Tackle Reviews

Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw Review

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Although many anglers’ focus turns to shad-imitation baits and lures throughout the fall months, it’s always important to keep a soft plastic crawfish bait nearby. The bass will certainly follow ongoing shad migration into the shallows, but they’ll often use nearby shallow cover as ambush points— and make no mistake about it, big bass won’t think twice before inhaling a well-placed craw bait.

I’ve been doing a lot of fishing lately with the Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw. After thousands of flips and pitches both at home and abroad, I’ve been very impressed with it.

There are 3 specific things I really like about it.

  • Beefy profile with a subtle action
  • Lasts for several fish catches
  • Excellent hookup ratio

It’s big but subtle

When Texas-rigged, the Chigger Craw offers a large profile and subtle action.

Whenever I’m having trouble getting bites, I’ll downsize my bait selection if I really have to. There’s one problem, though— I love throwing big baits and I have a lot of confidence in them. The Chigger Craw’s large size and delicate action, however, gives me the best of both worlds in many situations.

I tend to categorize the Chigger Craw as a “gliding” crawfish bait. As it falls to the bottom on a light Texas rig, it will slide slowly through the water column which makes it a very powerful tool when I’m dissecting vertical cover such as dock posts. The gliding action of this bait has resulted in hundreds of bites before it even touches the bottom.
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Without any flanges on its pincers, the Chigger Craw is very effective on lethargic bass.

When the bait hits the bottom, its pincers float at a 45-degree angle, imitating a crawfish’s natural defensive posture. The pincers don’t really flap or paddle, which can be a good thing in tough conditions. Instead, they wave back-and-forth with very slight movements of your rod tip. While some crawfish baits are made to elicit aggressive reaction strikes, the Chigger Craw seems to appeal to very lethargic bass that won’t respond to more intrusive offerings.

Durability has never been an issue

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This bass wouldn’t bite a reaction bait, so I pitched the Chigger Craw to the same laydown and caught her on the first cast.

I probably average around four fish per bait whenever I’m using the Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw. Although the pincers are big, I’ve never had much of an issue with their durability. You’ll find a lot of crawfish baits that will lose their pincers and other appendages after just one bite, but that hasn’t been the case here.

The Chigger Craw’s pincers have a fair amount of “stretch” to them. In other words, they don’t rip away from the body easily whenever you’re dealing with short-striking bass or curious bluegill. I pitch and flip a lot, so I really appreciate this quality. It has saved me a bunch of time and money because I’m able to catch several nice bass without constantly re-rigging.

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The pincers stretch to almost twice their original length, resulting in outstanding durability.

I’ve also found this bait to be very effective as a jig trailer because its oversized pincers slow the jig’s fall considerably. When used as a trailer, it stays in place very well whenever I’m skipping docks which, again, saves a lot of time. I can’t stand having to constantly push my trailer back up the hookshank when I’m on a solid dock bite and the Chigger Craw is a very low-maintenance trailer that can produce some really big bites.

You’ll land most of your bites

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This is a very thick bait that stays on the hook well and lasts for several fish catches.

When you open a bag of Chigger Craws, you’ll probably be knocked back by the smell. They smell like rotten fish and even though they’ll make your fingers stink, the bass respond very  to the scent.

It’s impossible for me to proclaim that the scent is the reason for such a high hookup ratio with this bait, but I will say this— I’ve used several very similar-looking baits without the scent and have not experienced the same aggressive strikes that I have with the Chigger Craw.

I’ve had a problem lately with the finicky fish on my home fisheries. I can get plenty of bites, but it’s been extremely difficult getting them in the boat. One of the few ways I’ve been able to catch ‘em, however, has been with the Chigger Craw. Regardless of whether they “thump” it or just lazily swim off with it, they seem to hold onto the bait for a very long time which has given me plenty of time to connect with a solid hookset.

If you’re a shallow water angler, I definitely recommend checking out the Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw. It’s big size and subtle action has done a lot of damage for me and a few packs will last for plenty of exciting fish catches.

The Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw is available at these retailers: