Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gear Review: Berkley Havoc Baits

Craw Fatty with a jig dragged on the bottom brought this hookset
The Craw Fatty rigged with a jig and the Pit Boss with a weighted hook...

Life caught up with me for a variety of reasons, any sportsperson will understand that your true passion is family.  For reasons beyond my control, I found myself leaving the gear in the basement and making room for more important priorities.  Keeping this blog alive is important, but it's something I do not who I am.  However, I began worrying about the gear review opportunity I had won over at the Outdoor Blogger Network and knew that I needed to honor my end of the bargain.  First and foremost, let me give a quick rundown of the new baits offered by Pure Fishing.

Featured under the Berkley Havoc label, these soft baits are all designed by professional bass fishermen – Bobby Lane, Skeet Reese, Gary Klein,  and Mike Iaconelli.  Pure Fishing quickly sent  two bags of each bait created by the fishermen listed above.  Click the link below each picture you want to head over to the Berkley Havoc product page.

Craw Fatty by Bobby Lane
The Deuce by Gary Klein

Devil Spear by Mike Iaconelli

The Pit Boss by Skeet Reese

So here's what I decided to do:

I have several students who share a rabid passion for the outdoors and have eliminated any worry that our younger generations are choosing video games over hunting & fishing.  They do their best to get me off topic and sometimes win when the subject rendered takes precedent over plate tectonics.  One of the students is a proficient bass fisherman and has been at me endlessly to get out on the lake with him.  I did accept this challenge and was trimmed by two ounces in a lunker competition.  It would be easy for me to say that having my five year old along with five year old needs hindered my operation, but this simple contest created one fun evening and allowed me to ask him if he'd do my review for me.  One would ask, "why didn't you use the baits you won?" and I'd respond that having a five year old with me during a two hour bass challenge wouldn't allow the company & the product a fair shake.  Caleb however, could do this instantly and he made it happen one day after I gave him the product.  So without further ado, I will hand my blog over to the future generation of outdoor bloggers and here's Caleb who found a favorable result with the Craw Fatty and Pit Boss.

Caleb with a nice largemouth bass caught with the Craw Fatty by Berkley

My teacher gave me some lures that he needed to do a gear review on and after going over the packages, I picked the Pit Boss and Craw Fatty which best fit my fishing style.  I would try the other baits, but was certain that these would not produce like my choices.

I found myself on Seavey Lake on a beautiful Sunday morning, a clear sky with an air temperature around 60-75 degrees and water temperature around 59 degrees.  It would be fair to mention that this lake gets fished pretty hard but I consider this to be one of my home courts and can make things happen. 

To my surprise,  I was the only one fishing on this lake today.  In quick fashion, I loaded the boat and quickly set out to my favorite spot.  Early on, I spent the morning hoping to catch the bass on their beds with my jig rod.  After some searching, I saw a nice fish on one bed and cast a 3/8 oz. black and blue jig just past the bed. But the bass had no interest. 

Craw Fatty/Jig Combo bounced on bottom
I looked at the assortment of Berkley Havoc Baits and liked the looks of the fatty craw. This lure looks like a craw fish and is blue with bright sparkles which I quickly put on my jig as a trailer. I pitched on the bed and let it sink to bottom. Then, I bounced my rod 4 times then let it sink again. The bass quickly grabbed the jig and started to swim with it. I then yanked and reeled in a nice 2 pound 4 ounce largemouth.  

Craw Fatty by Bobby Lane offered in Black Blue Fleck
With this lure, I used pitching on trees and casting along banks two different ways. One way was to just drag it across bottom. The other way was cast it and let it sink to bottom, then do two to three bounces then let it sink, and repeat. The second option seemed to work better for it seemed to be a reaction bite.  I have just started using jigs this year, and have caught some nice fish in tournaments.  However, I also like having a good time fishing. I highly recommend the Berkley Craw Fatty lure as a jig trailer.

As the day wore on, I noticed the bass weren’t going after the jig as well as in the morning. I quickly looked through my tackle box and noticed the Pit Boss in Vampire Orange.  This cool lure has four fins where the two middle ones don't move, but the two outer fins flap. I figured this bait would be an amazing way to locate fish as a search bait. I thought to myself that I could fish this bait with a weighted hook in a channel about 7-8 feet with big drop offs from the bank. 

Pit Boss slow played and bounced on the bottom
There were weeds just on the outside of the channel so I casted the presentation just past the weeds and slow fished it like bait fish. The reeling action was at a steady pace, not too fast though. This style got a lot of reaction bites, but the catch wasn’t the size of fish I wanted.  I then decided to fish this lure slow and on bottom. The first five casts brought in a nice fish. Then, I caught 7 more nice bass as the day continued. 

I feel the Pit Boss would be a great Carolina rig and is a great lure to catch lots of fish.  In addition, it can bring in an impressive lunker.  Even though I wasn't catching large bass during the midday run, the Pit Boss allowed for quality action and kept the day exciting.

The Pit Boss played with reeling action brought in more fish, although smaller in size
The last hour I decided to go back to the jig and finish my day back on the trees. I fished the trees as hard as I could, catching only a few good ones and lots of small ones. It was now getting dark and I decided to go back to the landing and load my boat up. I am very happy with the way these lures fished. I recommend these lures very highly and I promise you that you will catch fish with the Berkley Havoc line.  I would also like to thank Mr. B for giving me a chance to try these lures and letting me write about it on his blog.

Pit Boss by Skeet Reese offered in Vampire Orange

 Editors Note:  I would like to thank Caleb for his quality effort and dedication to the task presented to him and his mother for allowing him to participate on the Downeast Duck Hunter website.  In addition, it's interesting to see how writing can be aptly fueled by something we certainly enjoy. 

I'd also like to state that neither Caleb nor I have any commercial affiliation with Pure Fishing & the Berkley Havoc Bait line, or the Outdoor Blogger Network.   The Berkley Havoc plastic baits were provided to me free from Berkley through the Outdoor Blogger Network


  1. Very Nice man! Some great looking fish! Glad that Caleb could help you out with this. If it were up to you to catch some fish, the OBN may still be waiting!!

  2. Yes, this is all very nice BUT how will they work at the secret spot upon your triumphant return?

  3. You and Trey sure have a good streak going with the OTB gear review. Of course, if I actually remembered to toss my name in the hat every week, that might help...

  4. Trey, I'm thankful I had help for he was willing to make it happen. He's pumped for another chance and is excited to do a little more writing. Maybe I should cross over to Language Arts...

    Rabid, all fishing locales become worthy once I walk on water...

    K, Trey has somehow confused being lucky with successful, the heat in Southern Georgia must be getting to him...

  5. Great job Caleb! I think the DEDH may have some competition!

  6. If the teacher becomes the student, then I've done my job PBM... He's fired up about doing more writing, I needed something after my master's degree to keep the momentum... You're right, I may have built the weapon that may beat me... thanks for swinging by, I've been sort of recluse for a variety of reasons...


  7. Oh yeah..gotta pick me up some of those critters to try!


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