A three-inch soft-plastic creature bait will invariably catch the eyes of scores of Midwest finesse anglers. And when Berkley reintroduced their three-inch Pit Boss Jr to the angling world at the 2018 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, we were immediately notified by a veteran Midwest finesse angler who said we needed to publish a gear guide about it.
Originally, it was part of their Havoc series, which they introduced to the angling world in 2011. Now it is part of their PowerBait series.
Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, played a major role in designing it. He is a successful professional bass angler who currently competes on the Major League Fishing circuit.
He designed it to replicate some of the features of a bait fish and crayfish. In the eyes of some Midwest finesse anglers, it possesses some of the characteristics of YUM’s long-gone two-inch Wooly Beavertail, which was one of their go-to soft-plastic baits in 2005 and 2006. Thus, some of these old-timers are apt to describe the Pit Boss Jr as a beavertail-style bait.
Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Pure Fishing’s media and public relations manager, sent us a package to work with and examine.
From the end of its posterior section to the tips of its two willow-leaf appendages, our measurements revealed that it is 3 3/8 inches long.
Its torso, including its tiny head and tail, possesses somewhat of an elliptical shape, and it is relatively thin or flat. It is 1 7/8 inches long. Its sides have a thickness of three-eighths of an inch. The folks at Berkley say that the torso has a streamlined motif.
The dimensions of the torso diminish as they approach its tail and head. The torso’s widest spot is situated at the junction of the posterior and anterior sections, exhibiting a width of about nine-sixteenths inches and a circumference of about 1 5/8 inches, and this area is about 1 1/8 inches from the tip of its tail.
Its tail is somewhat domed shaped, and at it most robust area, it has a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches and a width of about a quarter of an inch. At the tip of its head, it has a width of about five-sixteenths of an inch, and it is moderately flat and thin.
The dorsal area of the torso’s posterior section is embellished with seven prominent segments.
The dorsal area of its anterior section is graced with an indentation that is about nine-sixteenths of an inch long and one-eighth of an inch wide. The dent is adorn with four small ribs. This area is where Reese and his fellow power anglers affix the point of a Texas-rigged hook. A small portion of this indentation encroaches onto the head.
The torso’s ventral area possesses an indentation that is 1 5/16 inches long and about a half of an inch wide at its widest spot. This dent is endowed with a series of 10 significant ribs, which are divided by a hook slot, and this hook slot is 1 3/16 inches long and about one eighth of an inch wide. The biggest rib, which is 1 1/2 inches from the tip of the tail, has the dimensions of one-eighths of an inch by a quarter of an inch. The smallest rib is the last one on the anterior section, and it is one-sixteenth of an inch by one eighth of an inch. (According to Reese, these ribs were designed to displace water and provoke the torso and its appendages to gyrate alluringly.) The final half of an inch of this ventral area has a smooth epidermis, and a portion of this area consists of its tail.
Two flat, thin, and willow-leaf appendages radiate from the tip of the head. They are 1 1/2 inches long and five-sixteenths of an inch wide at the widest spot. The epidermis of the dorsal area of these appendages is slightly embossed with eight minor ridges or ribs. The epidermis of the ventral area of these appendages is virtually smooth except for the word Berkley that is embossed on one of the appendages.
A sickle-shaped appendage extends from each side of the head. Like the willow-leaf ones, they are flat and thin. They are about 1 3/8 inches long and five-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot. The epidermis of both of these appendages is smooth.
Reese says these four appendage were designed so they would undulate and flutter more alluringly than all of the other soft-plastic crayfish, crayfish-creature, and beaver-style baits known to mankind. At times, he even employs it as a swimbait on a jig. He contends that there is no wrong way to wield it. But he primarily employs it affixed to a large offset hook with a 3/16-ounce and larger slip sinker, and then he flips, pitches, and punches with it.
Midwest finesse anglers do not need to flip, pitch, and punch to catch largemouth bass. Instead, they dissect areas that the flippers, pitchers, and punchers do not tread. These areas are sometimes described as “nothing-looking lairs,” and they are usually devoid of stickups, laydowns, flooded trees, brushpiles, emergent vegetation, and similar objects. And if and when Midwest finesse anglers cross paths with the objects that power anglers adore, they usually bypass them or fish gingerly around them. Consequently, Midwest finesse anglers will rig the Pit Boss Jr on a 1/20-, 1/16-, or 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook. They will wield it on spinning tackle that is spooled with relatively light line. And they will present it to the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass by employing these six standard Midwest finesse retrieves and slight variations of those retrieves.
It is manufactured in the following colors: Bama Bug, Big Texan, Black Blue, Blue Shiner Gold, California, Green Haze, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Green, Green Pumpkin Green and Purple, Green Pumpkin Purple, June Bug, Molting Craw, Okeechobee Craw, Perfection, Perfection Blue Fleck, Purple Grass, Purple Pumpkin Red, Skeet's Chartreuse Shad, Skeet's Ghost Minnow, Skeet's Green Money, Skeet's Hot Craw, Skywalker, Summer Craw, Watermelon, and Watermelon Orange Fleck.
It is permeated with Berkley’s exclusive PowerBait formula, which is a scent that is said to provoke a black bass to hold on to a soft-plastic PowerBait 18 times longer that it will hold on to a standard soft plastic bait.
It is very buoyant, which is an attribute that most Midwest finesse angler laud.
A package of 10 cost $3.99.Endnotes
- Here a link to Berkley’s website: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/berkley-bait-soft-bait-berkley-powerbait/powerbait-pit-boss/1454427.html#prefn1=ZZBSHPTXT&prefv1=Craws%25257CCreatures&start=15.
- Here is a link to Skeet Reese’s July 12, 2018, YouTube about the Pit Boss Jr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCICVFy10TY.
- For more information about the scents that Berkley employs, see Steve Quinn’s insights in his article entitled “Berkley Takes New Soft Baits To The Max.” Here is the link to Quinn’s article: http://www.bassfan.com/reviews_article.asp?id=257#.W6ew8PlRcdU#ixzz5RwIGYBHT.
- Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that describes how Midwest finesse anglers will retrieve the Pitt Boss Jr that is affixed to a small mushroom-style jig: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.