I asked those 2 bass fishermen on the left (Liam Worley) and right (Wesley Wardlaw) of Seth Feider to walk around ICAST with their bassin’ eyes on and note anything they thought was cool. Did not tell ’em who to visit, what to look at, nothing. Here’s what they saw, hope you dig reading it like I did. Their lists are in no particular order.
This fall a treble hook will be released from Spearpoint with their patented V-GRIP technology that has been keeping fish pinned these past few years. I was told that they are releasing multiple sizes for each of your treble hook applications. From jerkbaits, to crankbaits, to topwaters, they have the size you need.
G-Ratt is set to bring us a bigger bodied frog, with a hard nose and silicone in the hook hole. There is a small hole on top for releasing what little water you do get. A super soft frog, with a hard nose, made perfectly for coming through any kind of cover. Especially reeds and logs. Set to release this fall.
CAST Fishing has done something very interesting with their successful swimbait, the Prodigy. Set to be released in the fall is a morning dawn-esque color called “gypsy.” This is a 3″ swimbait with a rattle in the belly that can be removed and replaced by a tungsten nail weight if that’s more applicable for your needs. Many days I have had fish look at my “morning dawn” Roboworm and not eat, and also chase moving baits. Why not throw ’em both at the same time and pick up a couple extra fish?
OneCast has done a very interesting thing here that could revolutionize the way we look at fishing a jig with their new Snagless Line of Jigs. They eliminated the “exposed hook with weedguard” we all know, and replaced it with an elongated EWG hook coming out of the jig’s head. The selling point of this hook is that they slide through cover much better, but it goes deeper than that. When we fish a normal jig, we have to set the hook and get thorough that weedguard in order to hook the fish. This jig eliminates that extra step between the hook and the fish’s mouth. IDK, something to think about. I think it could definitely make an impact, and for sure especially punching. Available in casting, bladed, skipping, punching and football jigs.
I know what all you bass-heads are thinkin’ – “that looks very similar to another popular swimbait on the market.” And honestly it could be easy to dismiss it and think nothing of it, but Bass Mafia and Chris Zaldain have created quite the little package. It comes in 6″ and 7″ sizes and tons of good colors. It can be rigged with a weighted swimbait hook for ultimate weedlessness as well. However, the best part of this swimbait is the balance. The head of the swimbait was designed around the head of US military fighter jets (per Chris Zaldain) for ultimate balance, and it will not blow out no matter how hard you reel it. Look at the photo, it’s sitting upright on a flat surface – balance!
Pretty cool bait from Mr. Hiroshi and the guys over at Nishine Lure Works. So Mr. Hiroshi told me it only dives 1′ deep, and it’s meant to be worked much like a popper or a fluke shallow. I’m definitely going to be reaching for it post-spawn when the fish roam looking for dying baitfish. An easy meal, in a profile they don’t see very much shallow – pretty gnarly.
Kistler Chromium Reel
Kistler has done it with this reel here. A relatively shallow-spool reel with carbon side plates, a solid aluminum frame, carbon-fiber handle, ceramic bearings, and it comes in at 5.8-oz in the 100 size, 6.1-oz for the 200. Super light, and with the right-size line it also doubles as a BFS reel because of the ceramic bearings. Power and agility, all in a light package. This reel will retail at $299 and I feel it’s definitely worth a look. Very impressed with what Mr. Trey has done over there with this one.
St Croix Legend Tournament “Grasp” Reel Seat
If you are a big-bait guy and you like throwing giant single-hook swimbaits, this one’s for you. With a pistol-like handle, and an elongated butt end of the rod, this rod is perfect for driving home those big hooks in those swimbaits. It is available from 7-10’ and bigger. It comes with a hefty price point at $360, but if you are a diehard big-bait believer, it may just be worth trying out.
Learned about this company from WI that is combining their passion for fishing and for hockey into one pretty sweet accessory. Broken Twig crafts fishing nets out of recycled hockey sticks! You may wonder what the advantage is to this style net, especially if you are a college football fan from the South, or a westerner who’s never been on an ice rink, well let me tell ya: The rectangle shape of the net feels great in the hand and is literally made for grip and comfort. They use a rubber material for the actual net, so hook barbs do not cause you to lose fishing time. And on top of all of that, they float due to the material of the hockey stick. They have all sizes of nets for all fishermen.
This was my first time ever attending ICAST, and I’m continuously grateful for all of the connections I have made throughout the bass fishing industry. These are some products that caught my eye, in alphabetical order.
Bill Lewis Scope Stik
Made for the forward-facing sonar, the new jerkbait made by Bill Lewis is one that all jerkbait enthusiasts are going to want to keep in their boats. With the shape of the bill, you will always see the bait on your sonar as you retrieve it back to the boat. The Scope Stik comes in two sizes and offers versions that can sink or suspend. $11.99-$12.99
New bait finesse rods that are offered in 2 lengths and actions: 6’ 10″ ML and 7’ L. The 6’ 10″ rod is going to be great for Ned rigs, wacky rigs and small jigs, while the 7’ will be great for micro swimbaits and crankbaits. These rods come with a lifetime warranty and are made in the USA. $219.95
A reel that the “Cajun Baby,” Cliff Crochet, helped design, the Speed Demon Elite Deadbolt is designed to eliminate drag slippage – with a physical spool-locking system that ensures that the drag won’t slip under immense tension even in the toughest of conditions and cover. $119.99
With the help of fishing veteran David Dudley, these kits come pre-rigged with everything you need to try a new technique. The Ned kit comes with 3 pre-rigged baits and 3 spare worms at $7.99. The Neko kit comes with 6 pre-rigged worms equipped with a 1/8-oz weight and a 2/0 hook at $9.99.
The Plano Edge Frog Box allows you to hang up to 50 of your favorite frogs on its 25 dual-sided posts. The Plano Edge technology in this box keeps all of the baits rust free while keeping the skirts optimal, too. $54.99
Available in 3 different sizes and 4 different colors, the Triple Threat Trailer Hook is perfect for spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Made with VGrip technology and 2 different materials, these hooks are unlike any other trailer hook on the market. $5.99/3pk
Tactical Tungsten Ammo Box
The Light Artillery kit is outfitted with a variety of different tungsten shakey heads, worm weights and dropshot weights, while the Heavy Artillery kit is outfitted with heavier weights for different applications. These kits are perfect for those anglers wary of making the switch to tungsten weights. $49.99