Berkley introduced its PowerBait Jester to the angling world at the 2018 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Orlando, Florida. This introduction was highlighted by the comments and insights of Gary Klein of Mingus, Texas, who has competed in the professional bass-tournament world since 1979, and Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, New Jersey, who has competed on the Bassmaster circuits since 1997.
In the traditional sense, it is not a soft-plastic bait that will catch the eyes of most Midwest finesse anglers. To them it looks to be too big.
But according to Iaconelli and Klein, it is an extremely versatile bait. Klein says he likes to affix it to a drop-shot rig, a skirted jig, a Carolina rig, and a jig, such as a shaky-head one. Iaconelli says he likes to work with it on a wobble-head jig, and he also uses it on a shaky-head jig, a Carolina rig, and Texas-style rigs with a slip sinker. What’s more, Iaconelli says it is easily customized, and that might catch the attention of Midwest finesse anglers, because customization of soft-plastic baits has played a significant role in the tactics of Midwest finesse anglers for decades on end.
Klein and Iaconelli describe it as being a multifaceted creature-style bait, exhibiting some of the attributes of the classical beaver-style bait and a crayfish-style bait. And, of course, a soft-plastic crayfish-style bait has been a part of the Midwest finesse world since the Hibdon family of Versailles, Misssouri, created the first one in the late 1970s. We are also incessantly in search of creature baits that we can customize. And because the Jester possesses those characteristics, we thought that it was essential to publish a gear guide about it.
To facilitate this endeavor, Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Berkley’s media and public relations manager, sent us several Jesters to work with and examine.
It is advertised as being 3 1/2 inches long. Our measurements, however, revealed that it is 3 3/4 inches long.
Its tail or posterior end, which is where a hook is inserted, is somewhat dome shaped. It is a quarter of an inch long and a half of an inch wide at its junction with its torso, and its circumference is about 1 1/2 inches at its largest spot.
Its toro is 1 1/4 inches long. It is endowed with 10 large ribs, and they are oval shaped. The torso is seven-eighths of an inch wide at the widest spot with a circumference of about 2 15/16 inches; this width and circumference includes three of its 10 ribs.
Except for its head, which possesses two tiny bulbous eyes, the Jester’s dorsal and ventral areas are identical. The dorsal and ventral portions of the Jester’s torso possess a hook slot, which divides the ribs. Each hook slot is 1 1/2 inches long, one-eighth of an inch wide, and one-sixteenths of an inch deep.
Three tiny appendages extend from each side of the torso. They are abstract renditions of the walking legs of a crayfish. The front or first one extends from the first rib, which is adjacent to the junction of the torso and its head, and it is eleven-sixteenths of an inch long. The second or middle one extends from the fifth rib, and it is five-eighths of an inch long. The hind or third one extends from the seventh rib, and it is nine sixteenths of an inch long. Each leg is adorned with two circular ridges or cylinder-shaped rings, and these features are tiny. The tip of each leg is crowned with a tiny teardrop.
Its head possesses the same cone shape as its tail. It is five-sixteenths of an inch long, and it is a half of an inch wide at the junction with its torso, and its circumference is about 1 7/16 inches.
Extending from the tip of its head, there are two delicate and tantalizing antennae. Each one is 1 7/8 inches long. Each possesses 12 segments, and they are tipped with a tiny oval-shaped bubble.
Adjacent to the antennae, there are two lanceolate-shaped appendages. Iaconelli says they are spear shaped. Others might describe them as falcate shaped. Each of these flat appendages is 1 15/16 inches long and five-eighths of an inch wide at its widest spot. Each possesses seven segments. Four of the segments are thick, and Iaconelli calls these segments ridges. The biggest ridge possesses the following dimensions: three-sixteenths of an inch thick, a quarter of an inch long, and five-eighths of an inch wide. Three of the seven segments are thin, and they are one-sixteenth of an inch thick. The biggest of these three thin ones is five-sixteenths of an inch long and five-eighths of an inch wide.
The designers of the Jester said that they were inspired to replicate the shape and actions of some of the creature baits that Japanese designers have developed.
It is manufactured in the following colors: Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Magic, June Bug, South African Special, Sprayed Grass, Watermelon Candy, Watermelon Red, and Watermelon Red Magic.
It is buoyant and infused with PowerBait’s unique scent. And Klein says he relishes the scent that the Jester radiates.
A package of six costs $3.99.
(1) Here is the link to Berkley’s website: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/berkley-bait-soft-bait-berkley-powerbait/powerbait-jester/1454413.html.
(2) For more information about the scents that Berkley employs, see Steve Quinn’s insights in his article entitled “Berkley Takes New Soft Baits To The Max.” Here is the link to Quinn’s article: http://www.bassfan.com/reviews_article.asp?id=257#.W6ew8PlRcdU#ixzz5RwIGYBHT.
(3) Midwest finesse anglers will affix the Jester to a mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook. As noted above, they are inveterate customizers, and below are three photographs of the various ways Midwest finesse anglers will customize and rig the Jester onto a mushroom-style jig.
(a) This photograph features the Jester with its tail and the first rib of its torso removed. A chartreuse 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig is affixed to its torso.
(b) This photograph features the Jester with its two lanceolate-shaped appendages removed. A blue 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig is affixed to its cone-shaped tail.
(c) This photograph features the Jester with its antennae and two lanceolate-shaped appendages removed. A blue 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig is affixed to its head.
(4) When Midwest finesse anglers affix the Jester to a mushroom-style jig, they will work with it by using all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. Here a link to the Midwest Finesse column that explains how to execute those six retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.