Every bass angler, from seasoned veterans to newcomers, can appreciate versatile baits. It doesn’t matter if you have a giant bank account or a modest one—versatility in bass fishing just seems like common sense. If I can find a single bait that does a bunch of different things, guess what? I’m all over it. Any effective bait that allows me to tidy my organized mess that some call a tackle collection will get serious consideration from me.
With that being said, I would be doing a disservice to our readers if I didn’t review the Berkley Powerbait Power Hawg. I’ve been using it for a long time and have always considered it to be one of the more versatile baits in my collection.
Its good looks won’t knock you down a flight of stairs. The Powerbait scent might, but this thing is pretty ordinary-looking when compared to all of the crazy-looking baits that have infiltrated the market as of late.
But—and this is a big “but”—it catches bass. A lot of bass. Here’s what I find most appealing about this bait.
- Enticing action
- The “perfect” size
- Good value
A blend of action and versatility
I do believe there is such thing as “too much” action when it comes to soft plastic baits. There are times when I prefer a bulky bait that dances all over the place, but more times than not, I seem to catch my biggest bass on fairly subtle presentations.
The Berkley Powerbait Power Hawg doesn’t cause much commotion when it’s in the water. The arms don’t move much and the paddles will lazily undulate, but the tails attract enough attention without going overboard. It’s kind of like high school—the girl needs to know you like her, but inundating her with love letters, phone calls and heavily breathing behind her in the lunchroom might be a bit “too much”. There’s a delicate balance.
I think the beauty of this bait lies in its subtle action and buoyancy. I’ve caught fish with it on horrible post-frontal days, windy days, rainy days and everything in-between. When I can’t quite pinpoint whether the bass prefer something subtle or aggressive, I’ll often rig up the Power Hawg to “split the middle”. And more times than not, I’ll get several bites.
Here’s how I rig it most often.
- Texas rig— Nothing too special here in terms of rigging, but it has become a staple for me in the late-winter, spring and summer months. I’ll rig it on a 4/0 Offset EWG hook with a 1/8-ounce tungsten bullet weight and pitch it around dock posts, walkways, laydowns and grass lines with a lot of success. I’ll often leave the weight unpegged with this bait. This allows the Power Hawg to “chase” the bait to the bottom, fully utilizing its buoyant nature and giving it a more lackadaisical, natural fall.
- Weightless Texas rig— This is something with which I’ve had a lot of success, especially during the post-spawn period. I’ll thread it on a light wire 4/0 Offset EWG hook and pitch it around shallow, vertical cover adjacent to major spawning areas. This bait sinks very slowly, which seems to appeal to tired but hungry post-spawners. I’ll fish it much like I would a wacky rig by letting it fall on slack line and incorporating very small twitches throughout the retrieve. You can also swim right underneath the surface around vegetation during lowlight hours.
- Carolina rig— The Power Hawg has quickly become one of my favorite Carolina rig baits in both the winter and summer. For the same reasons I like to use it weightless, the bait floats above the bottom behind a big sinker, which makes it an excellent choice when you’re targeting deep schools of offshore bass.
It’s the “right” size
That’s kind of an ambiguous thing to say, isn’t it? Throughout my experience with this bait, however, I’ve found that it’s often the perfect size for a wide variety of applications.
A lot of anglers choose their soft plastics in accordance to the size of fish they’re targeting—bigger baits are meant to catch bigger bass and vice versa. But the 4-inch profile of the Power Hawg seems to attract bites from bass of all sizes.
I really like that quality, especially when I’m tournament fishing. It’s always a good feeling to get your day started with a few fish in the livewell. It’s a major confidence booster. But when I’m pitching and flipping this bait, I feel totally confident that it’s appealing to both size classes of fish. It’s not uncommon to get several 5-pound bites in a single day with this bait with lots of 1 to 2-pound bites in-between.
Whether I’m trying to target ol’ big to push me over the 20-pound mark or scrounging for a few last-minute keepers, I never have any reservations about using the the Power Hawg.
The thing is a workhorse
You’ve probably heard me preach about durability in my reviews so much that you’re ready to throat-punch me. I don’t blame you, honestly.
But I really enjoy the durability of this bait. I can remember a day this past summer where I used two Power Hawgs on my Carolina rig throughout the entire day. I caught a bunch of fish that day, too. That’s very impressive, in my opinion.
If I plan to use a Power Hawg before heading to the lake, I don’t think twice if I only have 4 or 5 left in a package. Most of the time, that’s plenty to catch a bunch of bass and have a great time.
Great value for thrifty anglers
When you combine the Power Hawg’s durability with its $4.49 per 9-pack price point, it’s hard to ignore the value it offers anglers—especially those who are especially thrifty with their purchases.
I estimate that each package can easily catch between 30 and 40 bass without any problems. To pay under $5 for that much fish catching is a rarity these days, but hugely appreciated nonetheless.
If you’re in the market for a versatile soft plastic bait that truly catches fish, this is a bait you might want to consider. It’s responsible for a lot of my fish catches and I’ll be using it for years to come.