Another Swimbait Masterpiece, Introducing The Mike Bucca Baby Bull Gill

Another Swimbait Masterpiece, Introducing The Mike Bucca Baby Bull Gill

The Baby Bull Gill is here! Renowned lure maker Mike Bucca has expanded his line of hard plastic jointed swimbaits by creating a sunfish imitator.

Bucca’s magnum-sized Bull Shad jointed swimbaits have been a favorite shad imitator the bass pros have relied on to win tournaments throughout the years. Now Bucca has designed a scale-downed version of the popular swimbait to imitate another favorite bass prey—the bluegill.

During my on-the-water testing of the Baby Bull Gill, I was impressed by the lifelike swimming action of the slow-sinking swimbait. The first time I tried the Bull Gill I put it through the ultimate test of fishing it following a major cold front with a bluebird sky and no wind. Targeting the bluegill’s favorite hangouts, I ran the lure alongside boat docks with a jerk-and pause retrieve to imitate the sunfish. When I noticed some surface explosions in the middle of the cove I threw the Bull Gill into the commotion and immediately caught a white bass.

Dock Patterns With Bucca Bull Gill

The surface activity was short-lived though so I returned to the docks and saw bass chasing the Bull Gill but the fish would turn away when the lure got close to the boat. I saw some more surface commotion in the middle of the cove and noticed on my Garmin LiveScope that predator fish were busting through the balls of shad. When I threw to the shad balls and let the Bull Gill sink a bass weighing about 4 pounds nabbed the lure, rocketed to the surface, and shook off the Bull Gill.

In subsequent tests, the Bull Gill produced largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass and slab-sized crappie using various retrieves. I discovered the lure is a great wake bait for catching aggressive bass. Retrieving the lure at a fast pace makes it wake across the surface and the jointed sides clack into each other creating a unique clicking sound.

Bluegill usually swim in a darting motion, so when I want the lure to imitate a sunfish I reel the Bull Gill a short distance, jerk it once and pause it before reeling it again. I have also caught bass on the lure with a slow, steady retrieve to allow the lure to sink down about 3 to 4 feet.

Fishing With The Right Gear

The gear I have discovered works best for the Bull Gill is a 7-foot medium-power moderate-fast action casting rod combined with an 8.3:1 gear ratio baitcasting reel. I had tried a fast action rod but kept losing fish on the hookset so I switched to the rod with a moderate fast tip which had more give and prevented ripping out the hooks when a bass bit the Bull Gill. The high-speed reel is ideal for waking the bait and also allows me to present the Bull Gill at a moderate pace by winding slower.

The Bull Gill will work well on 10 to 15-pound line, but I prefer 17-pound fluorocarbon to prevent line breakage when waking the bait. Bass viciously strike the Bull Gill when it is waked so it’s best to use a strong, heavy line to prevent a fish from breaking off when it engulfs the lure.

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