I have to admit, sometimes I find something I really like and I keep it to myself for a while and enjoy fishing with a cricket that might be getting overlooked. That has been the case with the Bellows Gill from Geecrack.
I have been using the Geecrack Bellows Gills for a couple years, mostly flipping and pitching in the spring in and around the spawn, especially where Florida-strain largemouth are concerned. But I’ll get into that in a minute. The fact is, it’s a unique soft plastic that just catches them. I think it has a unique fall, glide and quiver that really gets fish to bite. Not to mention the scent is already something of legend. I posted a catch I had on the Bellows Gill last spring and one of the comments said they could smell the photo. You would get the joke if you’ve ever opened a pack.
Let’s take a quick look on how I’ve been fishing it and why it works.
Colors and Sizes of Bellows Gill
So for me as an angler, most things come down to profile for the water I’m fishing. And then color that fits the water I’m fishing. The Bellows Gill comes in 4 sizes from 2 inches to 5.8 inches and 24 colors. A lot of the colors are laminate with a lighter side on the underside like most everything in nature.
If you want an ultra-finesse profile to fish on a ned head or even drop shot, the 2-inch is small and finesse. And if you want a monster profile for really big Florida strain bass, the 5.8 inch is like a big swimbait profile. Mimicking big bluegill extremely well.
But the 3.8-inch Bellows Gill has been my go-to size. It gets in and out of cover, is a great sight fishing bait, is a great pitching and flipping bait. Fishes equally well in bushes as well as docks and grass and especially around bluegill beds.
Packaging of Bellows Gill
They come in clam shell packaging to keep the bait shapes true. Because there is so much individual depth and dimension to the flanges, they can get flattened and warped. I’ve stored them in both a box and clam shell with a soft bag. I prefer the box honestly. Some baits will get warped and out of whack but I don’t know that the fish care. They sure didn’t seem to this past year.
I really like the colors dark matter, green pumpkin chartreuse, and muddy gill. One bait will last several fish if you’re careful with your rigging. Using the o-ring hack on a Texas rig can help. But I prefer using the Trokar Tournament Tube Hook. Add a Jenko Creature Weight and you have a heck of a fish catcher for me. It’s been my go -to when I travel where Florida bass are in cover.
Compared to Other Baits
For reference I showed the bellow’s gills next to some popular flipping baits. This is a Baby Rodent and a Rodent from Strike King next to the Bellows Gill 2.8 and 3.8 baits. Different profiles. Thinner but wider.
The other thing is that formulation of plastic Geecrack uses is some of the best. I’m a big proponent of using plastics with a good formulation that give baits more life and action. You want it to look alive without a lot of imparting action on your part. The Bellows Gill checks all those boxes.
Texas Rigged Bellows Gill
My staple has been flipping it around on a 3/8 or 5/16 ounce weight and a Texas rig setup. I’ve fished brush piles, docks, grass, bushes, cypress trees and more with this setup and done very well. I’ve also coaxed several big bass off of beds with it. I will tell you Florida strains around the spawn hate this thing. They thump it with a vengeance.
Another interested way to rig it is with the Geecrack Neko Hack which is a peg that holds the plastic to your favorite Neko hook. You just push it through the plastic with the sharp end and the pass your hook through the hole and then trim it down out of sight. Then push your nail weight in the head. And now you have a new twist on neko rigging that is highly effective. It is so lively rigged like this. And deadly around spawning fish.
Storing the Bellows Gill
You can leave them in their clam shells or pack a box full. I like the box approach because even with a bent flange or two, the bait looks beat up but still lively fished in and through cover. I think fish in cover are reacting to a bait going in and out of their field of view in a jungle. Not whether a bait is symetrical.
Fishing the Bellows Gill
I typically am pitching it into cover and lifting and dropping it through the cover. I want to make the bait fall as much as I can. It glides and spirals and falls lively everytime. Try to use the lighter weight if you can in clearer water and sparser cover to give it more ability to swim.
I liked casting it on flats with a lighter weight and lifting and dropping it a lot. To look like a startled bluegill that then settles back down.
The bait will trap a lot of water so it doesn’t skip real well, but it does collect a lot of air bubbles and shaking it can draw fish in from a distance. It looks like a nest raiding bluegill when fished like that.
Deadly in Spring
I had some good success in Arkansas last year fishing Florida strains in the spring. Most of my big fish came on the Bellows Gill. I was hesitant to let this one out of the bag but figure it’s worth sharing. They have expanded the line to include the Bellows Shad and some swimming versions. So their are a lot of profiles to experiment with now in the Bellows line.
You can find the Bellows Gill at the online retailers: