There are well over 100 species of crayfish native to the waters of the United States. Crayfish are found in the smallest streams, and some of the largest, deepest lakes. They inhabit heavy vegetation, rocks, and any other substrate imaginable, and just about everywhere they live – they’re at the top of the bass’ food list.
It’s for that reason you will find the walls of pretty much every tackle shop in the country stocked with crayfish imitators – from cranks to jigs to plastics, and they’re absolutely deadly on bass of all species.
In the soft plastics category, there are three basic styles of craw on the market, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. The first and longest on the market is the realistic craw – which is exactly that, a plastic lure designed to accurately portray a crawfish. The second is the “flappy” craw, or a plastic designed with a crayfish shape, and with claws that “flap” whenever the bait is moved in the water. The last category is the finesse craw, which is designed to be fished with finesse techniques.
We thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of some of the hottest craws on the market in each category, and put down some tips on where and how to use them.
Check it out:
1. BioSpawn VileCraw
The hot new BioSpawn VileCraw falls into the “flappy” craw variety, and is one of the most versatile plastic craws on the market. It has a great silhouette, wildly flapping claws, and is built out of durable plastic designed to hold even the stoutest hooks. It can be flipped, pitched, threaded on a jig head, or even worked weightless on the surface as a toad type bait. No matter how you use it, the appendages will be sure to draw strikes from aggressive bass.
2. Googan Baits Krackin’ Craw
The Googan Baits Krackin’ Craw is the perfect option for flipping, pitching or adding to the back of a jig trailer. Designed with patented kicking claws, this bait displaces water with ease while calling in big fish. Designed by legendary lure engineer Steve Parks, this little craw can truly do it all. Fish it Texas or Carolina rigged or on the back of your favorite jig and hold on!
3. Z-Man Lures CrawdadZ
Designed as one of the most realistic craws on the market, the Z-Man CrawdadZ is designed to perfectly emulate the crayfish found in almost every body of water. It’s got the right size, shape, and profile to really get bass interested. It is also made from indestructible Elaztech plastic, meaning that each bait will hold up for hours – and countless fish catches. Try fishing one on a bare jighead around rocks, docks, or anywhere else crayfish are known to swim. It’s also an excellent bed fishing bait.
4. Gambler Flappy Daddy
Another excellent “flappy” craw, the Gambler Flappy Daddy is specifically designed to penetrate heavy cover where the big bass hide out. It’s got an extremely slender body and superb action claws that move with the slightest wiggle of the rod tip. At 4.25 inches long, it’s a got big fish appeal, and also works great when swam over the tops of weeds or around shallow cover.
5. Lunkerhunt Core Strength Lunker Craw
The innovation with the Lunkerhunt Lunker Craw isn’t so much in its shape (although it’s an excellent “flappy” craw), it’s in the materials. The Lunker Craw features Lunkerhunt’s Core Strength technology – which is an internal ultra-tough skeleton of durable mylar fabric, which reinforces it at all the key joints, making it almost indestructible. Due to this enhancement, one bait will routinely last more than a day of heavy fishing. That’s an excellent investment for anglers on a budget.
6. Dry Creek Outfitters Drop Shot Craw
This diminutive bait is designed to perfectly imitate the tiny crayfish that make up the bulk of a bass diet. It’s the perfect size for when the fish want a morsel, or during the June/July period, when young of the year crayfish are at their smallest. The Dry Creek Outfitters Drop Shot Craw is great on a drop shot, shakey head, or even rigged on a split shot rig.
7. Missile Baits Missile Craw
Another finesse craw, the Missile Craw combines the subtle wiggle of a finesse worm with the tantalizing profile of crayfish claws. It’s the perfect bait for any time the bite is tough. At 3 inches long, and offered in 8 top colors, the Missile Craw will get bit when nothing else is working. Another excellent drop shot bait, the Missile Craw is also a sleeper when rigged on a Ned Rig. Try it any time you’re in clear water, or when the bass don’t seem to be responding to anything else.
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