UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

ICAST Trends: Big and Bold

ICAST - Hard Bait - Gan Craft Super Magnum 300 – If you want a jumbo lure and are the type of swimbait angler who has to have everything, you’ve got it in the Gan Craft Super Magnum 300 two-piece hard swimbait. This monster weighs 8 ounces and is 12 inches long. You’ve got to really want to own one though. It sells for $249.95.

Gizzard shad are nothing new; nor is the notion that bass like to eat them. However, the recent heroics with a Magnum Spoon by Jason Lambert, Clent Davis, Randy Haynes and others at Kentucky Lake have focused a spotlight on a point reflected in several of the new products debuted at ICAST.

Essentially, bass direct plenty of their attention to schools of smaller threadfin shad, ICAST - Hard Baits - Nichols Lures Ben Parker Signature Series Magnum Spoon - If you follow FLW, then you've read about the Magnum Spoon, which was a game-changer at the final FLW Tour stop on Kentucky Lake. At almost 8 inches, this thing is a jumbo gizzard shad imitator. $16.99 NicholsLures.combut the big ones – the legitimate day-changers – are fond of big meals. Makes sense: Why burn time and energy chasing around a bunch of little baitfish when two or three super-sized entrees will hold you for the day?

Ben Parker, designer of the Magnum Spoon (available from Nichols Lures), bottom lines it: “There’s a reason they call ’em largemouths.”

Indeed, a quality bass will attack remarkably large meals, and several of the baits introduced at ICAST will put that theory to the test. Among the hefty artificials that made their debut at the Orange County Convention Center this week at ICAST are the Gan Craft Super Magnum 300 jointed swimbait, which stretches a full 12 inches – the largest to date for Gan Craft.

Elsewhere, SPRO introduced the Rock Crawler 55, a lifelike rat lure with an active tail and a big profile that would no doubt cause a big disturbance in your home or a fish’s. Built with a wake-style lip, the bait looks like it will swim with tantalizing faux rodent flare.

ICAST - Hard Baits - SPRO Rock Crawler 55 - This swimming rodent measures about 10 inches. More than half of that length is in its body. The rest is in the tail. Wake it or swim it subsurface. SPRO.com

 

 

 

Others include:

- Biwaa Divinator – a lanky soft-body swimbait with a lead-head, a belly treble and a tail spinner

- Strike Pro Pig Shad and Bandit Shad – a couple of heavyweight soft-body swimbaits that would fit well on lead-heads with stinger harnesses

- Savage Gear Hard Eel – a hard-body with replaceable eel tails

- Fairpoint Tommy Trout – a slow-sinking rainbow trout imitator that’s always a good look for largemouth

- Biwaa Twin Pike – a jumbo twin-tail swimbait that should kick up quite a commotion

- Strike King KVD 8.0 – a jumbo square-bill crankbait that dives 7 feet

 

 

 

Big-Bait Accessories

Rods for these big baits need to have plenty of length and backbone with a flexible tip, and reels must pack large line capacity and a hard-core drag. A few new products answer the call.

Straight Talk Wireless pro JT Kenney likes Halo’s 7-foot, 11-inch, heavy Titanium Series rod for slinging big baits.

“The exposed blank design is important for feeling the subtle tail motion of a swimbait,” Kenney explains.

On the reel scene, Abu Garcia introduced the new Revo Beast, a 7:1 workhorse built on the classic Revo frame and fitted with oversized handles and knobs for maximum leverage. Pure Fishing’s Paul Davis says the Beast packs a lot of fish-whipping power into an easy-to-manage profile.

“We wanted to keep it compact so it fits in your hand well,” says Davis. “The reel has an all-aluminum frame and side plates to keep it rigid while you’re throwing those big baits for those big fish.

“The big thing with this reel is the 22-pound max drag,” he adds. “With the oversized knobs and handle, all that works together so you can land those big fish when they’re digging for cover.”

 

The Flip-Side

Notably, on the other end of the spectrum, ICAST brings us several diminutive products – particularly the Micro Critters series from Rebel. Essentially scaled-down versions of popular Rebel baits, the Micro lineup targets the youth market with a reconfiguration that fosters safety and ease-of-release.

Each bait in the series – MicroCrawfish, MicroMinnow, MicroCrickhopper, MicroPop-R – shrinks by about half. Most noticeably, the baits trade the treble hooks standard to their full-size counterparts for single barbless hooks.

The dual benefits are safety for little hands and quicker release for small fish.

Tags: tech-tackle-reviews  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

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Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

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Hunting Erie’s Brown Fish

It’s going to be an Easter egg hunt on Lake Erie, but at least the great lake will behave a little better during the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event than it did during practice. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-26-smallmouth-slugfest-on-tap-at-erie-

Smallmouth Slugfest on Tap at Erie

Florida pro Glenn Browne leads the race with 492 points, largely due to his win at the previous divisional event on Lake Champlain. Following well within striking distance are Canadian pro Cory Johnston (484 points) and Louisianan Gerald Spohrer (483), who found his way into the Northern Division quite incidentally. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-17-top-10-patterns-from-lake-dardanelle

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong, who won the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event on Lake Dardanelle, devoted most of his time to fishing reed lines with a mix of chatterbaits, frogs and Texas-rigged worms. He also caught fish by dragging a Texas-rigged 10-inch worm past brush piles in 6-8 feet. Lieblong amassed a three-day total of 46 pound, 3 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-15-lieblong-dominates-dardanelle-rayovac

Lieblong Dominates Dardanelle Rayovac

Having lead the event for two days, the pro from Conway, Ark., carried a 14-ounce lead into the final round. After weighing a limit of 12 pounds, 2 ounces on day three, Lieblong closed the door with a tournament total of 46-3 and a 2-pound, 2-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

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Smith Takes Co-Angler Title At Dardanelle

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Dardanelle Midday Update Day 3

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/news/2015-08-14-lieblong-holds-on-to-lead-at-dardanelle

Lieblong Holds On To Lead At Dardanelle

Current events proved perplexing for Jason Lieblong, even though he retained his lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division event on Lake Dardanelle. The pro from Conway, Ark., topped the day-one leaderboard with 19 pounds, 10 ounces, but saw his second day’s productivity slip to 14-7 for a total weight of 34-1 and a 14-ounce lead going into the final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-14-top-5-patterns-from-lake-dardanelle-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Dardanelle Day 2

Arkansas pro Jason Lieblong held on to the top spot in Rayovac FLW Series Central Division action on Lake Dardanelle with 34 pounds, 1 ounce. Flipping plastics and a jig produced all of his fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-14-dardanelle-midday-update-day-2

DARDANELLE MIDDAY UPDATE DAY 2

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/news/2015-08-13-lieblong-leads-on-dardanelle-with-19-10

Lieblong Leads on Dardanelle with 19-10

Rising water brought increased current to Lake Dardanelle, and Jason Lieblong leveraged this dynamic to take the lead on day one of Rayovac FLW Series Central Division action on this Arkansas River impoundment. He brought in a limit that weighed 19 pounds, 10 ounces. In the early hours of his day the pro from Conway, Ark., alternated between backwaters and main-lake banks in an effort to determine where the fish were most active. Once the sun gained altitude and harsh light had pushed the fish tight to cover, he committed to the bank. “I just put the trolling motor down and went fishing and found some fish on your obvious stuff like laydowns and grass. I even caught some in open water with no structure whatsoever,” Lieblong says. “I found a little current, and that’s key.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-13-top-5-patterns-from-lake-dardanelle-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Dardanelle Day 1

Arkansas pro Jason Lieblong took the day-one lead in Rayovac FLW Series Central Division action on Lake Dardanelle with 19 pounds, 10 ounces. Flipping plastics produced all of his fish. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-13-dardanelle-midday-update-day-1

Dardanelle Midday Update Day 1

The warm, sunny conditions that greeted Rayovac FLW Series Central Division anglers at the morning takeoff on Lake Dardanelle will continue through the afternoon. The light early breeze has increased to a 5-10 mph wind - a welcome factor as daytime temperatures approach 90 degrees READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-13-up-and-down-on-dardanelle

Up and Down on Dardanelle

Tournament fishing inherently has its ups and downs, but Rayovac FLW Series Central Division anglers are getting a concentrated dose of this angling truism on Lake Dardanelle. An Army Corps of Engineers impoundment of the Arkansas River, Dardanelle has seen its water level fluctuate with recent rains and the Corps’ efforts to moderate this flow. Dam releases have pulled the lake down enough to reposition fish. READ MORE »

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Competition Fuels Reyes

Case in point: Jason Reyes, the Walmart FLW Tour pro from Huffman, Texas, who’ll make his second Forrest Wood Cup appearance next month on Lake Ouachita. Finishing 23rd in the points, Reyes posted his best season in nine years of Tour competition, but his description of meaningful moments goes beyond high finishes and a championship berth. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-22-thrift-flirting-with-second-aoy-title

Thrift Flirting with Second AOY Title

Bryan Thrift can’t say for certain what baits will sit on his front deck during the final Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015 on the Potomac River, which is set to kick off this Thursday, but he’s quick to say what will not join him – the memory of his 2010 Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-09-starting-strong

Starting Strong

Zack Birge likes to play the numbers, and right now the math is looking pretty sweet for him. With two events remaining on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, the Blanchard, Okla., pro has essentially sewn up Rookie of the Year honors, and he’s currently sitting in fourth place in the Angler of the Year standings. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-08-top-10-patterns-from-the-james-river

Top 10 Patterns from the James River

Flipping isolated clumps of spatterdock produced the winning fish for Canadian pro Cory Johnston at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the James River. Adapting to the week’s extreme high water was critical to bagging the winning total of 46 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-06-johnston-rises-from-sixth-for-the-win

Johnston Rises From Sixth for the Win

Cory Johnston’s bucket list just shrank. After a couple of close finishes, the pro from Peterborough, Ont., finally bagged his first Rayovac FLW Series victory with a winning total of 46 pounds, 14 ounces at the Northern Division opener on the James River Saturday. “I’ve always wanted to win one of these,” Johnston says of his accomplished Rayovac career, which hadn’t included a first-place finish until now. “I’ve won some other tournaments; I’ve been second (in Rayovacs) two times and my brother (Chris) has been second two or three times. So to win this really feels good.” Fishing the Chickahominy River — a major James River tributary — Johnston got off to a lukewarm start, as a 10-pound, 9-ounce effort left him with a 27th-place showing on day one. Regrouping for day two, he formed a new game plan borne of a revelation that came early on day two. READ MORE »