallies.

Most of the rivers I fish are smaller with the pyramid effect of more smaller fish than those two to four pounders.  For this reason, whether in the kayak or waders, I’m using light and medium-light action 7” St. Croix spinning rods.  As with all of my fishing, I use small diameter braid or superline.  This is usually Power Pro 10/2, 8 or 10 pound Nanofil and 8/3 Fireline Crystal.  To these lines I add a few feet of fluorocarbon leader attached with the Uni to Uni knot.  My reel preferences are those that have a faster retrieve ratio, which also enhances the ability to get that buzzbait up and running with ease.

With our shorter open water season in Wisconsin, I’m typically using the Pond Magic Buzzbait from about Memorial Day to early fall.  Because it’s a reaction lure, which is more successful when the smallies are more active, I like the water temps to be in the low-60’s or higher.  The best presentation is cross-current, trying to surprise the smallies into that reaction bite.  Casting to shore with the line perpendicular is perfect, with a little up or down from that just fine.  My retrieve is steady and fast enough to keep the lure on top of the water.  I’ve found this to work in all the conditions I fish.  As with all topwaters, this is an exciting presentation providing epic blow-ups at times.  And, as is common with topwaters, there are probably more miss hits than with other presentations.  However, with its small size and smaller 2/0 hook, this topwater has been more successful than other types. 

My primary color has been Shad, which is primarily white with white blade.  But, I’ve also had luck with Citrus Shad, Limetreuse and Firefly.  As I’ve noted many times talking about another smallie magnet, the Rebel Teeny Wee Crawfish, I think the size and noise are the primary attractants, not the color.

This is truly a fun and extremely productive lure.  And, at 1/8 ounce and 3.5 inches it’s going to catch smallies of all sizes.  I like that it casts great even in windy conditions.  If you want to have a great time and increase your productivity catching and releasing those river smallies, give the Booyah Pond Magic Buzzbait a shot.