Arkansas lure designer hits a homer with this bait
Buzzbait aficionados and bass have been going ape over the Gorilla Buzz since it was introduced four years ago by Prototype Lures after being designed by Derward Mauldin, an Arkansas lure designer.
Mauldin, a hairstylist by trade and an angler his whole life, is oh-so proud of the Gorilla Buzz, which he put all of his bassing know-how into around 2016.
Prototype Lures has a fitting slogan for the Gorilla Buzz: “Don’t be monkeying around when you have time to catch a gorilla.”
Mauldin repeated another slogan and said, “The Gorilla Buzz is designed to catch gorilla bass. Now get out and get you some.”
Let’s get small
Don’t think lightly of the smallest of the four Gorilla Buzz baits, the 1/8-ounce model.
“It’s probably the biggest hidden secret of this line,” he said. “I had a pro, who’s sponsored by other people, who called it “power fishing with a finesse touch.’”
Mauldin lives and breathes topwater fishing.
“I have been a topwater man my whole life. There’s nothing more exciting than a fish blowing up on topwater,” he said.
Mauldin began throwing buzzbaits during his early teens with his father and brother. They gave him a buzzbait tied to line strong enough to pull in a mule, well, a tree limb or two.
He loved fishing and catching bass with a buzzbait. He learned their ins and outs and how to fish them. Soon, he had a good idea of what it takes to make a productive sputtering topwater like a buzzbait.
“There’s quite a few different buzzbaits out there,” he said.
The Gorilla Buzz was designed to have a metallic squeaking sound with an audible knock if the angler prefers to bend the wire so the blade touches the flat head. The elongated, flat head is the key to getting the buzzbait up with one to three cranks of the reel.
It features a long, stainless steel hook, either 4/0 or 5/0, and a barbed keeper to keep a soft-plastic trailer in place.
It’s all according to plan, one developed through many years of experience.
“As a fisherman, I’m always thinking how I can adopt each lure to your type of fishing,” Mauldin said. “I’ve played with buzzbaits and blades probably 10, 15 years. I’ve got the blade the way I want it, the bend, pitch, size and thickness. On a buzzbait, I wanted a bait to come up quick, I wanted it to move a lot of water (minus a lot of splash) and I wanted it to create a lot of noise.”
Gorilla Buzzes are available in 1/8-, ¼-, 3/8- and ½-ounce models. The ¼-, 3/8- and ½-ounce buzzbaits are 4 inches long; the 1/8-ounce model is 3 inches.
Width and thickness of the blades were designed for each of those sizes, Mauldin said. The intent was to get as many revolutions of the blades as possible.
Extra attention was paid to the blades in an effort to create different sounds through thickness, added paint and/or added coating.
“Every blade’s going to make a different sound,” he said about the nickel, white, gold, black and chartreuse.
One has a “mat finish, almost a primer color that turned out to be probably the best sounding of any of them, more of a click than a ding,” he said.
When Mauldin said the buzzbait was designed for a quick climb to the surface, he wasn’t kidding. If an angler wants to get the artificial lure up and buzzing in a 3- to 5-inch open pocket in a lily pad field, he or she can do in two or three turns of the reel handle, he said. The buzzbait also tracks back straight with no pull to the right or left, also one of his prerequisites.
“You know, when I went into designing it, I wanted the buzzbait to run straight. When you parallel the grass or rocks, you don’t want to fight the buzzbait,” he said.
Fishermen can add a small, soft-plastic swimbait, plastic frog or any kind of soft-plastic creature that mimics shad or any type of baitfish.
For more information, go to www.facebook.com/Prototype-Lures-1975010389411732/.
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