November 25, 2019
By Ned Kehde
Berkley Fishing introduced Powerbait’s Water Bug to the angling world at the 2019 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show.
It is a soft-plastic finesse bait that was designed by Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, New Jersey, who in 2019 competed at the Latin Bass Cup and on the Bassmaster and Major League Fishing circuits.
It is manufactured in two sizes: a 3.3-incher and a four-incher.
And in the eyes of a veteran Midwest finesse angler, it is a multifaceted stick-style bait that can be employed on a mushroom-style jig.
We asked Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Berkley’s media and public relations manager, to help us in our endeavor to publish a gear guide about the 3.3-inch Water Bug. He responded by sending us some samples to examine, work with, and describe.
According to our measurements, it is 3 7/16 inches long.
The first three-quarters of an inch of the anterior section of its body, which includes its head, has a convex dorsal, and it is endowed with two minor eyes. This segment has a smooth epidermis.
At nine-sixteenths of an inch from the tip of its head, an appendage radiates at about a 30-degree angle from each side of its torso near the junction of its dorsal and ventral areas. Each appendage is round. They are thirteen-sixteenths of an inch long and about one-sixteenth of an inch wide. They readily quiver, gyrate and undulate.
The next 1 3/8 inches of the dorsal section of its body are convex and adorned with 15 pronounced ribs.
The next nine-sixteenths of an inch of the dorsal section of its body is convex and devoid of ribs, which makes its epidermis smooth.
The size of the body diminishes as it approaches the end of its posterior section and the junction with the Water Bug’s tail. At three-eighths of an inch from the tip of its head, the body has a circumference of about 1 3/6 inches and a width of three-eighths of an inch. At rib number nine, which is 1 7/16 inches from the tip of the head, the width is five-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of one inch. At rib number 15, which is two inches from the tip of the head, the width is a quarter of an inch with a circumference of five-sixteenths of an inch.
The first 2 5/8 inches of the Water Bug’s ventral section is flat, and its epidermis is smooth except for the word Berkley, which is embossed upon it and located from nine-sixteenths of an inch to one inch from the tip of its head.
The Water Bug is adorned with an obvate-shaped tail that is divided equally in half. The outside edges of the tail are rimmed with a significant flange or rib. The entire tail is 1 1/16 inches long with a width of seven-sixteenths of an inch at its widest area. A Berkley press release described the tail as possessing two scooped appendages, which “displace a great amount of water and generates a fluttering wave.” The tail’s epidermis is smooth.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Baby Bass, Black, Coppertruese, Goby Magic, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Candy, Pearl White Silver Fleck, Road Kill Camo, Smoke Purple, Pinky, Watermelon, and Watermelon Candy.
It is permeated with Berkley’s poignant Powerbait scent.
It is also exceptionally buoyant. This buoyancy factor, combined with its flat ventral area, will accentuate the Water Bug’s ability to glide subtly and alluringly when a Midwest finesse angler affixes it to a small mushroom-style jig and employs a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.
A package of 10 of the 3.3-inch Water Bug costs $4.99, and a package of eight of the four-inchers costs $4.99.