A lot of folks have asked me what on earth is a Hydrilla-Gorilla buzz bait. Some have asked me if it was a joke bait that I was pulling on some of my friends. But then, there are some guys who know about them and would rather the rest of the group not know anything about what they are or how they work. I have a large number of friends across the U.S and one special Japanese friend who tell me to send them the Gorilla’s, but not to tell their friends about them if they ask.
I came across the “Hydrilla-Gorilla” some (this is hard to say) 27 years ago as I was fishing a Red Man Tournament Trail at Lake Eufaula Alabama. I was just a kid fishing the co-angler side and trying to learn while fishing the circuit. That weekend I was paired with Mr. Glin Wells from Greenbrier, Tn. Now I know that Mr. Wells would never remember me at all, but I can re-live that weekend just as if it happened a few months ago. As everyone knows, fishing from the back of the boat is tough. In fact, sometimes it is the hardest fishing of all. Mr. Wells was different; as we pulled up to his fishing area he gave full details of how we were going to fish this spot. It seemed that we would both be fishing the same water as a team. Now Mr. Wells was a tall slim fellow with a soft spoken Southern draw and was someone you could learn a lot from. His first details were that if he missed a fish with his buzz bait, I was to drop a worm right back into the same hole that the bass left while missing his bait and he would do the same thing if it happened to me.
First thing I had to do was rig one rod & reel with a buzz bait, which was a lunker lure for me and the other rod and reel with a worm. Now the lunker lure was the only type of buzz bait that I knew of before this day. But let me tell you of the lesson that I got from this Southern gentleman on buzz baits.
After he had caught a few nice fish and a few dinks, I hadn’t even gotten a bite. I had been watching him cast for cast to see what he was doing different from me. I really didn’t see that much, but I sure could hear a bunch more noise from his buzz bait. After a few minutes Mr. Wells reached into his tackle box and threw me a buzz bait to use. The package said it was a “Hydrilla-Gorilla” make in Kentucky, but it sure looked like my lunker lure. The biggest thing was the noise that it makes. It was loud and it drew attention from both the fish and the fishermen. This was my first encounter with the famous Gorilla from Kentucky and as I found out, not all buzz baits are equal. I still remember this trip not only because Mr. Wells placed high and I won a little money on the co-angler side, but that Mr. Wells was a very important person in the bass fishing world. He was one of the few lucky persons called to fish the first few Bass Master Classic’s with Ray Scott’s BASS in the early 1960’s. Plus I found out about a great buzz bait that would put bass in the boat and money in your pocket.
Now it’s 2005 and I am still fishing this great buzz bait. A lot of companies have come & gone, but the ole “Hydrilla-Gorilla” is still buzzing. Even today a lot of folks don’t know of the bait, but those who do are the lucky ones. During the 90’s, I lost track of the bait and was scared that it was gone forever. I did some research and found the little company once again. In 2004 I stuck a deal with the makers of the Gorilla and I have the central & maybe western U.S. area for the great buzz bait.
A little information on the Hydrilla-Gorilla is that it has a flat hydra-lift head design with a patented aluminum delta blade. The bait is designed for the aluminum blade to strike the lure head creating a loud clacking noise. The special head design and alloy content allows the bait to be retrieved very slowly without sinking in the grass or hydrilla. It comes with a 3″ living rubber skirt and a 3/0 trailer hook that also has the rubber tube to attach the trailer to the main hook. Take my word for it, use the trailer hook when you can, it makes a difference. Each “gorilla” is hand tuned, so after catching a fish it may be necessary to re-tune the bait by bending the blade so that it strikes the head again. I carry the Gorilla’s in ¼ oz. & ½ oz. size and they are individually packaged. The colors that I carry are mostly white head w/ white skirts, black heads w/ black skirts, chartruese heads w/ chartruese skirts and red heads w/ white or black skirts. This buzz bait has stood the test of time since I first saw and used it. I feel that it is a great buzz bait, one that maybe a lot of folks don’t know about. I’m sure glad that Mr. Wells shared it with me many years ago and that I did learn at least one thing that weekend about buzz baits, not all buzz baits are created equal to each other. There are a lot of fine buzz baits on the market today, but the gorilla has been my go to bait for many years and its hard to turn away from an old friend who has saved me many fishing trips.
I look forward to a great year of bass fishing and sharing the hydrilla-gorilla with many more of my bass fishing friends. If I can be of any help to you about the Hydrilla-Gorilla, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to share the knowledge of this fine bait.
Until next time, tight lines and happy fishing! Also remember to take a child fishing, it just might make you a hero in there eyes! Also please remember our troops over seas that are fighting so that we can have this great freedom we have! May God bless & keep you safe!