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Lure Review

Creature Fever: Causing Havoc with the Berkley Hawk Hawg (continued)

Retrieving:   Though these baits are not ultra soft, they are not overly stiff or lifeless and produce good action underwater.  The rear tails kick willingly, and the large flaps pulsate enticingly when the line is tugged.  Working the bait similar to a jig or your standard plastic worm will produce results, with water temperature and technique dictating your retrieve, of course.  Dragging the bait over rocks and through wood tree limbs on the bottom was a favorite method, as the ribbed body can be envisioned vibrating and thumping this hard cover as you pull it by.  Since this bait isn't extremely bulky, it sinks quickly with a modest weight and will slip in and out of cover easily.

The large rear flaps provide both added body and action.

The dual sets of wings allow the Hawk Hawg to glide a bit, most noticeably on a Carolina rig.  Since the bait is not impeded by a sinker directly on top of it, it's freed up more to do it's thing.  On a side note, it would be really neat to see even larger wings added to this bait.  One can think this would enable to bait to glide even more willingly.   

Price & Applications:  Berkley products generally give you a pretty good bang for the buck, and these are no exception.  While the MSRP is listed at $3.49 for a bag of 8, we found the Hawk Hawgs as cheap as $3.00 a bag.  While not ultra high end plastics, they fish well and the baits in all of our test packs were free of defects.  They are a good value and allow you to stock up with a minimal financial burden.

When Texas rigging, be sure to stick the hook point into the main body beneath the ribs.

 As previously mentioned, there are several applications these baits serve.  Flipping, pitching, punching, and Carolina rigging all immediately come to mind.  These are not baits you will have to put away at certain times of the year.  You can certainly have one on deck at all times and expect to catch a fish with it.  Alter your colors and retrieves based on conditions, and they will appeal to Bass all year long.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Berkley Havoc Hawk Hawg Plastic Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very nice quality with no noticeable defects.  Colors were clean and accurate. 8
Performance The baits produced good action underwater.  8
Price An excellent value for the money considering the cost of some other plastics on the market. 9
Features Pro angler designed features give these baits several triggers to coax fish into biting. 8
Design (Ergonomics) The thin design allows the bait to slip in and out of cover easily and the contours of the bait make it feel more lifelike to a fish. 8
Application Pretty good versatility, but not the crazy versatility of say, a Senko type bait.  Don't overlook these for use as a jig trailer too. 6.8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Good action - Only available in 1 size
+ Versatile enough for use with several techniques in many different environments - Not infused with any salt
+ Lots of colors to choose from  
+ Excellent pricing  
+ Durable  


A solid chunk caught on a solo pond hopping mission one evening.

Conclusion: The Berkley Havoc Hawk Hawg is a strong contender in the creature bait market.  While there is undeniably some overlap in bait design between companies within the segment, a mixture of different features and characteristics help make this bait unique.  With a lifelike texture and action, this is a bait that will be productive whether your Bass fishing ventures take you shallow or deep.  Berkley continues to be a giant in the fishing industry, and the Havoc Hawk Hawg is yet another attractive addition to their already enormous lineup of baits.


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