July 20, 2016
There are several Midwest finesse anglers who are constantly in search for soft-plastic creature baits that they can affix to a small mushroom-style jig. And in late March one of those anglers alerted the Finesse News Network to Zoom Bait Company's new Z Craw Jr.
It is a 3.5-inch beaver-style bait and a downsized replica of Zoom's five-inch Z Craw.
Its torso is graced with 15 ribs, which Zoom describes as being forward-facing ribs. The tail end of its torso is flat and button-like. Its back is flat and endowed with a hook slot that begins at the second rib and ends at the eighth one.
Its head is small and cone-shaped. A large appendage, which Zoom calls a paddle-tipped claw, radiate from each side of its head. And two thin and cylinder-shaped antennas branch out from the tip of its nose.
Midwest finesse anglers do a lot of trimming and customizing on soft-plastic baits that are longer than three inches, and it is likely that they will trim as much as a half of an inch off of the tail of the Z Craw Jr. before they affix it to a mushroom-style jig.
It is impregnated with salt. It is manufactured in the following hues: Black Flash, Black Light, Black Sapphire, California 420, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Flash, Junebug, Late Nite Gold, Rootbeer Pepper Green, Sapphire Blue, Watermelon Red, Watermelon Seed, and White Pearl.
Anglers can purchase a package of eight for $3.99.
(1) In the lexicon of many bass anglers, the Z Craw Jr. is regularly called a punch-bait, which is used to penetrate thick aquatic vegetation, and it is rigged Texas-style on a 3/0 to 5/0 hook and weighted with a one- to two-ounce slip sinker. Besides employing it as a punch bait, Zoom says it works well as a trailer on a skirted jig and a Z-Man's Chatterbait. Anglers can also affix it to a Gene Larew Lure Company's HardHead. Of course, punching and those other rigs are not Midwest finesse motifs. For the retrieves that Midwest finesse anglers will employ with the Z Craw Jr. rigged on a small mushroom-style jig, please see the story at this link: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.
(2) We once thought that a finesse-size jika rig would become a popular tool with Midwest finesse anglers, but it has not happened. Zoom's Z Craw Jr., however, might work on a finesse-size jika rig. For insights on the jika rig, please see the Midwest column at this link: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/stacey-the-jika-rig-king/.