I’ve finally had the chance to spend some time with the iCast “Best of Show” bait, the Berkley Powerbait Gilly. This is a bait that immediately gets your brain turning as soon as you have it in your hand due to the many possibly rigging methods and the shear versatility it can offer. It’s soft, supple, and extremely realistic in shape as well as color. And, while I haven’t explored every rigging method possible with this bait, I have found a few that pass the “fishability eye test”, as well as learned a few ins and outs that make this bait tick.
Bladed Jig Trailer
While this may not be everyone’s first thought when they pull this bait out of the package, I wanted a way to use this natural bait to cover water and draw reaction strikes while utilizing its incredibly lifelike appearance. When you thread the Gilly onto the back of a skirtless bladed jig like the Strike King Thunder Cricket or Z-Man Jackhammer it offers outstanding swimming action. The bait swims surprisingly upright, has a great swimming action in the tail, and the bladed jig makes it dance beautifully! I’m positive that this will be a mainstay in my arsenal.
Weightless Texas Rig
This was my immediate thought when I first ripped open the package, was to rig it weedless on an EWG hook to see how effective it would be around the plentiful grass in my local lake. And, while the plan was to twitch it more like a soft jerkbait high in the water column, I learned that it doesn’t do that as well as I would like. But, in the process, I found it to be a great, realistic, replacement for senko style baits with the potential to really catch some bigger fish with its big profile. It does sink, but as it sinks it glides back and forth and does a better job than any bait, I’ve seen for mimicking a dying bluegill. This would be an effective technique anywhere in the country around any sort of shallow cover like grass, wood, docks, and especially when bass go on beds in the spring!
This is a method I’m excited to experiment with more in certain situations. With the weight and size of the bait, it certainly isn’t a typical finesse style drop shot, but the action imparted with a simple nose hook and weight rigged below the bait is incredible. In fact, this may be the ideal way to utilize this bait in and around both bedding bass and bass feeding on bluegill beds.
Even after spending only a small amount of time tinkering with this new bait, I’m already convinced that this is one versatile bait with big fish potential! I would highly suggest adding a few of these to your box to experiment with for yourself!