New droolin over ICAST stuff special issue! part 1

ICAST rocks, man. I mean, what bass-head wouldn’t go nuts over aisle after aisle of new fishin’ stuff? It’s friggin’ great!

Every year people ask: Did you see anything new, anything that blew you away? Every year I say “no” or “I don’t know” — cuz it’s truly hard to come up with something really new, and we cant know how good something is til the fish tell us.

But a few things did stand out to me as being new and different. Gonna start with those, then hit everything else. Also, I didn’t get to see everything at ICAST so if you saw something cool I didn’t, lmk.

Scribbled so much that this-here is part 1 of a 2-parter. Enjoy it — I’m bassin’ this week!


Startin’ off shallow cuz there ain’t a bass-head in the free world that don’t like to catch ’em up shallow — except maybe some Left Coasters. Plus there’s ALWAYS bass up shallow. So:

I love Japanese bass-heads. (I love all bass-heads but you know what I mean….) They’re always coming up with something, and even though I have no idea how a bait like this gets thought up, you know there’s only one mission with all new baits: catch the basses!

Bobby Lane swore to me this bait is the real deal. Said he was outfished with it from the back of his boat while he was fishing baits the bass should’ve been on that time of year. I gave him the “you’re not BSing me are you” stare and he gave me the “you better not be thinking I’m BSing you” stare back so I believe him.

Here’s the vid again. It’s on Tackle Warehouse. Gitcha at least one to check it for yourself.

2. BOOYAH Flex and Streak

Seems I was mistaken when I said foam baits were new. Some Lazy Ikes — which I had in my tackle box as a kid and never caught a dang thing with! — apparently were made of foam when dressing like this was cool:

So no RECENT uses of foam in baits, and think it’s safe to say never this type of foam bait for diehard bassin’ designed by diehard bass-heads. Chad Warner, BOOYAH’s main man, is a serious bassin’ nut as you can tell from him talkin’ the Flex here. He’s got that bass-head look in his eye — you know what I mean!

Deal with both these baits is crazy durability (you can bounce the Flex squarebill off riprap, sea walls, etc. — within normal limits! — and you won’t break or crack it), different action and different sound — and maybe another thing or two you’ll discover.

Here’s the Flex and the Streak on TW — try ’em out and let BOOYAH know what you think. What you need to know about the Streak IV — casts a mile and dives fast:

Rapala’s been tearin’ up the jerkbait world with the Shadow Rap, then the Shadow Rap Shad and now the way different-sounding RipStop:

> “…stops on a dime, with a subtle shimmy before coming to a rest, then ever so slightly lifts its head with a super slow rise.”

Less forward travel after each twitch — has anyone ever tried to do that before? Can’t recall anyone which is why it’s up top here.

Couple things I’ve realized about baits in general is that we (I) often move baits way farther than they should move with jerks and reeling and such, and that slack or slack-ish line is super-important for baits to do their thing — from jigs to jerkbaits. So make sure you bear that in mind on this one too.

Like many Rapala baits, there’s basically no wrong way to fish it. Wind it, burn and stop it, jerk it, rip it, pause it, whatever. And beware of those fine-wire VMC hooks — it’s almost like they reach out and grab stuff. Good vid on it here, bunch o’ Elitists in it:

Love how Ott talks about “the Rapala roll” (top-bottom roll = flash) being key. So true.

4. Lew’s Mach Crush rod/reel combo

Who buys a combo anymore? As a kid I saved up for this little Daiwa spinning combo and treated that thing like it was made of gold, but don’t think I’ve bought a combo since. I know a bunch are sold, but…not to serious bass-heads.

And yet here comes Lew’s with a higher-end combo. When they told me I was sort of:

But then I was like: What a cool idea. Don’t think a higher-end combo has been done before, and either way it’s gotta help younger bass-heads afford decent stuff. Plus it looks cool so that’s at LEAST 50% of everything right there — and I’m only half kidding mang!

Also has loads of the good stuff, like a 10-bearing low-pro reel, Winn grips, Airwave guides, etc. Full meal deal is supposed to retail at $199.99, which is cool and reasonable for a higher-end combo. Reels are on TW now (casting, spinning) if you want to check ’em out, combos I think are available elsewhere.



Don’t know if frowgs and other topwaters sell the most, but they sure seem to get hyped the most — bats, rats and such. Here’s some cool new ones:

1. Lunkerhunt Prop Frog and Prop Fish (and Prop Sunfish)

Lunkerhunt makes topwater baits that are fun to fish. You’d say all baits are fun to fish and ALL topwater baits can at times be the “funnest” to fish and you’re right. But what I mean is it seems like Lunkerhunt’s specialty is fun topwater baits.

And they’re from Canada! Do they even have fun people that far north?? (Mercer? Do they? Hahahaha!)

But seriously, these baits were award-weeners at ICAST and look like fun to fish. The Prop Frog looks like it fishes like a double Sprinkle Tinker:

The Prop Fish has a single prop, but it’s a 360 buzzbait-like rotation (it’s a prop), not the Tinkle Winkle swimbait-like tail:

If that ain’t enough Lunkerhunt topwater for ya, they also came out with a new 2.25″ Compact Frog.

Let’s start with the name: COVER Pop. Lots of folks use Pop-R-type baits not as open-water tools but almost like a flip bait — like to a spot under an overhanging tree or whatever. Cover. Chuck it in there and work it:

Better be a solid caster tho — you’re helped out by the bait:

> Aerodynamic shape and extra tail-weight provide increased casting distance and accuracy, and allows the lure to enter the water tail-first with minimal splash and sound.

> …the lure travels with minimal forward movement to maximize the time your lure spends in the strike zone.

A 3D-printed $$$ version of the StutterStep 4.0 (4″ model) was on Tackle Warehouse a while back, but this is the “regular” version and is way better-priced. If you recollect, the StutterStep is a uniquely-shaped bait that has at least 3 actions: stutter step, wage the tail and wobble wake.

Here’s Bill Lewis head man Wes Higgins learnin’ ya about it:

What? Napoleon — dude, get outta here. Sorry ’bout that — here’s Wes:

[Thank you FTR for that bait shot!]

Ish [heart emoji] frogs. Check this — just a small part of his frog collection at home:

Ish knows frogs, River2Sea seems to make good stuff, Ish has a new frog, gotta give it a prop. Already on TW.

Other-type baits


This is interesting — everyone wants a squarebill that has balsa action, but the durability and consistency of plastic. Well, the Rapala BX Brat has a balsa inner core with an outer coating of copolymer plastic. Could be the best of both worlds — let the fish tell you. Comes in 3′ and 6′ sizes. Good vid with Elite dudes talkin ’bout it:

All the Hack baits are money. Take ’em to the bank — hahaha that’s a shallow-water joke mang! Smaller profile, different hook than the other Hack Attack Jig, and of course designed for mono…lol. 3/8-, 1/4- and 3/4-oz sizes and 12 colors. I’m diggin’ Texas craw:

3. KVD 4.0 Squarebill

Another gimme bait: a little bigger than the 2.5 at 7/8-oz but dives about the same. Fits between the 2.5 and 8.0. (Not on TW yet?) Here’s Z tellin’ ya:

Somehow I haven’t fished the Rk “Rock” Crawler yet but it’s Mike McLelland’s take on that highland rez staple, the Storm Wiggle Wart. Got 4 new colors for this year: red craw, ozark craw (with metal flake!), PB&J and Missouri craw. Here’s the middle two…

…but since they’re Mike’s baits and he’s a HAMMER on those-type lakes, here he is talkin’ ’bout the new colors a little (FB vid):

Lookit that thing! Asked David Walker, who designed it, if it was just to catch merp basses and he said no! Can you believe it?? Hahahahaha! What he told me:

> I’ve always liked to add some eyes to my jigs, and felt that making them look a little old-school with the crankbait sort of eyes and making them crossed went along with a “cross their eyes” hookset.

> I think it looks great, and if you’re going to do something why not make it look good too. My goal was to make a custom jig just as I would use. I feel they did a great job and I’m sure the fish will too.

Well okay then! Comes in a finesse version too. Finessin’ merps! lol

David Fritts designed ’em. That like Chuck Norris designing karate…hands…or something…. #sensei

That color’s called “big money.” Hmmm. Does that mean something we need to know about? Either way, reminds me of the VH tune “Big Fat Money.”

7. VMC Weedless Neko Hook

Okay not a bait, but nowhere else to put it that makes sense. Seth Feider’s one of several Elitist pros who are nuts about the VMC Neko Hooks. They’ll use it for everything they can, they love it that much. The regular one‘s been out for a while, but the weedless one (with a fluorocarbon weedguard) is new — and already on TW!

Did you know: Palaniuk used ’em on Rayburn…. Ike does a dy-no-mite job ‘splainin’ what makes this hook rawk right here:

That’s all for part 1 — stay tuned for part 2! Will leave you with:

The BassBlaster 2-minute tour of ICAST vid — crazy informative!

Here’s a link to all the new stuff on Tackle Warehouse!

Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin’. Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best in bassin’, and is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass.

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