After he won his first Bassmaster Classic in 2020, Berkley pro Hank Cherry and the Berkley bait scientists set out to develop the ultimate jerkbait. More than just one of Cherry’s favorite ways to catch bass and a presentation with which the North Carolina native has become synonymous, the team believed it could produce a bait that would work year-round in any fishery and, hopefully, be a factor in the 2021 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts.
All the off-season homework paid off.
Cherry brought 13 pounds, 1 ounce to the weigh-in stage on the final day of the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, giving him a three-day combined weight of 50 pounds, 15 ounces. With the win, Cherry pockets the $300,000 first-place prize and etches his name into the history books as only the fourth angler to win the Bassmaster Classic in consecutive years.
“This is the biggest honor I could ever dream of as a kid,” said Cherry about winning the Bassmaster Classic for a second time. “I have fulfilled my childhood fantasy two times now. That hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Cherry said six of the 15 fish he weighed in during the championship event came on the Stunna, including some his biggest fish. Cherry said he threw the size 112+1 Stunna in Stealth Shad on 15-pound-test Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. He paired the line and bait selections with an Abu Garcia Zata casting reel (7.1:1) mounted on a 6-foot-10-inch Abu Garcia Winch rod.
In addition to tipping his flipping jigs with the soon-to-be-released Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Chigger Craw, Cherry said he turned to a 4-inch Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss in Green Pumpkin. He flipped the Texas-rigged Pit Boss on a 4/0 Fusion19 hook with 20-pound-test Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon spooled on an Abu Garcia Revo STX (7.3:1) paired with the new Abu Garcia Veritas PLX Tournament rod.
The new Berkley Stunna features Berkley’s first tungsten weight-transfer system and a unique brass block weighting system that delivers a slow sink and slight shimmy in the water. With an action that engages quicker with a larger roll, increased bill durability and ultra-sharp Fusion19 hooks, the Stunna comes in 14 colors and two different dive depths. The 112 size runs 3 to 6 feet deep while the 112+1 runs 6-10 feet deep. Both styles weigh 1/2 ounce and have a fall rate of 1 foot per 8 seconds.
“We went through 38 different incarnations of this bait before getting it just right, as evidenced by the response to the Stunna by both our pros and the bass they are catching on it,” said Berkley Senior Vice President of Marketing Jon Schlosser. “The bait looks incredible whether it’s being jerked, twitched or even with sweep-and-pause retrieves. The bait’s 180-degree head turns and side flash trigger bites from aggressive fish and the slow, natural sinking action has proven to be extremely effective on not-so-aggressive bass.
“None of the bait’s unique performance features would be possible without Hank’s vision and the tireless work of our bait scientists. We congratulate Hank on back-to-back Bassmaster Classic championships and celebrate this victory with him and the entire Berkley team. Hank and the Stunna will be linked forever thanks to this historic win, which we are sure will not be the last one for this exciting new bait.”
The new Berkley Stunna is scheduled to reach retail outlets in July. Anglers looking to be among the first to get their hands on the bait first are encouraged to contact their favorite tackle shops.
To learn more about Berkley products and the company’s legacy for research and innovation, go to https://www.berkley-fishing.com/.