If you are like me, walking into any tackle shop to pick up a few packs of baits is pretty much over. Once you walk through the door, you are greeted by the familiar aroma of garlic that would make any Italian restaurant pale in comparison. Bags of soft plastics in any shape, size and color that you could imagine fill every corner of the store. Minutes turn into hours as we open each bag, scrutinizing what lies inside in the way a master jeweler would examine the most precious of diamonds. Finally, after ignoring the multiple phone calls from the wife wondering if you plan on coming home before the kids graduate college, you find it. Once it touches your hand, you know that this is what you have been looking for. To the average person, it might look like any one of hundreds of plastics out there, but to you, it’s a work of art. This is how I felt the first time I held the new Raptor Tail Craw from Xcite Baits.
The Raptor Tail Craw is a much needed breath of fresh air back into the creature style baits market. The first thing that sparks you attention when you hold it in your hands for the first time is how soft this bait is. With a body profile that is a perfect 4.25” in length, the Raptor Tail Craw will hold any 5/0 extra wide gap hook with ease. The craw section of the bait produces an obscene amount of action when the bait is in motion. Unlike the majority of creature style baits that are on the market these days, the Raptor Tail Craw is injected without salt. This allows the claws to rise up when the bait is paused and also attributes to the softness of the body.
One of the problems that I have found with fishing a lot of the creature baits that are out there today is that you are limited in how you can fish them. For flipping and pitching, there isn’t a lot of difference in the baits, but beyond that is where most of them fall short. This is not the case with the Raptor Tail Craw. For flipping and pitching, it is the perfect bait. It goes through any kind of cover with ease, and with the soft body, there are no concerns about the hook penetrating the bait. But unlike other creature baits, the Raptor Tail is not a one-dimensional bait. As the business end of a Carolina Rig, it is lethal – paired with an Xcite Baits X-Lock jig head, you are now entering into the world of “power shaky head” fishing as Aaron Martin pointed out. Dress any jig with it, and you have one mean combination. This bait is truly limited only to the angler’s imagination.
Now, I can sit here and list all of the reasons why this bait is the greatest thing smoking and try to convince you with a bunch of big words to run out and buy every one that you can get your hands on, but if you are like me, it takes more than that. As they say in the great state of Missouri, “show me!” How about 2 Texas Share Lunkers over 13 lbs, numerous documented trophy bass and countless tournament wins in just less than four months that it’s been on the market.
The Raptor Tail Craw currently comes in 7 varieties of colors: Watermelon Red, Green Pumpkin Red, Junebug, Black Neon, White Lightning, Sprayed Grass and Molten Craw and is absolutely saturated in Xcite Baits trademark scent. Fortunately for us, the current version of the Craw is the first in a series of 3 that will be available. Soon to come will be a chunk-style version and a smaller flipping style variation of the Raptor Tail Craw.
As tournament anglers, once we find a bait or presentation that we have total confidence in; we will stick with it for all it’s worth. Being fortunate enough to find one particular bait that will provide the versatility that you need to be successful and still maintain that confidence is not only rare, but a puzzle that most don’t find the answer to. With the Raptor Tail Craw, you have that and more. This is where I am supposed to tell you that if you don’t have a box full of these in your boat you would be crazy and you will never catch another fish if you don’t, but we know that isn’t true. What I can tell you, though, is that if you want to increase the amount of fish that you catch, have a better chance to upgrade on the size of fish, and give yourself a weapon that you can count on day in and day out, then you do need a boatload of the Raptor Tail Craw; that is, unless you fish the same trails that I do…….!