Missile Baits's Missile Craw is a staple in the arsenal
of many tournament anglers
Impressions: Missile Baits's Missile Craw is a really interesting take on the crawdad bait. It has a tapered body almost like a half, elliptical cylinder with a hollowed out underside to facilitate rigging and two very slender, teardrop shaped claws extending out from one end of the bait. Between those claws, the bait's body extends into a point forming a single antennae. This bait definitely
leans on the side of not-realistic and prefers to blur the lines between
The Missile Craw is designed as a flipping/pitching bait
but is great as a jig trailer too
Real World Tests: Of course, more often than not, when it comes to craw-style baits, the unrealistic baits are often the best ones! The Missile Craw is designed as a flipping bait - an intent that's easy to see given the bait's compact profile. I rigged it up on a 3/0 Gamakatsu Finesse Heavy Cover hook with a pegged weight and Sunline FX2 braided line to see what this bait was about.
It has a very slender, hydrodynamic shape
Needless to say, really, given the bait's slender profile, it's a really easy bait to pitch in and around tight spaces provided your aim is on target. Even if it's not, thanks to the bait's hydrodynamic shape and small claws, it doesn't get chewed up, or torn apart when you rub it against the inevitable dock piling, rock, or tule stalk.
The Missile Craw holds up really well pitched into, on top of, and through these obstacles. Additionally, as designed, thanks to that pocket on the back side of the bait, there's very little plastic for the hook to work through when you swing to set, so you don't miss many fish with this bait either.
The underside has a nice, wide channel to facilitate hook
Given the bait's unique shape, what I was interested in discovering were other uses for this bait. I mean, how convenient would it be to find a bait that you could flip and pitch with, but then turn around, and nose hook it onto a drop shot hook and drop it down on six pound test line to see if you can entice a bite that way too?
Rigged on a 3/0 Gamakatsu Finesse Heavy Cover hook
The size of most flipping baits alone would preclude this experiment, but somehow, the Missile Craw was screaming drop shot bait to me so I tried it. Wouldn't you know? On my very first cast with this experimental rig, I caught a fish and then a second one a few casts later. The missile craw is very versatile indeed.
The tear drop shaped claws hold up well to repeated pitches
into, through, and on top of visible structure
Design & Ergonomics: The Missile Craw is available in 10 different colors and comes in a re-sealable bag of eight (8) baits. There's a convenient notch in the bag to rip the bag open, but if you simply go to the very top of the bag, you'll find it's already split at the top and you can open the ziplock from there. Missile Baits does not advertise on their packaging that the product contains any fish attracting scents, but there is some oil in the package that has a scent to it.
But wait, fished as a drop shot bait?
Price & Applications: Each package of 8 Missile Craws retails for $3.99 for a per bait cost of fifty cents ($0.50). A very good price for such a versatile and effective little bait. Once again, the Missile Craw is effective uses in the purpose for which it was designed as a flipping bait, but we had success using it as a jig trailer and drop shot bait in addition to a pitching bait.
Rigged on a #2 Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hook
There are so many
ways to fish the Missile Craw that it is no surprise that over the last
few seasons it has become a favorite among tournament anglers. The
ability to trigger strikes from bass feeding on both worms and crawfish
with a single bait makes this such a useful option when fish are in
transition, and the ability to fish it both on the bottom or suspended
only adds the bait's versatility.