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How to Catch Fish With Buzz Bombs

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When you see salmon jumping, tie on a Buzz Bomb!

When you see salmon jumping, tie on a Buzz Bomb!

The Buzz Bomb

The Buzz Bomb is a three-dimensional diamond-shaped jig with a hole running the length of the body, which allows it to slide freely up and down the line. The shape of the lure causes it to spin and dart as it sinks in the water column, sending out vibrations that mimic a wounded baitfish, and trigger strikes from predatory fish.

The claim on the box, "Catches All Fish," is a bit of a stretch in my opinion, as there are numerous fish that would likely never hit such a lure, but for certain types of fishing and fish species, this lure is a must-have. They are available in nearly every color imaginable, in sizes ranging from 1 1/2" minis to 6" magnums.

The Buzz Bomb has been catching fish for many years. It is a simple design, needing little additional tackle to be fished effectively. While the instructions on the box do a mediocre job of explaining effective use, I plan on providing you with a few tricks to further increase your fishing effectiveness with Buzz Bombs.

The bright yellow packaging hasn't changed in decades.

The bright yellow packaging hasn't changed in decades.

What's Included

When you open the box, you will find the components: a rubber bumper, a treble hook, and the Buzz Bomb itself. In general, this is all that is needed to get you fishing; however some simple changes can be made to increase effectiveness.

Rigging the Buzz Bomb

Since the Buzz Bomb will spin freely on the fishing line, there is no need for a swivel or leader when rigging a Buzz Bomb. The only exception is if you are using braided line, a monofilament leader would be highly recommended. This monofilament leader can be tied directly to your braided main line with a Double-Uni Knot. Allow about 3 feet of leader.

Run your mono main line directly through the body of the Buzz Bomb. It is very important that you check the lure to make sure the Buzz Bomb is oriented the proper way! Printed on the lure are arrows telling which end of the lure should be on the hook side of your rig.

Next, thread your line through the rubber bumper. Many people accidentally discard these as trash, however, they serve the very important purpose of protecting your knot while fishing.

Finally, tie on the treble hook with whatever knot you prefer, my personal preference here would be a Uni Knot.

And that's all there is to the basic Buzz Bomb rig!

How to rig a Buzz Bomb: If you want to prevent the Buzz Bomb from sliding too far away from the hook, a swivel and second bead can be tied 16–20" above your hook, with the Bomb sliding in between.

How to rig a Buzz Bomb: If you want to prevent the Buzz Bomb from sliding too far away from the hook, a swivel and second bead can be tied 16–20" above your hook, with the Bomb sliding in between.

Catch More Fish on Buzz Bombs With These Modifications

While the basic rig will catch fish, a few small, simple, and dirt cheap tricks can be used to further increase the number of fish you catch.

A Bead

One easy way to improve a Buzz Bomb's efficiency is to thread a single bead on the line between the Buzz Bomb and the rubber bumper. As the lure falls, it is designed to spin. If however, the lure is in contact with the rubber bumper, the metal on rubber will result in a high-friction contact surface, and limit the lure's ability to spin.

If you add a bead, the lure has a much lower-friction surface to spin against. Additionally, metal or glass beads can be selected to give a "click" every time the lure and bead strikes, or glow-in-the-dark beads can be selected to give the rig a little extra visibility. Experiment with different bead colors and combinations.

The Hook

The hook that is provided is good, but not great. Select a sharper, sturdier hook to increase hook-ups and get more fish into the boat. Also, if treble hooks are banned where you will be fishing, purchase new single-point hooks rather than clipping the given hook.


It can't hurt. Whatever you have in the tackle box, just to get your own scent off the rig. Remember, fishing scents generally degrade, and can go rancid with age, so make sure you have some fresh scent. Smelly Jelly is great!

How to Fish With a Buzz Bomb

While Buzz Bombs can be fished in a whole range of ways, the most productive technique is jigging. This is a very easily learned method of fishing. The steps are:

1. Cast: Get your lure out there as far as you can, or simply target a spot you know holds fish.

2. Wait: Let the lure sink to a desired depth. Depending on the weight and size of the lure, the lure will sink at different rates.

3. Jig: Raise the fishing rod tip up into the air, pulling the lure up through the water.

4. Drop: Quickly drop the rod tip, allowing the lure to fall freely in the water column.

5. Reel: Reel in some slack line in order to keep the lure at the desired depth.

Repeat "Jig, Drop, Reel" until your lure is back to the boat, pier, or shore.

When it comes to fishing with a Buzz Bomb, this is the easy part. The difficult part comes when determining a strike. The strike will almost always come during the drop part of the jigging process. Since the line is slack at this point, it is difficult to feel the strike. Many times you won't know you have a fish on until you raise the rod tip, which is sometimes too late. Since the lure doesn't taste particularly good to a fish, it will often spit it out before you can sink the hook.

The key to catching as many of these strikes as possible is to learn to interpret a strike on a slack line. As you are jigging, notice the behavior of your fishing line throughout the steps. As the lure is falling, your line will pull under water at an even pace. If the line pulls under water erratically, or more commonly, stops pulling underwater, you likely have a fish on, so SET THE HOOK! If you were wrong, no harm done, the rubber bumper will protect your knot. If you were right, FISH ON!

A Word About Pink Salmon

Pink Salmon, or "Humpies," are a Pacific salmon breed known for their large schools and affinity for pink-colored lures (at least that's how the rumors go). Any pink salmon fishing enthusiast will likely swear by all pink everything, especially Bubble Gum Pink Buzz Bombs. Having worked at a fishing supply store, I can honestly say these lures accounted for at least half of all Buzz Bomb sales. They were the must-have of pink salmon fishermen everywhere. On the other hand, any salmon fishing guide will likely swear that the hungry little buggers will hit whatever you throw in the water, as they often take Silver and Chinook rigs of any color as well.

Personally, I've caught more pink salmon on pink Buzz Bombs than any other lure. For pink salmon fishing, this is often all I use. If you live in a pink salmon spawning area, and plan on using pink Buzz Bombs, make sure to stock up early, as during the heat of the run they are worth their weight in gold, and nearly impossible to come by.

Buzz Bombs are extremely effective lures for all other types of salmon as well, and shouldn't be overlooked when fishing for other species.


I Want to Hear From You!

I would love to hear your feedback. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below, I'd be glad to help!


Vince De Paulis on August 16, 2018:

will be starting in Frankfort Mi. in Sept. Can,t wait to get started.Salmon is our target

Ted Lovell on August 07, 2018:

I happen to know Doug Field, and he is exactly right, as I've been using the lures him and his Dad developed for well over 20 years now. I saw an ad in a magazine for these lures. Being from Texas I knew I had some possible jigging spoon type pattern uses for them, I called Doug and we talked for an hour. Really cool guy with a total love of fishing! I ordered a couple hundred bucks worth of Zzingers and Buzz Bombs and a very groovy video (VHS at the time) came with my order. That was in the early 1990's- The rest is history,and thousands of Bass-several separate species, many crappie, and several species of SW fish as well. Follow Doug's advice below and you'll have the most success-it's all about the "lift/Drop/reel" repeat over and over- and then the telltale "tick" of a fish inhaling the Zzinger. I was quite surprised to see Doug Field's comment as I have not talked to him in over 20 years now. Hey Doug! Just about to order some more Zzinger and Buzz Bomb "supply" from the tackle vendor that sells and markets them now. I'll shoot them another email and let ya know more about how wildly successful your lures have been for me- and several of my friends whom have all kept it a closely guarded secret for themselves, as a killer lure for catching Bass. I never did keep it much of a secret myself. How can you when you are hauling in Bass after Bass and there is several boats right around you and they are getting Zilch, Zero bites-even w/live bait at times!? They'll see my lure slide several feet up the line as the fish explodes outta the water and troll a little closer, until the curiosity gets the best of them and they have to ask, "Hey, mister, what kinda lure is that you are using?" I just say it's a Zzinger and you can find them online, as they are found in few to zero stores in the South, but just about every respectable fishing tackle store in Canada! They usually just kinda go, "Hummmmph, Canada huh?" Almost think i'm lying to them. And crank up their boat and go away. See ya!

Doug Field on April 08, 2018:

As the developer of this lure and inventor of many others including Zzinger, Spinnow, and Zelda Jig for the past 55 years, I can say on the most part I appreciate what you're saying but your explanation on reading your slack line by looking at it blows me away. If you are intently watching your line while casting out and "working" the Buzz Bomb back to you, you are wasting your time and distracting yourself in my opinion. Simply cast it out and "lift/Drop/reel", repeat, repeat, repeat, and if you feel the list "tick" or resistance on the "lift" set the hook. It's important not to "lift" too many inches because the greater the lift the more "slacktime" or "drop" there is. Too much slacktime equates to too many fish grabbing it and spitting it out before you go to "lift" again. I've observed this many times fishing off command bridges, river bridges, and steep cliffs. Have fun!

huntnfish (author) from Washington on March 26, 2018:

Due to their shape and weight, Buzz Bombs aren't as good for fishing especially deep or in high current situations. If targeting fish deeper than 100', I might consider going with a deep water jig, such as a Point Wilson Dart. I really like Buzz Bombs for targeting Coho and Pinks holding higher in the water column, but typically switch to heavier jigs when targeting deep Chinook or midday Coho. When jigging for salmon, its important to try to keep your line as vertical as possible, so if the current is running your line out behind the boat >30 degrees or so, it means you should probably switch to a heavier jig. The more diagonal your presentation, the more difficult it will be to detect strikes.

Thanks for the comment and good luck out there!

Don Cronk on March 26, 2018:

This will be the first year that I will try jigging for salmon on the ocean, we usually troll with down riggers. I am going to buy several different colours and sizes of buzz bombs and will let you know how we make out. Have used then for Lake Trout and they worked well.

Cheers and thanks for the tips.

Jesse Corgatelli on September 25, 2016:

I caught my very first salmon using the buzz bomb I love this lure.

Lee H on June 21, 2016:

I have been using buzz bombs for 10+ years in Utah's Strawberry Reservoir targeting Cutthroat trout with a occasional rainbow or kokanee salmon. You are correct in your statement that properly jigging is the key, vertical is best here just off bottom. Will try the bead, can't hurt.

RTalloni on June 04, 2016:

Headed to Kenai in salmon season. This will make a neat gift for host.

huntnfish (author) from Washington on August 26, 2015:

Hey Nick! Sorry to hear you didn't get any bites yet, I've been there too. In my experience, a lot of river fishing is in the timing. It seems they're either on the move or on the bite. Buzzbombs can be efficient in the river, however I prefer jigs. Pink jig heads with squid skirts or pink steelhead jigs. Try these either on they're own, or under a float, casting and let it drift down the river. Sometimes adding a bit of sand shrimp to the hook helps. If you don't add bait, definitely add scent. I know competition with other anglers can get tight, but if possible, find a bend or deeper hole in the river, more fish will be hold in the deeper stretches. We're stilling catching them in good numbers in the salt, so there are still a number of weeks left to catch them. Just keep trying, you'll get one, and probably more! I'll update the hub with a video.

Nick on August 24, 2015:

Hey I read this blog or whatever it's called! I was out today on the snohomish river for pinks and I didn't get a single bite! Can you post a video of how you do it like the whole 6 steps! That would be greatly appreciated!

#dreamsonthefly on July 28, 2015:

they are starting now.

Kyle on July 28, 2015:

When do the pinks start coming into hoods canal?

huntnfish (author) from Washington on August 25, 2013:

Thats awesome!! Glad to hear it!

Steelhead on August 25, 2013:

Thank you this helped a lot I caught a 14 lb