Menendez’s simplified shallow water approach

Menendez's simplified shallow water approach

Now, when it comes to touch-up colors, Menendez often dips his craw pinchers in orange or chartreuse Dying to Fish dye, but he offers this tip for cosmetic strategy: Use a Q-tip to add an orange streak to the bait’s belly. This resembles a bluegill’s underside and for northern waters where yellow perch abound, this addition can be a straight-up deal closer.

Diverse appeal: In addition to a Texas rig for flipping/pitching, Menendez says the craws looks awfully good on the business end of a Carolina rig. Complementing these slower tactics, he won’t hesitate to put the crustacean impostor to a faster pace. Burning a craw like a buzz toad is one option.

“I also feel that the Rage Craw is just as effective as a swimbait type presentation as a swim jig with a twin tail trailer,” Menendez said. “I think they can get that smaller profile better because there are times when they slap at a swim jig, and they just won’t get it. But with a Texas-rigged craw, that hook’s closer to them, so they get hooked a lot more often.

Good fit: Speaking of hooks, Mendez arms his craw with some serious firepower. A 5/0 round bend Gamakatsu straight shank hook fits right into the bait’s nose, thereby aligning the point as far back as possible.

“This does two things: it helps my hooking percentage,” Mendez said. “Plus, with that big, beefier hook, when I get one of those grown ones on, I don’t have to worry about it coming off.”

Bottom line, Menendez says efficiency drives his singular focus. Rather than sifting through multiple packs of various bait styles, Menendez keeps it lean and mean. Minimal downtime, equals maximum fishing time.

“Having multiple Rage Craws rigged with multiple size sinkers, I can cover all ranges of the water column with one soft plastic bait,” he said.

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