The new Berkley PowerBait Gilly, a soft, bluegill-shaped bait infused with the flavor of PowerBait, captured top honors in the ICAST 2021 New Product Showcase, winning the prestigious Best of Show award as voted on by international fishing media and retailers. With the win, the Gilly becomes the first bait to win the overall Best of Show award at ICAST, an award often dominated by electronics, rods and reels.
The Gilly won the Best Freshwater Soft Bait on day 1 of ICAST before competing against the 29 other best-in-category award winners on day 2. In all, the PowerBait Gilly beat out hundreds of new products submitted into the awards showcase.
“Berkley’s commitment to innovation means every bait we make is the result of leading scientific research and constant testing in the labs and on the water truly, making it a bait made by anglers. We’re proud of this award and for the recognition of this extremely important team win,” said Berkley CEO Harlan Kent. “And as science-fueled as the bait is, the Gilly is extremely accessible to anglers of all levels. Even new anglers will catch fish on this bait.”
The Gilly was inspired by the Japanese bass fishing techniques studied by Berkley pro Mike Iaconelli. Berkley’s bait scientists took Ike’s notes and put their own unique stamp on it, including the infusion of the bait with the famed PowerBait flavor that makes fish hold on longer for more hooksets.
“What stands out about this bait is the profile of what it’s imitating." Iaconelli said. "A lot of lures have long, skinny profiles but for the first time in a long time we have a bait that so realistically mimics a fat-bodied forage base."
Iaconelli pointed out that the Gilly could represent a host of forage such as crappie, tilapia and gizzard shad.
“And I can’t remember a bait with this many rigging options. With most baits you’re restricted to just a couple, sometimes even just one, but with this there are probably 20 different ways I can think of to rig it and I’m sure we will come up with even more.”
Berkley designed the Gilly so the hollow head section is soft enough to collapse during strikes and keep the bait swimming upright regardless of how it’s rigged. The tabs built into the tail section give the bait a remarkably lifelike motion in the water, looking exactly like an easy meal. Texas-rigged sideways, on a jighead or even a dropshot, the new Gilly is as realistic as it is versatile.
Available in six standard and six HD colors to match the hatch wherever it’s used, the PowerBait Gilly is available in three sizes (90mm, 110mm and 130mm) and will be available in retail stores beginning in September. It has an MSRP of $6.49 for standard colors and $7.49 for HD colors.