November 06, 2019
By Ned Kehde
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a small soft-plastic crayfish began to play a role in the repertoire of the forefathers of Midwest finesse fishing. It actually began in 1977 when Dion Hibdon created one for his school’s science project in Versailles, Missouri.
Ultimately, that creation became the Guido Bug.
Dion’s father, the late and great Guido Hibdon, bedecked a brown-skirted jig with a brown Guido Bug with reddish pinchers to catch 51.2 pounds of largemouth bass and win the Bassmaster’s Missouri Invitational/West tournament at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, on April 15-17, 1981.
Until Guido won that event, the Hibdons had kept the Guido Bug sub rosa. When anglers became aware of the Guido Bug’s effectiveness, they wanted to purchase them. Thus, the Hibdon family, with the aid of Guido’s brother-in-law Virgil Conner, handcrafted thousands of Guido Bugs for other anglers to buy and use.
Since 1981, every time a new soft-plastic crayfish has been created, it has caught the attention of many devotees of Midwest finesse fishing. Thus, when Lunkerhunt of Toronto, Ontario, recently introduced its new Finesse Craw to the angling world, it immediately caught our eyes. We contacted the folks at Lunkerhunt, and Ronan Duckenfield sent us several of them to work with and thoroughly describe.
Here is what we discovered about the Finesse Craw.
From the tip of its abdomen to the tips of its chelips, it is 3 1/16 inches long.
Its abdomen is thirteen-sixteenths of an inch long. As the abdomen stretches from its junction with the cephalothorax to its tip, the dimensions of its width and circumference decrease. Its dorsal area is endowed with four tergums or segments, and it is convex. The first tergum, which is situated at the junction of the abdomen and the cephalothorax, is a half of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/2 inches. The fourth tergum, which is situated at the tip of the abdomen, is three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 3/16 inches.
The Finesse Craw is devoid of a fin tail. Instead, the tip of the abdomen at the fourth tergum is flat. It possesses a cylinder shape and a diameter of three-eighths of an inch. In the center of this flat end, there is a small cavity, which is where Midwest finesse anglers will insert the hook and collar of a mushroom-style jig.
The abdomen’s ventral area is slightly convex, but it also possesses somewhat of a flat demeanor. Its epidermis is smooth.
The cephalothorax consists of the cephalic (or head) region and the thoracic. It is 1 1/8 inches long. The cephalothorax carapace is engraved with a cervical groove. At its widest spot, the cephalothorax is a half of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/2 inches. Its dorsal area, which includes the carapace, is convex. Except for the cervical groove, its epidermis is smooth.
The ventral area of the cephalothorax possesses a smooth epidermis. Like its abdomen’s ventral area, the cephalothorax ventral area is slightly convex, but it also possesses somewhat of a flat demeanor.
Extending from each side of the front portion of the cephalothorax is a large walking leg that is endowed with a cheliped, which most anglers describe as a claw. This leg and cheliped is 1 13/16 of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch wide at its widest spot. The leg and cheliped are flat and thin.
Two long antennae radiate from under the head. They are 1 3/16 inches long and endowed with scores of miniature segments. The head is graced with a rostrum and two small eyes.
In essence, the Finesse Craw is an abstract rendition of a real crayfish. It possesses more anatomical features of a crayfish than the Hibdons’ Guido Bug. And if Guido Hibdon were still alive and fishing, we are guessing that he would be impressed with the size and subtleness of the Finesse Craw.
It is manufactured in the following hues; Bama Craw, Black Blue Fleck, Green Pumpkin, Okeechobee Craw, Watermelon Red, and Watermelon Seed.
The Finesse Craw is not impregnated with salt and scent, which is a virtue in the minds of many Midwest finesse anglers.
It is exceptionally buoyant. And its buoyancy and its relatively flat ventral areas will enhance its gliding motif, which is an attribute that Midwest finesse anglers adore – especially when they employ their swim-glide-and-shake presentation. When it is affixed to a small mushroom-style jig, anglers will be able to employ the Lunkerhunt’s Finesse Craw with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves and assorted variations of those retrieves.