After Dion Hibdon created a soft-plastic crayfish for his school's science project in 1977, it slowly began to play a role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers. Eventually, this soft-plastic crayfish was named the Guido Bug in honor of Dion's father, the late and great Guido Hibdon. For years on end, the Hibdons handmade thousands of three- and 3 3/4-inch Guido Bugs, and Guido used them during his stellar career as a tournament angler, a fishing guide, and a recreational angler. Ultimately, Guido taught us how to rig the three-incher on a lightweight jig, wield it on spinning tackle with light line, and inveigle an impressive array of black bass.
Because of this grand crayfish tradition, a veteran Midwest finesse angler alerted us to the fact that we needed to publish a gear guide about 412 Bait Company's 2 3/4-inch Small Jaw Craw, and we agreed.
Like the Hibdon's Guido Bug, the Small Jaw Craw is an abstract rendition of a real crayfish. In fact, it seems to be an impossible and unnecessary task for soft-plastic bait manufacturers to make a soft-plastic crayfish that possesses all of the subtle and tiny anatomical features of a real crayfish.
Because of the Small Jaw Craw's inordinately large chelipeds or claws, they are in some anglers' eyes more of a beaver-style bait than the traditional crayfish-style bait that the Hibdons originally created. On a real crayfish, anatomists refer to the chelipeds as the first of the crayfish's five walking legs. In other words, they are legs that are capped with a claw. The Small Jaw Craw's claws are not attached to slender and round legs. Anglers who use the Small Jaw Craw note that its large and flat claws, which are embellished with a ridge or rim along and at the end of each claw, allows the Small Jaw Craw to glide rather alluringly as it is been retrieved. And the ridges or rims provoke the claws to quiver and undulate.
The Small Jaw Craw's cephalic grove, rostrum, and carapace section of its cephalothorax somewhat resembles the anatomy of a real crayfish.
Extending from the side of its cephalothorax and under the rostrum and in front of its claws, there are two short and stubby appendages, which do not resemble the antennules and antennae of a real crayfish. In other words, it is devoid of the long and wispy antennae and antennules that radiated off of the tip of a real crayfish's cephalothorax.
On each side of the Small Jaw Craw's cephalothorax, it is endowed with two short legs, which are jointed. Therefore, since its chelipeds or claws are devoid of legs, it possesses only two walking legs rather than the five that a real crayfish has.
Its abdomen is cylinder shaped, which is similar to the shape of a stick-style or Senko-style soft-plastic bait, rather than the semi-circle shape of the abdomen of a real crayfish. The Small Jaw Craw's abdomen possesses seven segments, and a real crayfish's abdomen possesses six segments. The Small Jaw Craw's abdomen is devoid of the swimmerets that grace the underside of a real crayfish's abdomen.
Rather than possessing the fan-shaped tail of a real crayfish, the tip of the Small Jaw Craw's abdomen has the shape of a dome, which facilitates the rigging of the hook and collar of a jig to the Small Jaw Craw's abdomen.
It is available in the following colors: Baby Bass, Black/Blue, Cold Steel, Cooperhead, Dreamsicle,Filthy Pumpkin, Frog Belly, Green Pumpkin/Black, Green Pumpkin Special, Greensicle, Illusion, June Bug, KAWPA Exclusive, PA Blue Craw, Pearl White, Poppin Purple, Pumpkin Fireseed, River Raider, Salt & Pepper, SOTY, Tennessee Smoke, and Watermelon/Red.
They are impregnated with a scent.
A package of eight costs $5.98.
The folks at 412 Bait Company recommend affixing it as a trailer to a skirted jig, which is one of the ways that the Hibdons used to employ their Guido Bug. But they also taught us how to use it on a small jig that is devoid of a skirt. During these days, Midwest finesse anglers will affix the 2 3/4-inch Small Jaw Craw to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook, and they will present it to their black bass quarries by executing the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves or subtle variations of those retrieves.
In the future, we hope to publish gears guides about the other soft-plastic finesse baits that 412 Bait Company manufactures.
(1) Here is a link to 412 Bait Company's website: http://412baitco-com.3dcartstores.com/About-Us_ep_7.html.
Hers is another link that features all of its baits: https://www.fishingonline.com/collections/412-bait-co.
(2) Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column about Guido Hibdon: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-fishing-and-family-life-of-guido-hibdon/#ixzz5GM5x4KUz.
(3) Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column that describes how to execute the six Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.