Shortly after American Baitworks Company of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, introduced its Netbait STH Finesse Series Crush Worm to the angling world during the 2020 virtual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, we exchanged several emails with Justin Sward. He is the company’s Chief Administrative Officer, and we told him that we would like to publish a gear guide about this series.
And he kindly provided us with some details about American Baitworks. He also sent us several samples of the series for us to work with, thoroughly examine, and write about.
Here is what we discovered about the NetBait STH Finesse Series.
In a Sept. 10 email, Sward wrote that the NetBait STH Finesse Series revolves around a partnership between American Baitworks and Peter Savoia, who is the proprietor of Set the Hook Bait Company of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. And Set the Hook Bait Company has become part of a consortium of six tackle companies that American Baitworks manages. This allows NetBait, which is part of the consortium, to market and sell in the United States a few of the soft-plastic finesse baits that Savoia manufactures in Canada.
Sward acknowledged in an email that NetBait “was missing a serious finesse series of products.” But “during the formation of American Baitworks we saw a fantastic opportunity to partner with STH and use their expertise of the finesse market to push out this series for NetBait. Peter Savoia … has extensive knowledge and experience in the finesse market and his products have been used for years by all the top level pros, unfortunately he never got the recognition he deserved and the brand couldn’t get much traction in the US market. Our plans are to change that now with the products … promoted by NetBait in the US.”
There are three soft-plastic worms in the Crush Worm series. One is the 3-inch Junior Crush Worm. The second one is the 3 1/2-inch Stumpy Crush Worm. The third one is the 3 3/4-inch Crush Worm.
They are touted as being “made of the finest hand-poured plastics.” The plastic is also described as being a “super soft high floating plastic.”
In the eyes of Midwest finesse anglers, they exhibit the demeanor of a very abstract minnow or fish rather than a worm. We might describe them as a round-goby-shaped worm, and in some ways, they are similar to the shad-shaped worm that Shin Fukae of Osaka, Japan, introduced to Midwest finesse anglers on April 1, 2006, at Beaver Lake, Arkansas.
Therefore, we will describe the anatomy of the Junior Crush Worm and its siblings as a minnow rather than a worm.
According to our measurements, the Junior Crush Worm is 3 1/16 inches long.
Its anterior section is slightly longer than 1 1/2 inches.
Near the tip of its snout or predorsal section, it has a width of about 5/16-inch, a height or depth of about 1/4-inch and a circumference of about 1 1/8 inches. The tip of its snout has somewhat of a round shape but its ventral area is flat. The entire epidermis of its snout is smooth.
At 1/2-inch from the tip of its snout, this part of its anterior section has a width of 7/16-inch, a height or depth of about 5/16-inch and a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches.
The size of the anterior section gradually diminishes as it approaches the junction with its posterior section, and at one inch from the tip of its snout and 9/16-inch from its posterior section, the anterior has a width of 3/8-inch, a height or depth of about a quarter of an inch and a circumference of about 1 1/8 inches.
The anterior section’s dorsal section is convex. Its ventral area is basically flat, but there are spots where it is slightly concave. Except for the capital letters STH that are imprinted on its dorsal area, the anterior’s entire epidermis is smooth.
At the junction of the anterior and posterior sections, the Junior Crush Worm has a width of slightly less than 1/4-inch, a height or depth of slightly less than a 1/4-inch and a circumference of about 15/16-inch.
The smallest portion of the Junior Crush’ Worm’s posterior is situated at 5/16-inch from its junction with the anterior section and 1 3/16 inches from the tip of its tail or caudal. In the lingo of fisheries biologists and anatomists, this area of a fish or minnow is described as the caudal peduncle, and it is the narrowest region of a fish’s body. It has a width of about 3/16-inch, a height or depth of slightly less than 3/16-inch and a circumference of about 13/16-inch.
The dorsal area of the first 13/16-inch of the posterior is convex and its ventral area is flat. The entire epidermis of this stretch is smooth.
The final 13/16-inch of the posterior section has a different shape and it sports the Junior Crush Worm’s tail, which exhibits an elliptical shape. Its dorsal area is no longer convex; instead, it is somewhat flat and endowed with a ridge. Its is 3/8-inch wide at its widest spot with a height or depth of about 3/8-inch.
Here is a brief description of what we discovered about the Junior Crush Worm’s siblings.
The Stumpy Crush Worm possesses a beefier circumference, width, and depth than the Junior Crush Worm. It is also longer. According to our measurements, it is exactly 3 1/2 inches long. The shape of its tail’s dorsal area is identical to the Junior Crush Worm’s tail. The shape of its head and the dorsal areas of its anterior and posterior sections match those of its junior sibling. The only difference between the two is the characteristics of the Stumpy Crush Worm’s ventral area. The Junior’s ventral has several concave spots but the Stumpy’s entire ventral area is slightly concave. And in the eyes of most Midwest finesse anglers, a slightly concave ventral will accentuate its ability to glide when these anglers employ a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.
The 3 3/4-inch Crush Worm is longer than both of its siblings. Our measurements revealed that it is 3 7/8 inches long. It also exhibits a slimmer profile. And some portions of its anterior and posteriors areas have a slightly smaller circumference, width and depth in some spots than the Junior Crush Worm. Compared to the Junior Crush Worm and Stumpy Crush Worm, the 3 3/4-inch Crush Worm’s slenderness allows it to possess more of the characteristics of a soft-plastic worm than its siblings possess.
They are available in the following hues: Bang, Dark Smelt, Green Pumpkin, Grey Ghost, Juvenile Goby Pearl, Killer Pumpkin, LON Goby Pearl, Magic Chart, Midnight Green, Naked Perch, Smokin Joe, and White.
They are buoyant and impregnated with salt and scent.
The Netbait STH Finesse Series Crush Worm is lauded as an “ideal drop shot bait.” But Midwest finesse anglers will rig them on a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook. The reason why they prefer rigging it on a mushroom-style jig stems from the fact that a drop-shot rig isn’t as effective for inveigling largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in the waterways that these anglers normally fish.
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