Future Fishing Advantage


Pros help Berkley develop baits

For four years, Berkley has worked with some of the top anglers to create great lures at modest prices. For a series of their new Berkley Hard Baits, their team worked with renowned bait designer and recognized crankbait legend, David Fritts.

One of the most successful veterans in all of bass fishing, Fritts has been professionally fishing for 20 years. He is known as the “crankbait master” and he has used hard baits almost exclusively to notch his numerous victories with both FLW and BASS tournament circuits.

With their considerable resources, the team moved from ideas to napkin scribbles to actual productive lures. They created sophisticated computer-aided designs (CAD) and intricate molds to create an engineering facility rivaling any high-tech facility in the world. They then provided America’s best bass anglers test models to use on some of the toughest lakes.

As these baits were perfected, they added the Berkley Fusion 19 wide gap hook. Fusion Hooks were made available in nine bass specific designs, including the extra wide gap (EWG), superline EWG, weedless EWG, weighted EWG, offset worm, drop-shot, heavy cover, swimbait and weighted swimbait models. Through the technology of an advanced polymer coating called Slickset™ the hook can penetrate easily with less force.

All of the 11 hard bait models were provided with custom designs and colors selected by the Berkley team. They are named the floating Bad Shad 5 and Bad Shad 7, which rise slowly at every pause, the Cutter 90 and Cutter 110, that have great darting action, even from the smallest rod twitch and also the Berkley Digger 6.5 and Digger 8.5 that go deep and cover a lot of water with an aggressive wobble and flash.

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The Berkley Pitbull 5.5 has a square bill, causing an erratic tail wiggle that produces an effective sound, especially around wood cover. For a lipless easy-to-use crankbait, there’s the Warpig 1/2 and 1/4. For bouncing off rocks, the Wild Thang 8.5 is ideal for deep-running, violent hunting action and performance.

New soft plastics
Berkley didn’t slow down with developing new soft baits either. Pro Scott Suggs designed the new Berkley Change Up for the thickest cover. Married to a wide gap 6/0 hook, the 4-inch body maintains its action and retrieves some of the biggest catches. On the other end with finesse fishing is their new 3-inch Berkley PowerBait Pro Twitchtail Minnow that works great on a drop-shot rig.

The Berkley PowerBait family includes the new smallmouth-fooling Pro Jig Worm, Pro Grub, Pro Shad and Power Tube.

It’s going to be a great year with these baits that are available now—thanks Berkley.


Dan Basore is a fishing historian and steward of the history of the sport. In his efforts to preserve fishing history, Basore is always on the lookout for information about early lure makers, old lures, pre-level wind reels, manufacturer catalogs, tournament casting items and the like. If you possess information or materials that can help, please contact Dan Basore, Historical Fishing Display, at 630-393-3474 or 1-800-347-4525.