With so many inland waters being invaded by invasive aquatic plants such as the hyacinth, Kariba weed and now also water lettuce, not only bass anglers but indeed all artlure anglers are finding it increasingly difficult to fish baits through the dense matted vegetation. This has given rise to another take on ‘power fishing’ in dense cover using craw-style baits in combination with an underspin spinnerbait.  These baits have a great action and are available in several colours and sizes.  

Intended to be used as search bait, fish the craw-combo like a spinnerbait over shallow grass beds. Use an 1/8oz for ultra-shallow water and a 1/4oz version for targeting deeper water in the 2-4ft range. The advantage over a normal, undressed spinnerbait is that the entire rig is extremely weedless and can be ‘helicoptered’ into holes in the vegetation to target fish that are holding tight to the cover.

In the U.S. Florida anglers have been fishing it in a similar manner utilizing southern style swim jigs that pairs a conventional swim jig with a spinnerbait blade attached to the hook. They reckon that this craw combo navigates denser cover with greater ease.

For a reaction-bite presentation use high contrast baits such as white and silver, and when fish become finicky switch to natural shades of watermelon and green pumpkin. The craw combo can easily double as a swim jig, and colour will largely be dependent on matching the predominant baitfish in a body of water, but in most local bass waters white, black and Tilapia imitations will in all probability deliver consistent bites.  


In such heavy cover a 7’ MH spinnerbait setup with 15-20lb line is regarded as a norm. Upscaling too much however is not recommended as it could result in bending open the lighter gauge hooks used on the underspin.  

Craw-type baits are available from various brands in many sizes and colours.

Selecting a craw:

Bulky craw baits are available from several brands and are all great power fishing presentations with large flapping claws that will run higher in the water column due to the increased drag they create. For a more compact profile and a faster or deeper presentation just scale scale down to a smaller model. 

But the inescapable fact is that when fishing in such dense, heavy cover, the risk of hanging up and/or breaking off is always present. This tactic certainly places stressful pressure on perserverance and patience, but the size and number of bass caught provides more than sufficient compensation!

Rigging a craw is simple: center the spring, screw on the craw and skin hook the bait.

Editor’s Rant

*There is  absolutely no excuse for the various government departments tasked with the maintenance, conservation and utilisation of the country’s inland waterways, for their delinquency in controlling and eradicating the horrific invasions of aquatic alien invaders!

The latest digital edition of THE BANK ANGLER / DIE OEWERHENGELAAR is now available!

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