productive,” Salvucci said. “Once those blades (on a double buzz) get bogged up, your cast is done.”
Salvucci also keeps a few more options like a Boogerman Buzzbait, a Rowdy Buzz and a War Eagle buzzbait handy. As he explained, each offers a different set of performance dynamics that fit different scenarios, based on specific noise and optimal retrieve speed.
“I’ll play around with it just to see what the fish eat better, whether it’s a gold blade, silver blade, white blade or black blade” Salvucci said. “The War Eagle, for example, is one that I’ll burn, while others work best with a slower presentation.”
TACKLE AND TIPS
For his all-around topwater use, Salvucci likes 50- to 65-pound Power Pro Max Quatro or Sunline FX braid. He’ll throw his surface baits on a 7-6 medium-heavy G.Loomis rod with a 7:1 Shimano Metanium reel.
With double buzzbaits, it’s a simple matter of creating enough consistent commotion to catch the interest of something with a big pie hole. For frogging and the single buzz, Salvucci’s a big fan of exploration casts.
“The key is to put your bait where not too many people get it,” he said. “Get way back into cover where the fish don’t
see many baits. With docks, I try to skip my single buzz way back in there.”
A couple more strategy points:
• Salvucci pulls the skirt off a single buzz and adds
a Zoom Horny Toad trailer. This adds bulk and
surface, which enable him to skip the noisy bait
under docks. He might also do this — or add a
swimbait — to the double buzz to give it a different
look. • Adding a 2/0 stinger hook is a common strategy
for Salvucci’s late spring fry guarder tactics, but
he’ll also employ this insurance policy for fall
tournaments, anytime the cover he’s fishing allows.
“Even if a fish tries to crush it, sometimes they’ll miss it, but they’ll get snagged it you have an extra hook on there,” Salvucci said. “Even on a spotted bass lake like Nacimiento, if I’m throwing a buzzbait in open water, like down a rocky bank, I’ll put a treble hook on because the spotted bass miss a lot.
“These area spots where there’s not any vegetation, so there’s more fish on the shade lines on the rock. It’s almost like they hit it with their mouths closed, like they’re trying to stun it. That’s why it’s good to have that stinger on there.”
Salvucci’s topwater advice: “Don’t lose confidence in your topwater; it’s a big fish bait. A lot of people want numbers, but you don’t get the numbers. Stay at it and it will produce.”
From experience, Salvucci knows he may go hours without a bite before game-changing opportunities suddenly materialize. Case in point, his victory at the 2019 U.S. Open.
“It was the last day, I was leading and I didn’t have a fish at 10 o’clock and at 10:05, I stuck a 3-pounder and at 11 o’clock, I stuck a 4 1/2-pounder — both on the buzzbait,” Salvucci said. “I’m sure most people would have given up and started throwing a spinning rod.
“You have to believe.” •