Impressions: We first reported on Megabass of America's Sleeper Craw back in 2021 with an anticipated arrival in Spring of 2022. Supply chain and production issues continue to plague many companies world wide and pushed the availability of this bait to Spring of '23. Re-introduced at this past year's Classic, initial deliveries of the bait have been selling out as quickly as it arrives on store shelves.
Introducing Megabass's Sleeper Craw
They are sold individually and offered in typical plastic clamshell and cardboard packaging. The bait is made from some type of stretchy, soft plastic compound found in a lot of today's baits. It has a very realistic profile but a tall back to help conceal the hook point. The claws are actually split with the tips lightly stuck together and easily separated leaving the user to decide how they want to fish them.
The Sleeper Craw was one of my go-to baits at the
beginning of the '23 fishing and testing season helping me get bit with
a variety of rod and reel combos
Real World Tests: The Sleeper Craw was one of my go-to baits at the beginning of the '23 fishing and testing season helping me get bit with a variety of rod and reel combos so I could evaluate those products in real world conditions. Line setups were always braid to a fluorocarbon leader of about ten to twelve pound test - usually Seaguar Tatsu or Gold Label. The underlying braid has been everything from Daiwa JBraid Grand to Power Pro's Hollow Ace this season.
Just tie it on as you would a jig
Ease of Rigging : With the sleeper craw, there's no rigging per-SE. Just it on and cast or pitch it out. At five eights of an ounce (5/8oz) it's a very easy bait to present any matter of ways. It's essentially a jig, so pitching in tight to visible structure like stumps, tree trunks and docks works well as well as casting out into open flats.
The hook is concealed within the body but pops easily pops
Ease of Actuation : On the descent, the bait takes a defensive posture with the claws rising above the torso and even waving ever so subtly as it sinks. The claws will do the same if swum back to the boat with any pace on your retrieve. When hopped along the bottom, the bait behaves just like a typical jig with the claws waving up and down. You can get the claws to move about a bit if you shake your rod tip. They are very buoyant and responsive to any action you try to impart in the bait.
In fact, the entire jighead and hook are easily removed for
Position at Rest : On the bottom, the claws once again rise as the bait sits in almost identical posture to a crawdad trying to ward off would be predators. The Sleeper Craw looks very realistic - at least to human eyes - on the bottom. I add that qualification because quite often, with craw imitators, what looks real to us, is not necessarily effective with the fish.
The hook actually feels small when removed from the soft
Durability : At nearly $10 a piece, the Sleeper Craw's greatest asset is its durability. That soft plastic compound from which it is made is very similar, or the same, as the elastic-ish soft plastic material popularized by Z-Man. It is very flexible, sometimes too flexible. There have been several occasions, after removing the bait from a fish's mouth where the body of the bait has somehow gone through the hook and the bait just doesn't look right.
The bait's jighead is molded to better fit and reinforce the
soft plastic body