UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Chickamauga

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Review: Berkley MaxScent Creature Hawg

Review: Berkley MaxScent Creature Hawg

Back in 2017 at ICAST I opined that the new Berkley PowerBait MaxScent lineup would be good for smallmouths and more convenient than Gulp!, but wouldn’t make much of a dent in the flipping game. Then over the summer I burned through four Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg packs in two days and ordered a pile more. I don’t know if the rest of the world is doing it, but I’m certainly on the way toward proving myself wrong.

 

Is MaxScent for real?

The real selling point of the Creature Hawg and the whole line of MaxScent plastics is the smell. Scent in baits isn’t really a settled subject in bass fishing. You can still buy a ton of baits with minimal scent, and they work great. On the other hand, FLW Tour pro John Cox is religious about using Cox Juice Pro Bass Attractant, and the scent in Gulp! has very likely caught extra smallmouths for folks since its inception.

MaxScent promises 45 percent more fish than regular PowerBait. In my testing, I think that I’m catching more fish because of the scent. I’ve had enough experiences where I’ve swapped to or from something with MaxScent and noticed a difference in size or quality that I’m a believer. Or, if I’m not a full believer, I at least want to be using it just in case.

Back in July, dad and I fished a little evening tournament and pretty much chunked jigs around the whole time. I had three keepers in the boat before dad had one keeper bite, flipping a jig with a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk. When dad swapped over to a Meaty Chunk he started catching too, and we filled things out and won from there. The whole time, neither of us landed a fish over 10-inches on anything that didn’t have the MaxScent Meaty Chunk on it.

 

The basics of the bait

Outside of the MaxScent technology, the 4-inch Creature Hawg is a pretty basic beaver-style flipping bait. It has ribs on the body, two flat pincers and two side appendages. It fits your usual flipping hooks well, has decent action on the fall, and comes in a handful of brown, green and black colors.

Unlike many competing baits, there aren’t any white or laminated options, and it’s a bit pricey since $6.99 gets you only eight baits. The texture is a little different—porous, not slick—but I can’t think of a reason it would be better or worse than other plastics because of it. Though it certainly doesn’t have the softness inherent in some hand-poured baits.

One other knock against it is poor durability. While I can frequently get a number of fish out of a Missile Baits D-Bomb, the plastic on the Creature Hawg is more fragile and likes to split at the nose after a bass or three.  

An advantage of MaxScent baits is they don’t dry out like Gulp! does. So, though the baits have a similar texture to Gulp! and are damp in the pack, you can leave one on the deck for almost as long as you like with no ill effects.

 

The verdict

The price and the durability are the only drawbacks for me, but that’s not enough to dissuade me from using them. I’ve just caught too many fish flipping them to feel bad about buying more.

One extra thing you can do with them after the nose splits is cut them down the middle to make a drop-shot bait. Trust me, smallies love ’em.

 

Details

Company: Berkley

Product: Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg

Colors: 10

Length: 4 inches

Price: $6.99 for an 8 pack

Tags: jody-white  tech-tackle-reviews 

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division promises much better fishing than the first. Moving north from a cold front-plagued Florida swing, the field will visit Lake Chickamauga for the middle event of the season. The tournament, which is presented by T-H Marine, should feature excellent fishing, as the east Tennessee reservoir pretty much always kicks out giants. READ MORE »

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is a re-design of the Speed Spool, and it’s a very affordable casting reel that works quite well. It hit the market in the fall of 2018, and though it doesn’t visually stand out and it’s lacking in nonessential bells and whistles, the reel is more than capable of getting the job done for under $100. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

Bryan Thrift’s bomb at the third stop of the FLW Tour on Seminole may ripple through the minds of fans for a while, but the other contenders for Angler of the Year pretty much stayed on fire. In the lead, Terry Bolton banked his second top 10 of the year and padded his lead. Behind him, Scott Martin earned his second top 10 in a row to push him into the runner-up spot as he pursues his second AOY title on Tour. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Fishing his third year on the FLW Tour, Aaron Britt is off to his best start yet, sitting at 26th in the points and fresh off a top 10 at Toho. As is the case for many of his peers, Britt has never fished Lake Seminole, the site of the third stop of the FLW Tour presented by Costa. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Seminole

Get to Know Lake Seminole

The site of the third stop of the 2019 FLW Tour is Lake Seminole, a bass fishing gem sprawled through the pines and swamps of north Florida and south Georgia. Anglers will take off out of Bainbridge, Ga., in this tournament, which is presented by Costa, and should enjoy some really phenomenal fishing. READ MORE »

First Look at Seminole with Upshaw

First Look at Seminole with Upshaw

Stop No. 3 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes place at Lake Seminole and is presented by Costa. Though Seminole is a historic lake that is well-trafficked by the Costa FLW Series, the Tour hasn’t been here since 1996. It’s relatively unfamiliar for many pros, and Andrew Upshaw is one of them. In his eighth year on Tour, Upshaw has qualified for the FLW Cup in back-to-back years, and he’s off to a great start in 2019, sitting at 15th in the points through the first two events. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Seminole Preview

2019 Lake Seminole Preview

Lake Seminole was created after the completion of the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam back in 1952. It backed up the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers and created more than 37,000 acres of prime bass habitat. The Flint River and Spring Creek sections of the lake are entirely in Georgia, but the Chattahoochee arm runs along the border between Florida and Georgia. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Toho

AOY Update: Lake Toho

 With the first two events of the 2019 FLW Tour season in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the Angler of the Year race is shaping up. At Sam Rayburn and Lake Toho the pros were tested with very different conditions, and the standings include anglers different specialties and skill sets than at this time last year, when the Tour’s first two events were both held in Florida. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »

A Look at Lake Toho

A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Toho Preview

2019 Lake Toho Preview

Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short) is the first of four lakes on the menu for pros in the second stop of the FLW Tour. At the south end of Toho, a lock and a series of canals leads to Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch) and Lake Kissimmee, which are all fair game for the pros. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Fishing deep-diving crankbait, dragging Carolina rigs and working finesse baits such as drop-shots were the keys to success at the FLW Tour opener at Sam Rayburn. Here are the bass-fishing baits that the top pros used. READ MORE »

Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »

Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Figuring Out Rayburn with Powell

Hensley Powell has quickly and quietly amassed quite a record with FLW. In just three years fishing the Costa FLW Series, he’s earned over $90,000, and he got a win at Table Rock in the Central Division in 2018. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

Sam Rayburn Lake Tour

This year, the FLW Tour kicks off in Texas with a showdown presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. Big Sam hasn’t hosted too many FLW Tour events in the past, but it’s loaded with bass and bass fishing history. The lake is much higher than normal right now, which will no doubt produce different fishing than is typical for winter on Rayburn. READ MORE »

Practice Starts at Rayburn

Practice Starts at Rayburn

Day one of practice for the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn started this morning. We hung around takeoff to see friends we haven't seen in months and to get the season underway.  READ MORE »

High Water will Factor at Rayburn

High Water will Factor at Rayburn

Typical winter fishing on Sam Rayburn would call for a lot of lipless crankbaits, Carolina rigs and a focus on offshore structure and submerged grass. However, for the FLW Tour opener January 10-13 a lot of that may be out the window – or at least a lot different than many of the Rayburn sticks in the field are used to. Sam Rayburn has risen steadily since December 10th, and as of January 3, the lake is at 171.43 feet, which is 7 feet over full pool of 164.4 feet. READ MORE »

2019 Rookie Rundown

2019 Rookie Rundown

No matter how you get to the FLW Tour, you’re only a rookie once. This year, 34 pros are taking their talents on Tour for the first time. READ MORE »