by Steve Chaconas

For starters, I like to fish the Buddies on med. heavy spinning gear to allow the bait to drop or to cast them a mile, whatever I need. Also, I prefer to fish on 6-12 pound test. I use lighter line with the 1/4, heavier line with the 3/4. I try to match the size with the baitfish, if possible, but I usually choose the size depending on how I have to fish. If you are fishing more than 10 feet, try the 1/2-ounce, you will feel it better. If it is windy and you have to go deep, then you have to lighten the line and heavy up the bait. The best thing about these baits, is that you can adjust the lure and line size to reach any depth and presentation. They are tools, like a socket set, you can adjust until you have the right tool.

To use the Silver Buddy, remove from the package, (a seminar Joke), tie to the snap included in the package. Drop the bait over the side of the boat, after tying (another seminar joke), let it go to the bottom. I want you to do this to get the feel of the bait. Go ahead and rip it off the bottom. Feel the vibration? OK, next step let it go to the bottom again, gently give some wrist action, lifting the bait about 3-6 inches. Feel the vibration? OK, one more try. Let the bait go to the bottom again, just lift the bait enough to establish contact...feel the vibration? The point here is that a lot of fishermen overfish their baits. While you can catch fish this way, remember, you are trying to imitate a dying a dying baitfish. They make short bursts, they flutter, they barely move, they have another short burst, they lie on the bottom, they struggle up in a very short burst, fish eats...they can't help it! A predator fish has to strike the easy prey. This is the secret to the Silver Buddy. It replicates the dying baitfish better than anything else. To learn the Silver Buddy, I suggest you start with the vertically jigging technique, or short casts to get the feel for it.

They key to the Silver Buddy is the vibration. That said, the bites usually occur when you are dropping the bait. When you impart action on the bait, it attracts the attention of the bass, so semi tight line the bait back down after you pull up. Watch the line for any jumps or movement. Let it go to the bottom and make it do the "death dance". 

This is the vertical jigging method. If you are fishing in 90 feet of water and the fish are in 20, (you have marked fish around schools of bait), you can vertically jig, but in clear water this might spook the fish, so, the next technique is to cast the Silver buddy, a mile, because you have that spinning gear, and since you want depth, try 6 pound test with a half ounce bait, if it is not too windy. Count the bait down, about a foot per second, then raise and lower the bait back to the boat, semi tight line on the drop. This method will keep the bait in the strike zone and you can vary the count until you get it just right...listen to what the fish tell you.

You can also crank this bait, like a rattletrap, you can fish it like a plastic bait, always in contact with the bottom. On a cast, let the bait go to the bottom and gently raise the rod tip until you feel the bait move, then lower, watching a feeling or the bite, again imitating the vulnerable bait fish. 

Cast this bait to schooling fish, you won't spook them because you can cast a mile. Also for suspended fish, vertical jig in front of them, but stop the bait for a long time...a minute if you have to. Suspended fish have to be antagonized a bit more.

These are a few of the techniques I use. I really want you to be successful with this bait! It is the most valuable tool I have! If I was on Survivor, I would vote my wife off the island before I would give up my Silver Buddy (the last seminar joke, I promise). The Silver Buddy catches anything that swims. Find a spot that you know has fish and start using them!

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