The crawfish makes up a substantial part of the diets of many fish species including trout, walleyes, crappie and bluegill, but it's the bass anglers who've put the soft-plastic crawfish on the map. The soft-plastic...
The crawfish makes up a substantial part of the diets of many fish species including trout, walleyes, crappie and bluegill, but it’s the bass anglers who’ve put the soft-plastic crawfish on the map. The soft-plastic crawfish is a staple for the smallmouth bass angler, and largemouth bass also are suckers for this bait. In waters where both species exist, it would be foolish not to have one tied on. Soft plastic craws run the gambit from super-realistic to simply resembling a craw with exaggerated appendages. All have their time and place. In general, the more the bass are using their eyes to locate prey (clear water, comfortable lighting), the more realistic your offering should be. The craws with exaggerated claws create more of a disturbance in the water and attract bass in less clear or lower-light situations. Smaller soft plastic craws for panfish and trout normally are fished on a jighead. Rigging for larger versions intended for bass is discussed below. Realistic Craws – Normally, super-realistic looking craws are rigged on an internally inserted weedless jighead or come prerigged in a similar manner. Others can be Texas rigged with a bullet-shaped weight or on a weighted hook, and occasionally Carolina rigged. Small, prerigged realistic craws are killers on stream or river smallmouth, and a big Texas rigged craw worked across a rocky point on a big reservoir is apt to snag a monster largemouth. YUM Examples: CrawBug, Super CrawBug, Baby CrawBug Exaggerated Craws – These soft-plastic craws feature a crawfish look with exaggerated appendages or claws. It’s a fact that bass pick up the vibrations from water displacement through their lateral lines, and that’s one big reason these craws excel so well. Claws can be oversized or specially designed to produce maximum vibration in the water. Bass pick up on these vibrations and investigate. Commonly Texas rigged or on a skirted or bare bass jig and flipped or pitched to likely bass-holding areas such as weeds, wood and docks. YUM Examples: Big Show Craw, Money Craw, Craw Papi, Wooly HawgCraw