Tackle Test: Berkley Havoc Hawk Hawg

Berkley introduced their new Havoc Hawk Hawg at the recent 2012 Bassmaster Classic held on the Red River in Louisiana. Designed by Elite Series Pro Bobby Lane, the 5-inch (13cm) flip-style bait has a large profile perfect for presentations that require good water displacement and plenty of wiggle. The long thorax (body) has ample room for over-sized hooks. The small diameter promises easy hook sets too.

I particularly like the ribbed design. Ribs provide more exposed surface area, helping the bait fall slower than conventionally designed creature baits. Large, curved tentacles wave enticingly on the descent. Side mounted faux crawdad claws, with their flat profile, add to the bait's mass. Four wing-like side appendages stabilize (steer the bait) the bait during the fall for precision presentations.

I can foresee plenty of applications for the Hawk Hawg -- flipping being an obvious one. While not billed as a flipping bait per se, I think it is perfectly suited for flipping brush stick-ups and emergent wood in weed-free water. The ribs will help present a slow fall when combined with a light flipping hook and pegged weight. This lightweight combo will keep the bait in front of fish longer.

The Hawk Hawg will excel when fished on a Carolina Rig. The large bait, with its long tentacles offer plenty for fish to contemplate about. The Hawk Hawg will appeal to traditionalists who have a passion for throwing Texas-rigged soft crawdad imitators. I would also recommend giving it a go on a spinning rod. Rig it Tex-posed and weightless on a light line. Throw it around structure and dead-stick it when the bite turns cold. ($2.99/8 count)