It’s that time of year for the Phantom Tilly to come back out of the tackle box for its warm water duties. We all know how effective the Phantom Tilly is when fished during the winter. The Tilly is equally effective in unlocking the jaws of that deep-water late summer or autumn ghosts.
The Tilly’s unique one-piece design and action set it apart from the competition both in durability and performance. It is frustrating to lose the glide tail off a jigging glide style minnow. However, the Tilly’s tough one-piece construction virtually eliminates that failure from ever happening again. This quickly gains you more time fishing and saves you money that could result from this lure failure.
One of the Tilly design differences that sets it apart from the rest is a larger tail which incorporates a side to side rattle chamber designed to make a subtle click as you work the bait. Couple this with a side to side roll and this “walking the dog” swimming action puts the Tilly in a class of its own.
My favorite way to fish the Tilly in the late summer and autumn is to search out those isolated rock humps, deep reefs, or to stalk and hunt for those isolated bottom-hugging ghosts that show themselves on your locator. I start with a long cast and let the Tilly free spool to the bottom watching for any line twitches as it falls. Once it makes the bottom, I engage the reel starting a lift and fall cadence. On the fall, I like to keep my line on the edge between free fall and controlled. With a little practice and a high-speed reel, this will become an old hand.
Most strikes will happen during the falling part of the cadence so, be prepared for an angry ghost on your upswing. You will quickly develop your own style and always keep in mind that the aggression or jigging cadence can, and will, change with feeding patterns and weather conditions. Being able to adapt to the day and conditions will certainly up your Tilly experience.