We have noted many times that a soft-plastic crayfish began playing a significant role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers shortly after Dion Hibdon of Versailles, Missouri, crafted the first one for his school’s science project in 1977. Then it was during the late 1970s and early 1980s that Dion’s family began crafting them, calling them Guido Bugs.
Since then, the tackle industry has manufactured scores of soft-plastic crayfish. And recently YUM created one for Midwest finesse anglers, which they call a Ned Craw. It is a more realistic soft-plastic crayfish than the very abstract one that Dion handcrafted 42 years ago.
From a historical perspective, it is interesting to note that there were several years during the first decade of the 21st century that YUM’s two-inch Wooly Beavertail, three-inch Dinger, and 4 3/4-inch Houdini Worm were Midwest finesse standard-bearers. Now there is a YUM’s renaissance beginning to unfold, and YUM’s Ned Craw, Ned Dinger, and Ned Minnow are catching the eyes of scores of Midwest finesse devotees.
We contacted Chad Warner of Fort Smith, Arkansas, who is the brand manager for BOOYAH Bait Co., YUM and Bandit Lures, and asked him about the recent goings on. And he sent us some samples of the Ned Craw to work with, thoroughly examine, and write a gear guide that describes its features and how Midwest finesse anglers can inveigle largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass with it.
Here is what we discovered about the Ned Craw:
It is 3 1/2 inches long.
The dorsal cephalothorax, abdomen, and telson are convex. The ventral portions of these body parts are relatively flat. The dorsal and ventral portions of its four uropods are flat.
The cephalothorax consists of the cephalic, which is the head, and the thorax. It is fifteen-sixteenths of an inch long.
At the junction of the thorax and cephalic, it is about five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about one inch. It is adorned with two eyes. Branching out from each side of the cephalic is an antenna that is nine-sixteenths of an inch long. It is devoid of antennule and feeding appendages of a real crayfish. The epidermis of the cephalic’s dorsal and ventral areas is silky smooth.
The thorax is five-eighths of an inch long. At its widest spot, it has a width of three-eighths of an inch and a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches.
Radiating from each side of the thorax is a cheliped and four walking legs.
The cheliped is about 1 3/8 inches long. It is endowed with a claw, which is seven-eighths of an inch long with a width of five-sixteenths of an inch at its widest spot. The epidermis is smooth.
The four legs are a half of an inch long and very dainty. The tips of each leg are graced with tiny V-shaped forks. The epidermis of these legs is smooth.
The thorax’s dorsal area is endowed with the carapace and a cephalic groove. Its ventral area has five segments that correspond to its cheliped and four walking legs.
The Ned Craw’s abdomen is three-eighths of an inch long. Both of the outside edges of the abdomen's ventral are adorned with five abstract versions of a crayfish’s swimmerets. Its dorsal is dressed with four abstract versions of a crayfish’s tergums.
At the junction of the abdomen and the tail, the Ned Craw’s abdomen has a width of five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches.
The tail is a half of an inch long with a width of eleven-sixteenths of an inch at its widest spot. It is adorned with a telson and four uropods. It possesses somewhat of a fan or triangular shape. The uropods are thin and flat. The dorsal portion of the telson is convex, and its ventral is flat. The telson has a semi-cylinder shape. The telson is three-sixteenths of an inch high and about a quarter of an inch wide, and it is where a Midwest finesse angler will insert the hook and collar of a small mushroom-style jig.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Amber Green Flake, Brown Orange, Brown Orange Flake, Dark Brown Red Brown, Green Pumpkin Red, PB Jam, Soft Green Pumpkin, and Watermelon Red Flake.
It is not impregnated with salt, but it is infused with “a blend of enzymes and natural attractants.”
It is very buoyant. The combination of its buoyancy and its relatively flat ventral will accentuate the gliding motif when Midwest finesse anglers employ the swim-glide-and-shake presentation.
- Here is a link to the Lurenet website: https://www.lurenet.com/yum-ned-craw.
- Here is a link to our Midwest Finesse gear guide about YUM’s Ned Dinger: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/yums-ned-dinger/367558.
- Midwest finesses anglers will employ the Ned Craw with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column that explains how to execute those retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.