Creature baits and craws represent two of the most popular styles of soft plastics on the market today. Sure, stick baits and trick worms are great. Soft plastic jerkbaits have their place too. And swimbaits are perhaps more popular now than ever. There are lizards and toads and tubes and more. But creatures and craws are among some of the most versatile and effective baits of all time for targeting bass.
The product up for review today does a good job of marrying these two already popular profiles. A creature bait is often great for punching, but has a lack luster appeal as a trailer. A craw makes a great trailer, but has a little too much flap to flip most of the time. The Jenko Fishing The Bird has a little bit going for it in both directions and is, thus, a very versatile bait.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Creature baits like Reaction Innovation Beavers and MISSILE Bait D-Bombs differ in subtle but important ways. For instance, the D-Bomb is more flexible and folds to fall straighter. The Beaver is more rigid and thus glides on the fall. Neither is better. Both are just better suited for different situations. But one thing they both have in common, along with most other creature baits, is the basic oval profile of the body of the bait. The same can be said for The Bird.
But where the body of The Bird looks most like a creature bait, the claws look more like a craw. Jenko incorporated fairly large flanges on the tops and bottoms of the claws. These flanges create resistance when the bait falls or is reeled through the water, imparting a lot of action to the bait. This is reminiscent of what makes one of the greatest craws of all time so special, the Strike King Rage Tail Craw.
With aspects of The Bird bringing to mind these three classic baits (without being anything like any of them), it’s pretty easy to see that The Bird has a lot of potential right away.
CLOSER LOOK AT THE BIRD
This bait looks (and feels) a bit bulky at first. But after rigging, you find that a good bit of The Bird’s girth actually comes from the dozens of little ribs that run the width of the top and bottom of the bait. These ribs angle towards the tail end of the lure, where the two claws are located. The plastic used to construct The Bird is durable, but is still soft and thin enough at the claw to allow for a good action.
Thanks to the flanged tip of the claws, you don’t have to compromise action for durability though, by making the claws super thin. A little more window dressing by way of divots in the claws and two little appendages on each side of the bait finish the profile and aesthetics of this bait off nicely.
WHAT THE BIRD IS GOOD AT
Not surprisingly, The Bird is rather versatile and can be used for a wide variety of applications. It’s a great soft plastic for Texas rigging, flipping and Carolina rigging. With it’s elongated body and slimmer profile, it also makes for a great casting jig trailer and vibrating jig trailer, since wider craws are typically a bit too wild for these jigs and standard creature baits lack enough action. But perhaps the two techniques where it outshines both creature baits and craws best are on swing heads and Tokyo rigs.
Part of the appeal of both of these techniques is subtly. With Tokyo rigs and swing heads, you’re often looking for a bait with a solid body and a little action. The most standard fishing hook design for both of these rigs is an EWG (Extra Wide Gap), which lends itself perfectly to the thicker bodied Bird. And with the flanged claws, the bait still has action when reeled slowly along bottom or allowed to drift and sway in a light current.
SPECS ON THE BIRD
I like the combination of a plastic tray and a zippered bag to keep the baits fresh and straight. At 3 3/4” and available in 11 colors, The Bird is again a very versatile bait that can be used alone for a wide range of techniques or as a trailer on numerous baits.
At $6.99 for a 6 pack, the price point per bait is a little on the high side compared to other creature baits and craws. But the durability of this bait, paired with its wide range of applications, makes a single pack of The Birds as useful as a half dozen packs of other soft plastics. A great choice for the bank or kayak angler in need of consolidating tackle as well as the big boat guy looking for the perfect offering for a select few techniques.