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Spring Craw Tips

By Russ Bassdozer

WHAT'S UP WITH YOU? As for myself, it is late March and I've been catching many of my fish so far this year on Lake Powell, Arizona with Yamamoto's soft plastic craws.

I either rig them on fiberguard jig heads with Yamamoto's series 11 teaser skirts - or I've been using a short sliding Texas-rig for the bigger series 3 craws on 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG hooks. The series 63 is a thinner (yet strong) wire for under 16 lb. test tackle, and the series 64 is the exact same hook, except heavier steel which provides a better balance to the bait when using 16 lb. test and above.

The sliding Texas rig is kept short by putting the bullet weight and bead on a 12" to 18" leader tied off with a swivel. I make these sliding rigs up at home the night before. I keep them coiled and ready in small zip lock bags. In this way, you do not have to stop to tie rigs out on the water during a hot bite!

When I use the big craw, I like to cut a bit off the end, but this is hardly necessary.

Now, this will sound weird, but I Texas rig them belly up! My reasons for this are several. First, you see, the Yamamoto craw belly is scooped out and flattened which I think gives a bit more hook protection from snags. Second, it seems to me to be a more realistic hunched-over craw silhouette this way. Third, I don't think the fish really notice, but I like to be original!

I put the craw on the offset neck of the hook as usual. Then I put the point straight through the bait. Finally, tuck it back in barely under the flat plastic surface. The point looks like a splinter under the skin of your big toe. This method of rigging in known as "Tex-skin" hooking.

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