Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

First Look: Gene Larew Punch Out Craw

This versatile soft plastic works excellently for a variety of techniques. It has a great action and holds up quite well to multiple fish catches.

Since it was announced at ICAST, I’ve been hearing a lot about this new Punch Out Craw from Gene Larew. Several of my fishing buddies have been using it with a great deal of success and they were most impressed by its versatility in a number of different situations. So naturally, I had to get my hands on a few packs to see if this bait lived up to all of the hype. 

After using it extensively for the past several months and catching lots of nice bass with it, I’ve developed a lot of confidence in this bait. If you’re looking to simplify your soft plastic selection, I think it’s worth careful consideration. 

Versatility matters

Like most anglers out there, I’m guilty of carrying far too many soft plastics in my boat. I’m on a mission this year to simplify my collection and the Gene Larew Punch Out Craw is going to be a big help. It’s a great choice for several different techniques. 

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

It has been a major producer for me when pitching and flipping. It comes out of the package with the claws and middle spear connected, which is an effective profile when punching through thick cover. You don’t have to constantly shake your rod tip to make the bait fall through—this streamlined profile gets it through tiny holes with no problems at all. I’ve also had some success pitching to vertical cover such as dock posts, as the bait glides really nicely when the appendages are all connected. 

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

When the claws are separated, the Punch Out Craw has a beautiful action underwater. You can thread it on a swim jig or bladed jig and the flanges on the claws allow them to kick wildly regardless of retrieve speed. At rest on the bottom, the buoyant claws float nicely, imitating the defensive posture of a crawfish. This makes it a good choice trailer choice for flipping and football jigs, as well. 

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

If the fish are exceptionally finicky, you can actually remove both claws, leaving just the body and the spear. It doesn’t look like much at first, but it’ll dart and dash from side to side with even the slightest pop of the rod tip. It looks a lot like a juvenile bluegill, which is a favorite food for big bass. If you happen to get some of these Punch Out Craws, make sure you try this when the bite gets tough. 

Durability will not be an issue

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

I have been thoroughly impressed by the durability of this bait. Throughout my testing, it has been nothing for me to catch upwards of five or six bass on a single Punch Out Craw. 

The claws remain intact quite well, even when you’re fishing around pesky bluegill. The body of the bait hides a large hook nicely and withstands several fish catches, as well as repeated skip casts underneath cover. 

Great looking colors

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

The color selection of the Punch Out Craw isn’t increidbly vast, but it hits the “must-have” colors right on the nose. You’ll have 10 colors to choose from on Tackle Warehouse and regardless of your location or local forage, you’ll find a few colors that will work great on your home waters.

When the water is stained, I like their Black Blue, Black Neon and Bama Bug colors. If I’m fishing relatively clear water, I’ve had a lot of succes with Mad Bluegill, Sooner Run and Sooner Magic. 

I’ve noticed that the color consistency is great, as well. All of the Punch Out Craws in each  package look the same—there’s no discrepencies. I haven’t needed to dig through a bag to find one particular bait that has the right combination of color. 

Final impressions

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

This bait catches bass and it works for lots of different techniques and scenarios. If you’re looking to simplify things for yourself this year, take a close look at the Punch Out Craws. I’ve really enjoyed fishing with them. 

The Gene Larew Punch Out Craw is available at TackleWarehouse.com


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