July 21, 2020
By Lynn Burkhead
In a year where the annual summer fishing industry trade show has been forced into the virtual world due to COVID-19, it was a different feel for ICAST 2020 as the event wen t online and on the TV screens instead of in person.
But that didn’t keep lure manufacturers from stepping up to the plate and hitting a homerun with several new hard baits in the Freshwater Bait category.
Here’s a look at some of what’s new in the lure department:
Jabber Jaw / 13 FISHING
A hard to define bait, this lure features VMC black nickel hooks, a chattering bill, metal jowls, and a lot of noise as it bangs from side to side on the retrieve back to the boat. The bottom line is that bass will love it, partly because it looks like food and partly because it sounds like it! (www.13fishing.com)
Engage Waterbull / A Band of Anglers
A jig idea that flipping specialist David Bolema and Patrick Sebile conspired on, this is one of the most efficient and reliable flippers to hit the bass lure market this year. Take this flipping jig’s head design, weed guard, and skirt and all that’s necessary is a trailer and a good hook set! (www.abandofanglers.com).
Freedom Tackle Mischief Minnow / American Baitworks Company
Part jerkbait, part spinnerbait, this new stick minnow imitation combines sound and flash along with a custom blade to create underwater commotion and a side-to-side hunting action that fish can’t resist. Combine Gamakatsu magic eye treble hooks, a premium finish, and a unique rolling action and sound and big predators won’t be able to resist. (www.americanbaitworks.com).
Pro Sunny B Twin Spin / Bagley Bait Company
With large props on the front and back, maximum water will be disturbed by this topwater. Throw it over a laydown log or grass line, give it a steady retrieve and/or a rip and pause and the strikes will be explosive as a big bass boils up from below. (www.bagleybait.com).
Balsa Wake 1 / Bagley Bait Company
Ever since the Bagley Bait Company became a staple in the 1960s with its balsa wood lures, anglers have used these lures for the ultimate search-and-catch missions on the water. This year’s ICAST unveiling of the Balsa Wake 1 adds another chapter to that legacy with a shallow water bait that can be cast accurately, is durable, and features a unique shallow water action that bass can’t resist. (www.bagleybaits.com).
DOUBLE CLUTCH 96SP / Daiwa Corporation
A 3 ¾-inch long jerkbait design, this lure is engineered and manufactured in Japan to give it intense action when cast and retrieved back to the boat or simply trolled behind it. Stop it quickly and the lure stops dead in the water, suspends, and gives fish a chance to inspect its lifelike appearance in one of several different glittering color combinations. (www.daiwa.com/us).
PRO RIPPER MAGNUM / Livingston Lures
In the family of the original Pro Ripper, this new magnum sized design uses EBS Technology to mimic the biological sounds of baitfish and color schemes that big predatory fish can’t resist. Cast it, rip it, let it fall, and hang on tight! (www.livingstonlures.com).
Primetyme 4.2 / Livingston Lures
Livingston Lure’s new Primetyme 4.2 is a medium-depth crankbait that features a wide-wobble on the retrieve, baitfish sounds via the EBS Technology, and color combinations that draw in hungry predators from a long distance when fish are lurking nearby. (www.livingstonelures.com).
Easy Prey / Lunkerhunt Lures
Lunkerhunt Lures has another winner with this Easy Prey lure that mimics a wounded baitfish kicking its way through those final moments before a huge bass engulfs it from below. With three feathered treble hooks, this jointed bait has a fish enticing wobble as it sits horizontally in the water and allows for better hookup rates. (www.lunkerhunt.com).
Rippin' Minnow / Northland Fishing Tackle
Mimicking a dying baitfish, species like bass, walleye, freshwater stripers, and more can’t resist the darting, gliding, swimming motion of this jerkbait style lure. With a gliding head and a soft, chew enticing body that looks and feels like the real thing when a predator strikes it, this unique lure should feature great hookup rates no matter the water being fished. (www.northlandtackle.com).
FishLab Bio-Shad Tail Spin / Okuma Fishing Tackle Corporation
Available in ¼-oz. and 1-oz. sizes, the Bio-Shad Tail Spin is part jig, part spinnerbait with a lead body and a willow leaf blade. Worked in a variety of retrieves from near the surface to the bottom down below, the Trail Spin uses flash, vibration, and baitfish imitating colors to entice a strike in all types of water clarity (www.okumafishingusa.com).
Arbogast Jointed Jitterbug 2.0 / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
The Arbogast Jitterbug is one of fishing’s most iconic lures. This updated Jointed Jitterbug 2.0 version builds on that history, using a jointed design, eye-catching colors, and a rear feather treble hook to add extra topwater strike inducing action. (www.lurenet.com).
Heddon Slopenose / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
Harkening back to 1902 when James Heddon patented the Dowagiac Perfect Surface Casting Bait, this throw-back design was dubbed “the Slopenose” by anglers of that era given its appearance and metal ring near the front of the lure. Almost 12 decades later, this updated old-school bait is part popper, part chugger, part stickbait, all with unique and subtle movements that fish can’t stand. With a unique 21st Century look and familiar straight-line walk-the-dog action, this bait brings over a century of fish catching power to the water today! (www.lurenet.com).
Norman Speed N / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
With two “Top 10” finishes at the 2020 Bassmaster Classic eventually won by Hank Cherry, the new Normal Lures Speed N Crankbait is already big on fish catching history…even though it’s brand new! With a tight wobble and aggressive pitch-and-roll action, this lure focuses on enticing big fish lurking nearby thanks to its action and gel-coat finish. With a winning track record in short order, this is a can’t miss lure in your tackle box this year! (www.lurenet.com).
Bandit Generator / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
This Chrome Series Bandit Generator uses flash and baitfish imitating colors to burst out in fish catching prowess no matter how dingy the dirty water and low light conditions may be on your favorite big fish water. Working in clear water too, the use of Glow Sticks makes this a bait that fish simply can’t ignore this season! (www.lurenet.com).
Bandit B-Rotan / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
The Bandit B-Rotan is a hybrid deep and shallow walleye catching design that will put a limit of these tasty fish in the boat no matter the conditions. Using a pronounced wobble along with two separate rattle chambers (with steel rattles) and this lure combines plenty of sound and vibration. When it hits the 8 to 10-foot depths on retrieves of 16-foot depths when trolled, the baitfish imitating colors result in a new lure that is a strike producing machine for walleye anglers! (www.lurenet.com).
BOOYAH XCS Series / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
A legendary performer in the past, the BOOYAH XCS comes back to market in two different sizes, both allowing for a silent square lip design that wobbles and semi-rolls its way back to the boat. Add in flash and incredible color schemes with etched scale detail and this lure is an easy hook-up machine as it’s bumped-and-run through fish producing shallow cover. (www.lurenet.com).
Cotton Cordell Tail Weighted Boy Howdy / PRADCO OUTDOOR BRANDS
A tail-weighed design, the Boy Howdy from Cotton Cordell sits vertically in the water with the tail down when at rest. By jerking the rod tip on the retrieve, this topwater design spits H2O like a fleeing shad or wounded minnow when it is brought back to the boat. When big strikes erupt from below, this bait uses No. 4 short-shanked trebles hooks to stick the big ones on the strike, giving you the catch of the day or the clincher to a tournament winning bag limit! (www.lurenet.com).
Berkley Hit Stick / Pure Fishing, Inc.
Sure, your granddad may have fished Berkley products back in his day, but odds are, he never had a fish catching minnow like this one. After of design and testing, this unique FlashDisc design uses the rolling action of balsa and the durability and casting ability of hard-plastic to create a rolling action that fish simply can’t resist! Go ahead, fire the Hit Stick into the fishiest looking areas and hang on tight! (www.purefishing.com).
RAPALA OG SLIM 6 / Rapala
Ott DeFoe is the worst nightmare for a big bass that doesn’t want to get caught. Not only is the 2019 Bassmaster Classic champ and 2020 Bass Pro Tour Stage Three winner at Lake Fork able to find the fish as good as any angler on the planet, he’s never satisfied with lure design until he’s found one that can catch them all. Constantly tinkering in the garage, DeFoe and Rapala have teamed up in 2020 to create a flat-sided balsa bait that combines a medium wobble and tight side-to-side action that dives up to 6-feet on the retrieve. With sizzling colors, superb components, and DeFoe’s fish catching ability, this is a trophy winning design! (www.rapala.com).
RAP-V BLADE / Rapala
Lipless crank? Yes. Jig like action that fishes well vertically? Yup, that too. Vibration of a bladed bait? Absolutely. Fish catching colors? You got it. No matter what you think the new Rapala Rap V Blade bait does best, it all works in concert to lure in fish that simply can’t resist. Cast it, jig it, bounce it, retrieve it…no bass, walleye, stripers, or any other freshwater fish can resist! (www.rapala.com).
Strike King Hybrid Hunter / Strike King
A non-conventional crankbait style hardbait, this lure comes through grass, wood, and any other fish holding cover than just about any other diving hard bait on the market. Thanks to its unique “L-Shaped” bill and super buoyancy, the new Hybrid Hunter has a unique hunting action, a loud rattle system, and two fish catching sizes (3.5- and 3.0-inch) to make it a versatile lure in the 3-5- and 2-4-foot fish catching zones. (www.strikeking.com).
Strike King KVD 1.5 Hard Knock / Strike King
Taking the fish catching fame of Kevin VanDam’s KVD 1.5 squarebill, this new Hard Knock version ups the fish catching ability and then some. By taking the legendary design that helped make KVD the greatest tournament bass pro of all-time, this new Strike King squarebill takes the cover-deflecting action of the 1.5 and adds a single, hard-knocking rattle that big bass simply can’t resist no matter the weather, water clarity, or cover it’s being retrieved through. (www.strikeking.com).
Strike King KVD 100 Jerkbait / Strike King
Joining the family of Kevin VanDam designed jerkbaits in the KVD 200, 300, and 300 Deep lineup, this new KVD 100 Jerkbait fills the niche of a small Strike King jerkbait designs that are big on fish catching ability. Measuring only 3.5-inches, this compact size casts well, hunts from side-to-side, hovers with strike-producing buoyancy, and moves erratically when the rod tip is twitched or jerked on the retrieve. In a variety of baitfish colors that work in 3-4-foot depth zones all over the country, this jerkbait design is another part of KVD’s fish catching arsenal that works no matter the water you’re fishing on. (www.strikeking.com).
Googan Squad Revolver / The Catch Company
A plopper-style topwater design, the new Googan Squad Revolver makes plenty of racket and leaves a trail of disturbed water that fish simply can’t resist. With noise and splash created by the familiar revolving portion of the lure body, this bait moves that design feature to the middle of the body to give the lure better hookup ratios and less missed strikes. (www.catchco.com).
Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerk Bait 110 / Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
A result of more than three-years’ worth of design work between Yo-Zuri’s Japanese design team and top U.S. bass pro staff members, the new Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerk Bait 110 is a fish catching tool every angler needs in their tackle box. Using a superb weight-transfer system that casts well no matter the wind, the flat sides of the lure and its balance give a unique darting action in the water. When the lure is stopped, it sits with a slight head down posture that fish can’t resist, especially given the color patterns and internal finishes that mimic baitfish from coast-to-coast. (www.yo-zuri.com).
Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerk Bait 110 Deep / Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
Taking all of the design features of the 3DB Jerk Bait 110, this Yo-Zuri design targets 8-12 foot depths and has been extensively tested by professional tournament pros fishing Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour, the FLW Pro Circuit, and the Bassmaster Elite Series. No matter the tour, pros describe this as one of the best jerkbaits on the market! (www.yo-zuri.com).
Hardcore Popper / Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
The only popper on the U.S. freshwater market featuring Yo-Zuri’s patented magnetic weight transfer system, this design pushes a lot of water while still being able to be retrieved back to the boat in a walked side-to-side motion that big bass can’t resist. Coming in a 2 ¾-inch size, the matte paint and translucent and metallic finish make this a must-have topwater option in 2020. (www.yo-zuri.com).
Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Popper / Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
A bigger profiled topwater that casts a long way, this big lure is perfect for strike producing walk-the-dog side-to-side retrieves on the way back to the boat. The Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Popper can lure huge strikes from below thanks to its tailored shape and large one-knock rattle cadence. Add in the 3D prism look and internal painted finishes, and big largemouths or freshwater striped bass can’t resist a terrific smashing strike on this 5 3/8-inch and 1-oz. topwater lure! (www.yo-zuri.com).
Hardcore Crank SR / Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
As the only crankbait on the market using Yo-Zuri’s patented Magnetic Weight Transfer system, this lure casts and out fishes most others on the U.S. market thanks to its 2 5/8-inch size and ability to cover the 3-5-foot strike zones as it deflects off cover. With color patterns designed by U.S. bass pro team members and Japanese product development team members, this new Yo-Zuri crankbait will arrive in U.S. markets early this fall in six fish catching color patterns. (www.yo-zuri.com)
Hardcore Minnow SP / Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
With Yo-Zuri’s patented Magnetic Weight Transfer system, this jerkbait checks in with six different colors and four different sizes (70mm, 90mm, 110mm, and 130mm). Able to be cast up to 30-percent farther than similar designs, the weights snap to the bait during the cast, allowing it to fly true as it slices through the wind. After hitting the water, the weights are locked in place by the magnetic features, giving the bait superb balance as it hunts for a big predatory strike on its way back to the boat! (www.yo-zuri.com).