Buzz Baits With Big Hammers

Is it a buzzbait? Yes and no. While the design is that of a conventional single bladed buzzbait and it is fished primarily the same, Big Hammer's "Buzz Hammer" could be looked at as a shallow diving crankbait or baitfish imitator with a built in fish attractor.

When chosing colors of the Buzz Hammer I typically stray from the standard chartreuse and/or white buzzbait colors and choose something that more represents a small baitfish.


The Buzz Hammer has evolved from over 20 years of fishing buzzbaits. After about 8 years of fishing the standard skirted buzzbait I started adding trailers (usually a single tail grub) and noticed an increase in my success. Six years after that I discovered Big Hammer swimbaits and started using the 3 inch model as my buzzbait trailer.

Then in 2002 while hiking and fishing a small river in Southern Pennsylvania I examined the buzzbait I had tied on my line and wondered to myself, "Why am I covering up this natural looking rubber fish with this un-natural looking chartreuse/white skirt?" I also thought about how often I see small baitfish swimming just below the surface. What could be better than a lure that makes noise to get the fish's attention, and then when they look up they see a lone baitfish swimming just below the surface. It has to be more enticing then having the fish look up and see this big fluffy skirt that doesn't really resemble anything.

So I removed the skirt, re-rigged the Big Hammer to look as good as possible and proceeded to catch my largest smallmouth bass at 20 inches along with an 18 and a 16 incher. A very good day for a river where catching anything over 15 inches is practically un-heard of. The next few years I spent proving to myself that, most of the time, this lure will outfish standard buzzbaits.

Tuning and Fishing:

For the most part fishing the Buzz Hammer is the same as fishing a standard skirted buzzbait. Fishing it through or near schools of baitfish that are close to the surface can be deadly.


The Buzz Hammer is designed to be fished a little slower than regular buzzbaits but can be fished fast as well. The bait may have a tendency to roll to one side because the swimbait and jig head tends to act like a rudder and may not be perfectly straight or because of drag from the blade. Sometimes this varies depending on how fast or slow the bait is being fished. It may be difficult to see if this is happening by trying to look at the bait itself.  The best way is to try and look at the vertical section of the wire arm as the bait is coming straight toward you.  You will be able to see if the arm is rolling to one side or not.  This problem is easily fixed by slightly bending the wire right in front of the jig head (see picture below).


The "Follow-up"

One of the great things about the Buzz Hammer is that it is simply an extension the Big Hammer swimbait. The 3 inch Big Hammer swimbait rigged on a 3/16, 1/4, or even 3/8 oz. Super Shad Jig Head is a great bass lure itself.

A good technique while fishing the Buzz Hammer is to have another rod rigged up with the same color Big Hammer swimbait rigged on a jig head. Whenever a fish strikes and misses the Buzz Hammer immediately follow it up by casting this swimbait to the same spot. I will usually cast twice unless I hook the fish on the first cast. The first time I will just wind the lure in moderately slowly and the second time I will implement short pauses every two or three turns of the handle. Big Hammer swimbaits are the best "swimming" swimbait on the market and swim extremely well on the drop.


While some people tend to see a standard buzzbait as being a rather large lure it is important to realize that it really is quite small from the fish's point of view. The only part the fish is interested in is the part from the jig head back to the tail of the bait.


The buzzbait has been my all-time favorite freshwater lure since I first tried one in 1984. At this point I will not fish any other buzzbait than the Buzz Hammer. I truly believe it will outfish other buzzbaits.