Vid of the Japan version is here — I think the US version is similar.
2. BOOYAH XCS squarebill
This is the exact same bait as the former XCalibur XCS 100 Square Lip that lots of folks loved. The BOOYAH pros been lovin’ lthis one too. Not new but it’s a proven bass-ketcher. 2 sizes:
> The XCS 1 is 2 5/16″ long, weighs 1/2-oz and is armed with #4 trebles. The XCS 2 is 2.75″ long, weighs 5/8-oz and comes with #2 trebles. MSRP for both $5.99.
> The hooks ride up against the body to reduce snags….
Unlike a lot of the new baits, I believe this bait is ALREADY AVAILABLE at TW — here’s the link.
3. Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammer StealthBlade
On the one hand it’s crazy to give anything with the name JackHammer less than 5 fire hots. BUT…can this bait really be as good as the original JackHammer? That’s a Yao Ming TALL order man:
> Equipped with a clear polycarbonate blade that starts thumping intensely with the first half-turn of the reel handle, a lighter wire, Decoy fluorine nano-coated hook, stainless wire hand-tied silicone skirt, and dual-wire trailer keepers…fish-shaped head tracks true and skips easily. Available in 3/8- and 1/2-oz sizes in 6 colors.
I say if it doesn’t prove itself by this time next year, Brett Hite has to make another documentary about mud aliens. First one was real scary:
4. YUM Spine Craw
It’s a faster-moving craw like a Speed Craw-type, which YUM needed and believe everyone uses at 1 time or another. Gets 4 fire hots cuz it’s good AND a bit different — I like that YUM does that. Can be turned 90 degrees to work on a bladed jig or swim-jig, 12 good colors (^ “black blue shadow”), and MSRP of $2.99 a bag #win. More:
> …unique claws move feverishly but with a tight, rapid motion that keeps the profile small.
> Angled appendages…serve a double function, slowing the bait’s descent when it is pitched, flipped or hopped along the bottom, and displacing water to help bass find the bait.
> …3.75″ long and compact, and well-suited for punching thick cover, pitching to wood, using as a jig trailer, Texas-rigging, Carolina-rigging and more.
5. Storm Arashi Swimmer
2 words for you: Brandon Palaniuk. Okay 2 more: is obsessed. Last 2: with swimbaits. ‘N such. Deets:
> …the Arashi Swimmer closely resembles an Arashi Glide…. The most obvious difference…is that the Swimmer features 2 articulated joints rather than 1. “We took all of the great features of the Glide and then added some,” says Palaniuk. We slimmed down the body, added another joint and added a rotating line tie.
> “We wanted to have another bigger swimbait in the arsenal for different situations. That’s the whole premise — still having that big profile, to appeal to the largest fish, but being able to fish it in a different style with a slightly different action and different retrieve.
> “I use it for finding fish and covering water. It’s another look for those fish when maybe they are looking up more, chasing bait and more active…when the fish are roaming flats or standing timber, or things like that, where you’re able to cover a little more water and still able to throw a big bait…where the Glide is more of a target-oriented bait.
> “I can throw the Swimmer and reel it in as fast as I can possibly reel it without that bait blowing out. But it also fishes great at slow speeds.”
10 colors, $37.99 on TW.
6. Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Popper
Yo-Zuri has made a version of this bait for a while, for the salt. It’s been dialed in there, and they got their bass guys to dial in a bass-sized version for us so gotta think it’s good!
Here’s a vid of them talkin’ ’bout it, learn ya more at the Yo-Zuri website. Of course the sick Yo-Zuri colors — that one’s “prism silver black.”
7. Strike King Rage Ned Craw
Rage Craw’s a necessity so gonna assume this lil’ bait will rock:
> Featuring a flat end for rigging with Ned-head jigs…2.75″ in length, offered in 12 fish-catching colors.
8. 3.5″ Z-Man Pro CrawZ
Biggerz versionsz of theirz 2.5″ TRD Crawzzzzzzz — stop it Z-Man! My cat can’t take it either:
Serious — Ned, TRD and JackHammer all sell great…see a pattern?? NO Zs hahaha! Anyhow, back to the Pro Crawz, which is 1″ longer than the TRD Crawz:
> Bulked up ElaZtech claws are super-buoyant to float up at rest, displaying a crayfish’s natural defensive posture. Anatomically realistic with a tucked-under tail, bulbous [Mercer word] crayfish eyes and natural swimmerets….
Believe these are swimmerets?
9. Terminator Heavy-Duty Swim Jig
Ott DeFoe says “it really is the perfect swim-jig” so:
> “This was something I was able to put my input on; to make a tool that I needed. A swim-jig needs to be built a little bit differently. When it’s right, nothing else even compares to it.”
> …inline line-tie and a balanced, hydrodynamic head crafted to swim through the heaviest cover, which are “critical to getting through the stuff that you’re going to throw it in.”
> …”really realistic” banded silicone skirts, a well-designed trailer keeper, a 3D eye, a quality nylon weed guard that’s “soft enough” and “gets out of the way,” and a “super-strong” 5/0 VMC Hybrid Wide Gap Hook.
> “When you think of a swim jig, you think of submerged vegetation – but I’ve caught them in nearly every type of cover on it.”
1/2- and 3/8-oz, 12 colors (that’s ^ “pale gold shiner”), MSRP = $3.99.
10. Strike King Hybrid Hunter crankbait
Well…that bill looks different fer sher. BUT it’s not new, and in fact folks in some parts of TX and OK will recognize it…and will either be thankful or ticked that a big company is making it. Either way, I’ve been assured that:
> “…it catches freakin BIG ONES. It’s just special that way.
> “It comes through, and maybe more importantly, out of grass better than any hardbait…. You reel it in and through grass, and when it hangs you jerk it out like a jerkbait.
> “The bite is like a jig bite. They literally knock slack in your line.
> “It also hunts really wide — that’s what makes it good on highland lakes. You can catch them cranking around rock banks everyone throws a squarebill or Wart on.”
So there you go. Available in 2 sizes: regular (3.5″, dives 3-5′) and Jr (3″, 2-4′). MSRP = $8.99.
11. Hardcore Popper
Gonna give you 3 things:
1. Believe this is the only popper ever to have a weight-transfer system for casting.
2. Finishes are sick (^ “holographic bluegill”), maybe the nicest ever on a poppin’ bait?
3. You can pop it or walk it.
I have one, haven’t gotten to fish it yet but want to! Hardcore’s coming out with a bunch of new bass baits, stay tuned….
12. Lunkerhunt Easy Prey
In a recent BB I highlighted a stocker trout swimbait that floats upside down. That’s genius and so is this…I think? It’s a single-jointed swimbait with a crankbait lip that swims on its side. Got that? This’ll help:
If it works like it looks like it does, I can see it getting some key bites…full vid here.
13. Cotton Cordell Tail-Weighted Boy Howdy
Gitcha retro on! This bait’s back in production after a loooooong time, and a) has no blades like the regular Boy Howdy and b) has the original “weight transfer” system — a weight on the back. Okay, not really a transfer but it casts great cuz of it.
Word is it’s a great bait for schooling feesh:
> …tail-weighting makes it stand up when not in motion. Rod twitches enact a subtle jumping and spitting action that mimics a fleeing shad or wounded minnow, and triggers attacks from fish that won’t touch noisier and more aggressive surface lures.
4.5″ long, 3/8-oz, #4 short-shank trebles, 10 baitfish colors. MSRP = $5.99.
Word is: Fish it with quick, short strokes of the rod TIP and you’ll get darting without much forward movement. Gear is a 7′ M casting or spinning rod, and 20-lb braid with a mono leader so the braid won’t wrap the hooks.