Bass fishing is back! Pre-spawn is upon us. For me, there’s something great about dragging a creature bait this time of year – It feels more personal, closer range, natural, you get the idea. So far, i’ve enjoyed throwing the Reaction Innovation Sweet Beaver for a number of reasons, one being it seems to work on our NorCal bass!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thrown creature baits in the past -structure bugs, brush hogs, zoom and rage craws, but never settled on a winner. There’s always a gap between wild, flailing action and not enough action. The Sweet Beaver gives you a middle range and still maintains a natural appearance. This lure is a killer!
Other reasons include;
Sweet Beaver Action
Northern California is challenging. Due to our microclimates, some lakes may hold active fish, while other lakes minutes away may hold sluggish ones.
It’s at this point that the Reaction Innovation Sweet Beaver takes the lead and bags those fish in the middle while providing the option to crank up the action for those just beginning to move.
Each soft plastic has a pair of large, center appendages that are attached to one another, giving you the option of separating them to allow greater, flailing action.
I’ll hit the water with a lipless crank and cover the area quickly. If no bites are detected, I’ll move right to a beaver and leave the appendages connected for a short while and commit to slow drag with intermittent dead sticks. As a creature bait, this thing looks amazing crawling along the bottom with a 3/8 oz weight.
I prefer a Texas rig only because I’m used to it, but a Carolina rig works great for springtime crawling as well. Whether you are bass is fishing in a pond, heavy cover, or reservoir, the sweet beaver applies.
After I’ve experimented with different weight/drop speeds, I’ll separate the front appendages and get those pinchers flailing. Having the option of using less action on lighter weight is perfect for sticking that stubborn bass.
Giving it pop, and with its swinging front pincers, you’ll get a versatile range unlike other soft plastics with a realistic “pinching movement.”
Also, the action is unrivaled, particularly on a hop-hop-pause retrieve. The lure transitions well from still to motion and maintains a natural, bug-like, bottom-dwelling morsel – perfect for dragging across spawning beds.
The action also refrains from the wacky-waving (almost ribbon tail) action of the Rage Craw, which can be great when the fish want it, of course. But the Sweet Beaver is a solid middle-action lure for early spring and one of my top bass fishing lures as of now.
Sweet Beaver colors come in the form of “Big Texan,” Dirty Sanchez ( a vibrant green with dark specs), and of course, “Pumpkin Green,” and a ton of others with attitude in the name! Where I fish, it’s difficult to get away from vegetation, so I’m a huge advocate for green variations and a slow fall to the bottom.
If your bass is keyed in on bluegill, I recommend the colors “Hematoma” and “Hill Billy Special.” You’ll get a nice dark base with shades of blue. Another go-to color to match a craw is the “Bloody Marry,” “Coonasty,” and “Oxblood.” All colors bring a seasonal accuracy to the lure, as crayfish colors vary from state to state, region to region. So, do research on the crawdads in your waters before you make a selection.
Sweet Beaver Punching
I’ve always been a fan of punching beaver-style baits. Having a profile that goes in and comes out with minimal hangup is what I look for. The body on this thing is perfectly compact and allows me to push it through most heavy shoreline cover and retrieve it clean.
Dropping into submerged grass is also possible and works well. And best of all, it gets a bit a lot! I’ll sling it on a 50-60 lb straight braid with a 1/2 -1 oz pegged Tungsten flipping weight, drop it south (free spool) and jig it back up against the canopy.
As far as soft plastics go, the sweet beaver is a must in the landscape of bass fishing setup. Other reviews have shown that this lure is becoming a consistently successful bait across the country. Whether you’re dragging it on a Carolina Rig, Texas Rig, or punching it deep into grass mats, you won’t be disappointed! My review is by no means extensive so check out some of the tips and techniques from the pros.