Welcome to another installment of the member Spotlight Interview. This is the place where each month readers can come and learn a little something about our members, who they are, what they do, what they think about topics of interest, and the like.
From our most sponsored angler, to our sponsors, right on to our weekend anglers, Everyone has a story.
This month we highlight Scott Buzinski (buzzman). Scott is an angler from the Ohio area, but originally hails from the Chicago area. He has been an active member of the boards since becoming a member on June of this year. He is 33 years old and is alumni of University of Illinois engineering school. Scott is an angler with the Columbus Bassmasters and reports being the proud owner of Ranger 520 VX.
Dave: Where are you from originally?
Scott: I’m from Chicago, moved to Columbus, OH in 1998.
Dave: What one most influential person would you like to meet and fish with?
Scott: John Glenn.
Dave: Why John Glenn?
Scott: Look at his accomplishments; he has to have some of the best stories to share. I would love to spend a day on a boat with that guy to hear about the things that went on while training for the Apollo missions, the inside scoop on D.C. while he was a Senator, his younger days as a test pilot… If I picked a fisherman, it would have to be Larry Nixon. I love fishing plastics, and with his guide experience, I’m sure he has taught more about a plastic worm than anyone else knows on the tournament trail. I had a chance to speak with him briefly at a Bassmaster University one year-nothing but a classy guy who has represented BASS extraordinarily well.
Dave: When did you start fishing and why?
Scott: By the time I was 8 I was fishing for bluegill while taking camping trips with the family. I turned to bass when I was about 12, walking the banks of the local lakes and casting the shorelines. I remember at the age of 13 getting a paper route to make my first big fishing purchases – a trolling motor and portable depth finder to stick on a rental row boat that cost me $1 / day to fish from during the summer.
Dave: What is your greatest weakness and how do you plan on improving it?
Scott: Crankbaits. This summer I’ve been collecting different types of crankbaits to try and increase the number of situational baits I have in my box. I need to find the right baits and understand their functions fully.
Dave: What is your favorite fishing technique, i.e.: flipping, pitching, bait of choice equipment, time of year, depth, etc….
Scott: Pitching plastics, by far is my favorite way to fish. I generally use Yamamoto Baits, on 14 lb fluorocarbon, on a 6′-8″ MBR783C MH Loomis GL3 (newer models are 6′-6″), with a left handed Curado Super Free.
Dave: What is your favorite local body of water and why do you like it?
Scott: Alum Creek Reservoir – because she is extraordinarily fickle and proves to be a challenge every time I’m out there.
Dave: Tell me more about Alum Creek Res., driving instructions, average depth, does it have current,etc…
Scott: Alum Creek is almost due north of Columbus. Driving north on I71, take the route 36 / 37 exit and head west. You’ll cross over the lake in a few miles. The better boat ramps are on the east side of the lake along Africa road. The average depth is approximately 20′, and the lake is used for flood control so the Corps of Engineers will drop the lake significantly in the fall, keeping the vegetation to a minimum. The lower 2/3 of the lake harbors a pretty healthy population of smallmouth with some pretty good largemouth mixed in. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, gotta get there early, though – lake traffic kicks up pretty good. Current is pretty minimal, but gets a little more focuses around two of the bridges that span the lake. For me, the wind driven currents play more into the patterns on Alum.
Dave: What is your biggest bass to date, and how about a story with that catch.
Scott: I’ve caught a few smallies in the 5 lb class that I’m pretty proud of. The one that sticks in my mind the most was when I was about 15, it was late March, WINDY, and ice was just out a week earlier. The previous summer, I was catching a ton of walleye on a size 18 Rapala (the full 7″ model) w/ blue back. Well, I was walking the shore with my buddy and we were trying to cast these little 1/16th ounce jigs into this gail force wind, so I looked in my box for something I could launch into the wind and pulled out one of those Rapala’s. My friend muttered something about “Cuckoo’s Nest” while I flung it out there and started sweeping it back in. On that first cast, that 5 lb’r smacked that lure and I got her back to the bank. I went on to have one of those 20+ fish days and that was the first time I had experimented with what I now understand is a jerkbait!
Dave: What is your favorite crankbait so far that you have tried?
Scott: It’s a tie… I’ve become pretty versatile with a Rat-L-Trap, but there is something about the Series 400 Bandit that I just love. Not a lot of guys throw a bigger crankbait like that in my area, but I’ve gained confidence in that bait in a lot of different situations.
Dave: Have you fished any regional or national fishing organizations tournaments and if so what was your impression?
Scott: I’ve stayed with the club tournies and have fished a lot of the opens that some the regional organizations have put on. I can’t say that I have had a bad experience with any of them. Midwest Sportsmen puts on some good tournaments with formats that are pretty flexible to the anglers in the area. I just started tournament fishing last year with the Columbus Bassmasters and without a doubt, have learned more in a year than all my magazine subscriptions have ever taught me.
Dave: There is a national rally in the works for the UltimateBass community members. Would you be interested in attending?
Scott: Yes – it’s always fun to get out and meet all the people who make the site so great.
Dave: Do you consider yourself an optimist? And I will elaborate….I believe that to fish for bass (or any other species for that matter); you have to be an optimist. Anyone who will go out on a body of water, go to a certain spot, throw tiny bait into the water in a very tiny spot in the body of water, and expect to catch a fish, has to be an optimist. To top that off, we do it over and over again.
Scott: Absolutely – optimism and confidence is a pre-requisite to being a successful bass fisherman – I believe I am going to catch a fish on every single cast. If I didn’t, I don’t think that I would be able to maintain the concentration that this sport demands. My first club tournament (OHBassaholic was with me in the boat) was a pretty tough day – with about 30 minutes to go, I still hadn’t boated a fish but kept right at it and nailed three pretty quickly (couldn’t get one to measure, so only brought two to the weigh in) and ended up 4th for the tournament (Warpath was already standing next to the scales with the big bass of the day and another keeper for 1st).
Dave: Do you own a boat and if so, give me some details such as; size, outboard, likes and dislikes, etc…
Scott: I’m the proud papa of a 2003 Ranger 520VX w/ a 225 Optimax. It’s my second Ranger and I have been very happy with the quality and customer service that they have provided me. I pretty much like everything on the boat and will stay loyal to them for my next boat. The only thing (and this is being pretty picky) is that Ranger, through the 2003 models, in my opinion has struggled figuring out cup holders. In my first Ranger, it had recessed cup holders that had plastic inserts. I found out the hard way that they weren’t worm proof! I still scratch my head on that one, because it was always so tempting to keep a handful of tubes in there. How could someone design a FISHING boat and use plastic that wasn’t worm proof? On the new boat, they went to these surface mounted, collapsible deals that are pretty flimsy and keep coming apart.
Dave: Tell us about your family life.
Scott: My wife and I have been married for three years and are hoping to start a family in the future (I need some little fisherman to play hooky with).
Dave: Who has helped you succeed in your endeavors so far the most?
Scott: Probably a 6th grade science teacher who ENSURED that learning was fun. I know that those early foundations in science shaped my career and taught me how to use a process of elimination while fishing.
Dave: What is the one ideal job you would like to have other than the one you have now?
Scott: Teaching. I married a teacher and love the idea of helping young kids achieve their goals and find success.
Dave: It seems that you have a great admiration for teachers. Did you by chance, take any college courses in education?
Scott: I didn’t take any courses in education while in college – I was trapped in the college of engineering (they really let us out and made us wear pocket protectors when we were in public).
Dave: What subject (s) would you like to teach?
Scott: Math or History, probably 6th grade (gotta get to them BEFORE they know more than you do).
Dave: Tell us about your job, Duties, titles, year’s exp. and future goals..
Scott: I work for a national retail company managing the construction of new and remodeled stores.
Dave: Would you mind telling everyone what the name of the company you work for is? (You don’t have to if you would rather not).
Scott: I work for Limitedbrands (Bath and Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Limited, C.O. Bigelow, White Barn Candle and Henri Bendl).
Dave: How do you like the UltimateBass web-site?
Scott: Love it! Community is stressed here and is witnessed in every forum that you click into.
Dave: What have you gained from membership so far?
Scott: Besides great prizes from all of the great sponsors? I think being able to read about other peoples experiences helps me constantly challenge what I am doing on the water, which in my opinion, is a very important part of fishing. Change is a constant in this sport, and this site acts as a catalyst for new ideas.
Dave: What one way would you improve the web-site or change it personally?
Scott: Maybe it’s already here and I’m missing it? But to aid in the research of lakes, it would be great to have an on-line map function (maybe just a link?).
I want to thank Scott for his patience once again. He has waited the longest to see the results of this interview placed on the site. Scott is one of the anglers that I would truly want to fish with from our site. Good luck to you brother on your future endeavors and your days on the water. It has been fun for me (again I apologize for the wait) and I hope you and the other readers enjoy this. Fair winds and following seas…..
David L. Welch
Dave the Dope Man