Berkley’s PowerBait MaxScent Offers Many Benefits to Bass AnglersBerkley’s PowerBait MaxScent Offers Many Benefits to Bass Anglers So how is MaxScent different from regular PowerBait? Is it really better? Read on to find out!
By John Franchot
Berkley PowerBait has been around for decades. I remember the first time I fished with a 7-inch Power Worm. My friends and I were amazed by how long bass would hold onto it. We’d wait up to 20 seconds before setting the hook, and the fish always had the Power Worm in its mouth. It was a dramatically different scenario than with the unscented soft-plastic lures we had been using, and it was easy to feel the benefits.
It was the early 1990s, and the rods we were using lacked the sensitivity that we take for granted today. So, any extra time to detect a strike was a huge advantage. It made me a believer in certain scented soft-plastic lures, and Berkley PowerBait was at the top of that list. But time marches on, and PowerBait fell off my radar, even though I caught my personal best largemouth bass on a 10-inch Power Worm.
Fast forward to 2017, when Berkley released a reformulated version of PowerBait — MaxScent. This is an interesting name, since the baits don’t have much of a smell when compared to the unpleasant — at least to people — odor of original PowerBait. I’d describe MaxScent’s mild scent as “earthy.” But regardless of how we describe it, fish love it.
I recently fished two MaxScent lures and both produced great results. The first was the Creature Hawg, which is a typical creature-style bait. It’s 4 inches long with a bulky ribbed body, two claws and two smaller appendages. It’s a classic “drop bait,” perfect for flipping and pitching. I like to Texas rig it with a 4/0 Owner Riggin’ Hook and a tungsten flipping weight, choosing from ⅜- to 1-ounce models depending on the cover that I am fishing. I fished it on a 7-foot 3-inch heavy power jig rod, KastKing Assassin reel and the new U.S.-made KastPro braided line in 50-pound test.
The other MaxScent lure I fished was the Meaty Chunk. It’s a typical “big chunk” style jig trailer. I usually skewer my trailers to creatine a larger profile, but I know some anglers prefer to thread them on the hook. I added mine to a Siebert Outdoors Dredge Brush Jig in Bama Craw, a color I used to special order but is a stock color now. Its skirt is a mix of silicone and living rubber, and its green-pumpkin head nicely matches a Meaty Chunk of the same color. I fished it with the same rod, reel and line as the Creature Hawg.
There’s no mystery in how either lure should be fished. Find a flat covered with aquatic vegetation, and pitch them into openings and along edges. Where these two lures differ from other similarly shaped soft plastics is how long fish hold onto them. It has been a few years since I fished tournaments — when you don’t want to hook bass in practice, creating a better chance of catching them during the tournament, when it counts — so not setting the hook was a painful and terrifying experience. But I had to find out how long bass would hold onto them. Some bass held them so tightly that they hooked themselves while swimming away. I can’t say if I caught 45 percent more fish as the package claims, but these lures produce more bites.
MaxScent baits seem more durable than other scented soft-plastic lures that I’ve fished, though bass did rip the claws from some Creature Hawgs, which is normal when fishing this style lure.
MaxScent lures are a great choice for bass anglers who have mastered the basics and want to start using lures that demand more “feel,” such as jigs and Texas rigged soft-plastics. They also provide benefits to seasoned tournament anglers, especially on days when fishing is a grind and every trick in the book is needed to entice — and more importantly land — five good bites. Either way, it’s good to have Berkley baits back in my tackle bag!
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