UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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 

How to Prep Like a Pro

How to Prep Like a Pro

When it comes to getting ready for a season of tournaments, there are plenty of ways to do it. But, there’s no denying that for most people, being prepared will lead to better performance on the water. READ MORE »

2020 Harris Chain Preview

2020 Harris Chain Preview

One of the most fun places FLW visits, the Harris Chain is a collection of lakes in central Florida that includes Lake Harris, Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham and Lake Beauclair. In all, the pros have the run of 10 lakes, plus the myriad residential canals, rivers and backwaters that spread out off of them. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

Built on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a fairly typical example of a Southeastern spotted bass and largemouth fishery. Though there are shad and bream, the primary forage is blueback herring. Hartwell has very little vegetation outside of flooded dog fennel, and the primary cover types are docks, rock, shoreline wood, brush and cane piles. READ MORE »

2020 Detroit River Preview

2020 Detroit River Preview

Though the Pro Circuit finale takes off from the Detroit River, that’s hardly the only place the pros will be fishing. Takeoff is near the southern mouth of the river, giving pros easy access to the west end of Lake Erie. At the other end of the river is Lake St. Clair, which has been home to some of the most epic smallmouth beatdowns on record in recent years. READ MORE »

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Perhaps the hottest spotted bass lake in the East, Lanier should be rocking for the Bulldog Division opener. With lots of plump wintertime spotted bass coming to the scale, along with some largemouths, it would be no surprise to see a winning weight in excess of 20 pounds.   READ MORE »

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

According to pro Casey Martin, who once won a BFL on Guntersville with a whopping 40 pounds, 11 ounces, it’s not unreasonable to expect a mid- or upper 20s bag to win this time. READ MORE »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Matt Becker.  READ MORE »

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

The Top 19 Stories of 2019

From the beginning, 2019 was a good year of fishing. The FLW Tour got off to a rollicking start on Sam Rayburn, and it really stayed pretty great from there, with a lot of good fishing and a killer Angler of the Year race. Beyond the Tour, all the other circuits had plenty of highlights, too. We saw impressive feats accomplished at all levels and some very exciting individual events. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

Reese’s Lake Baccarac Adventure

With a home base of Clear Lake in California, FLW Pro Circuit pro Jimmy Reese is pretty used to phenomenal fishing. But, until Thanksgiving, he’d never sampled the bass fishing in Mexico. Now he has, thanks to a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits trip to Lake Baccarac Lodge that turned into the trip of a lifetime and produced some truly outstanding fishing. READ MORE »

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

Woolcott Ready for Year-Two Rebound

When Tyler Woolcott headed out on Sam Rayburn in January 2019 for his first day of competition as an FLW Tour pro, he took off sandwiched between Brad Knight and Bryan Thrift, two pros starting their 11th and 13th seasons at the front of the boat. In stark contrast, Woolcott was beginning his pro career without having fished as a boater at any level of FLW competition. READ MORE »

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

In recent years, fishing a lipless bait, a spinnerbait or a vibrating jig in offshore grass in Florida has lit up the leaderboard in many tournaments. Tyler Woolcott, a second-year pro from Port Orange, Fla., has plenty of experience tracking the bass in offshore grass throughout the seasons, and you might be able to learn a thing or two from him. READ MORE »

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

“It’s hard to pass up smallmouths in the winter,” Slegona says. “When they get bunched up out there you can have a lights-out day. So, when that water temp drops below 50, I break out the hair jig box, and I put it away again in the spring when the water gets warm.” READ MORE »

Less Stress and More Fun

Less Stress and More Fun

After qualifying for the FLW Tour out of the FLW Series Northern Division for the second time in 2018, Slegona finally had the money lined up and hit the big leagues. So, he pointed his Tundra and Skeeter toward Texas in December to start an adventure that was a lifetime in the making. READ MORE »

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. READ MORE »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »