By Jeff Samsel

I hadn’t fished an Arbogast Buzz Plug much prior to last week – and guide Doug Teel of Northridge Outfitters had never thrown one.  However, it only took one day of buzzing grass and prompting explosive strikes to sell us both on the virtues of this unique topwater lure.

I had thrown a Buzz Plug just enough previously to have heard the way one buzzes and rattles and seen its enticing wobble. I also had been told that it would snake through vegetation nicely. Teel had advised that we’d be focusing on grass that was just emerging around the edges of Maine’s Pushaw Lake, and it seemed like the Buzz Plugs would fit well into our day’s plan.

We were struck first by how effectively a Buzz Plug would swim through various kinds of vegetation. The lure’s narrow front and plump back end cause it to push stems aside and away from the hook, and the double hook’s upward-turned points slide over grass that’s matted on the surface and even wood cover with surprising ease. We found that the buzzer blade will hang some on the edges of thick lily pads, but our Buzz Plugs swam easily through everything else we fished, which included some fairly thick stuff.

Of course as valuable as it is to be able to get a lure where the fish are, the more important concern is what the fish think, and that’s where Teel and I were really impressed. He had been fishing a Frog/White Belly Buzz Plug Jr. for maybe 10 minutes when a fish blew up behind it and then hit again with better efficiency. A couple of minutes later he was twisting the hooks out of the mouth of pickerel. A few minutes after that he was battling a largemouth – and then another. I did some experimenting with other lures for a while, but eventually I got smart and tied on a Fire Tiger version of the same lure he was using to catch fish.

We moved in and out of fish concentrations throughout the day as we worked from one weedy area to another, and as fishermen tend to do, we both experimented some, looking for something even better. We kept returning to the Buzz Plugs, though, because they kept producing fish. Plus, we could work them through areas where we couldn’t work several other lures, and those areas were holding the most fish.

The Buzz Plug’s fish-holding ability also impressed us. Some fish hit and missed, but we didn’t lose a single fish after it was hooked, and most were hooked very solidly when we landed them.

We generally did best with steady retrieves, but caught fish on Buzz Plugs worked a few different ways, and one of this lure’s great virtues definitely is its versatility. You can buzz it along steadily, work it slowly with twitches and pauses, or do pretty much anything in between.

You can mostly swim a Buzz Plug like a buzzbait, but pause it when you get to a key spot like the corner of a dock or a gap in a weedbed. When you do that be extra ready when you start moving it again.

Similarly, when you cast tight to a stump or stick-up where you think a fish might be holding, you can let your lure rest initially and twitch it a time or two without it moving it far from the cover. If a fish doesn’t blow up on it, just buzz it back the rest of the way and cast to another target.

The Buzz Plug is available in two models. The original Buzz Plug is 2 7/8 inches long, weighs 1 ounce and comes in six colors. The Buzz Plug Jr. is 2 3/8 inches long, weights 5/8 ounce and comes in eight colors.