UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Okeechobee

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

/news/2019-01-15-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 »

/news/2019-01-09-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 »

/news/2019-01-07-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 »

/news/2019-01-07-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 »

/news/2019-01-06-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 »

/news/2019-01-04-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 »

/tips/2019-01-02-2019-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 »

/tips/2018-12-19-how-to-catch-winter-spotted-bass

How to Catch Winter Spotted Bass

Some of the best fishing of the year in the South occurs on the reservoirs with spotted bass in Georgia and the Carolinas. As a guide on Lake Lanier, FLW Tour pro Rob Jordan is adept at staying on the spots all winter. He knows when to fish deep or go shallow, and how to apply a jigging spoon, jig, underspin and crankbait to take full advantage of the opportunities. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-12-19-rookie-profile-ron-nelson

Rookie Profile: Ron Nelson  

While plenty of the Tour’s new pros have impressive resumes, few boast records as well-rounded and superlative as Ron Nelson’s. After years of success at the Costa FLW Series level, it’s finally time to see what the Michigan angler can do against the best in the nation.   READ MORE »

/tips/2018-12-14-how-to-fish-umbrella-rigs-for-bass

How to Fish Umbrella Rigs for Bass

Castable umbrella rigs, also called Alabama rigs or A-rigs, were first deployed in tournament bass fishing by Paul Elias in the 2011 FLW Tour Open on Lake Guntersville. Since then, they’ve garnered a lot of controversy and caught a lot of bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-12-10-sinking-a-staysee-for-winter-bass

Sinking a Staysee for Winter Bass

Fishing late and early in the season is often challenging. Because the water is cold, it can take a lot more patience to find fish or to coax them into biting. If you truly want to put your patience to the test, you might consider fishing a jerkbait ultra-slow. If you want to try for superhuman patience, you might want to fish a jerkbait like Cody Murray. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-12-05-hallman-s-5-go-to-baits-for-new-lakes

Hallman’s 5 Go-To Baits for New Lakes

Deciding how best to figure things out on a new lake is one of the toughest challenges Tour pros and regular anglers alike encounter. Sometimes familiarity with the style of lake makes it easy, but other times you eventually need to stretch well outside of your comfort zone. Bradley Hallman has had success all over the country, and he’s got a stable of baits that he likes to rely on early in the process of breaking down a new lake. Your starting baits might be a little different, but Hallman’s approach to new water is worth considering. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-12-04-review-graph-glass

Review: Graph Glass

Graph Glass is a tempered screen protector that you can self-install on the most popular models of fishing electronics. For about $45 to $60 per unit, it protects the screen from flying tungsten or other projectiles, and there are other benefits as well. As far as I can tell, it’s a real winner of a product. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-11-30-cecil-s-shallow-cranking-menu

Cecil’s Shallow Cranking Menu

You can get by with a favorite crankbait or two for a lot of situations, but expanding your arsenal might not be a bad thing either. For cranking less than 6 feet deep, Cecil has six main baits he relies on, with a slightly different application for each. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-11-26-carolina-rigging-with-castledine

Carolina Rigging with Castledine

Todd Castledine has long been one of the most fearsome anglers to fish against in Texas. The Nacogdoches pro is good at nearly everything, particularly sight-fishing, but one of his secret weapons is undoubtedly a Carolina rig. From using it for finding offshore structure to catching finicky bass, he’s almost always got one or two tied up on the deck of his Ranger – and you should too. READ MORE »

/news/2018-11-12-corn-wins-wild-card

Corn Wins Wild Card

Faced with brutal conditions for the final event of the 2018 T-H Marine Bass Fishing League season, everyone who managed to catch anything in the Wild Card on Old Hickory Lake in central Tennessee accomplished something. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-11-07-hallman-s-favorite-bait

Hallman’s Favorite Bait

We all have favorite baits. Usually, they develop over time due to a level of comfort with the technique, some signature successes and that extra feel of confidence when you can lock it in your hand. For some, it’s a topwater. If you’re from Florida, it might be a big jig or a punching rig. If you grew up on the Tennessee River, you might cherish a deep-diving crankbait or a swimbait. READ MORE »

/news/2018-11-05-top-10-baits-from-lake-guntersville

Top 10 Baits from Lake Guntersville

You can flip it, frog it, punch it and fish any number of moving baits through it. It’s grass, of course, and Lake Guntersville is full of it. That’s why so many grass-fishing baits were in the mix among the top 10 finishers at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship on Guntersville. READ MORE »

/news/2018-10-31-guntersville-lake-tour

Guntersville Lake Tour

Winding through Tennessee, north Alabama and Kentucky, the Tennessee River is studded with some of the most legendary reservoirs in bass-fishing history. Many would argue that Lake Guntersville is the best of the bunch, and though that is up for debate on any given year, Guntersville’s place in fishing history is undeniable. This week, the lake is under heavy pressure from a local championship event, anglers out to have fun and the 198 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Here’s a look at what they’ll encounter on the water. READ MORE »

/tips/2018-10-26-how-to-use-umbrella-rigs-for-smallies

How to Use Umbrella Rigs for Smallies

Umbrella rigs took the fishing world by storm back in 2011 when Paul Elias won the FLW Tour Open on Guntersville. Though fairly quickly ruled illegal at the top levels, umbrella rigs (also called Alabama rigs or A-rigs) have gained a foothold across the country as effective producers, especially during the cool-weather months in the South. READ MORE »