Feb 10

Bettencourt Baits – Dying Bluegill

Over the course of the last decade, Nathan Bettencourt has become known in most circles as a premier master lure builder. Not only does he create beautiful lures, suitable for collectors, but they also work extraordinarily well. In the past, most of Bettencourt’s lures have focused on action, opposed to visual realism. Upon releasing the “real fish” series, he has obviously stepped up his aesthetic game tremendously.

The finish of this lure is photorealistic. In fact, my son thought that it was a real fish at a glance. Beauty does not mean that the build quality is sacrificed, though, as the protective gloss coating ensures the durability of this lure. The inclusion of hair to represent fins is an attractive and innovative solution. This lure comes in two configurations, one floating, one sinking.

Unlike some of the larger and heavier lures that have become popular over the last few years, the Real Fish is a nice alternative. Coming in at just over half of the size and weight of a typical plug, it can be easily cast by any medium bass rod. Even the sinking model, which is obviously slightly heavier, casts a good distance with very little effort.

The Bettencourt Baits, Dying Bluegill swims very convincingly. The entire tail section has been designed to move back and forth, looking very natural. The hair will move as the lure is being retrieved, giving a very authentic silhouette. There is also a hinge in the center section of the body that allows the lure to look unbalanced or sick. This unhealthy look attracts larger fish for an easy meal.

We put the Dying Bluegill to the test in the shallow waters of the California Delta, and were surprised that bass really took a liking to this lure. We achieved the best results near the reeds and bank but still had no issues when in larger areas like franks track. To get the best results, apply a twitching motion to create the dying fish effect. Even in lakes with no bluegill we were able to drew a significant amount of strikes.


While more expensive than most lures, the Dying Bluegill can be a pretty significant investment. Experienced angers will appreciate the attention to detail that went into the design of this lure. For those less worried about aesthetics, you’ll be happy to know that this lure performs beyond advertised. There were many cases when smaller fish than expected took a shot at the Dying Bluegill.

The Bettencourt Dying Bluegill has crafted the gold standard for bluegill hardbait. The size, shape, and action mimic that of a real fish, and will provide anglers with an awesome alternative to other bluegill swimbait. Fishermen who are willing to make the investment in this lure will be pleased with seasons of strikes from aggressive fish.