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 

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/news/2015-04-13-top-10-patterns-from-sam-rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

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Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

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Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »

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Wilson Tops Co-anglers on Rayburn

Dan Wilson caught one of only three co-angler limits on the final day of competition to come back from fourth place and win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. Consistency was key for Wilson, who weighed in 11 pounds, 1 ounce on day one, then followed with 13-04 and 14-15 on days two and three, respectively. His three-day total of 39-04 bested day-two leader Bryan New of North Carolina by 3 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

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Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-10-hanselmania-returns

Hanselmania Returns

He’s back at it again. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, won the season-opening Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad, and today he weighed in 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the second day of competition at stop No. 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman vaulted into the tournament lead with a two-day total of 43-14. “Hanselmania” leads by 5 pounds, 6 ounces over Denny Brauer, also of Del Rio, who is in second place for the second consecutive day. The leader’s stringer is even more impressive considering that Hanselman lost three 5-pounders this morning and caught 23-5 on a day when only one other pro weighed more than 20 pounds, and only three others weighed more than 18 pounds. Day-one leader Joe Don Setina weighed in only four keepers for 11 pounds today. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-top-5-patterns-from-sam-rayburn-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 2

Two limits of more than 20 pounds have pushed Del Rio, Texas, pro Ray Hanselman atop the leaderboard at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. Hanselman is flipping and pitching plastics to flooded brush and trees, with careful consideration to the spots that allow him the best targeting efficiency. The lake level remains at a 15-year high, so anglers are chasing scattered bass in areas the fish rarely see. Overcast skies dominated the day, and isolated showers popped up throughout competition. Overall, productivity was lower than that of day one, with fewer fish and limits caught, and overall weights down. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-10-rayburn-day-2-midday-update

Rayburn Day 2 Midday Update

With only one fish in the livewell at 10:30, Joe Don Setina was probably hoping for a repeat of day one – at least the part where he sacks ’em up in the second half. We found the leading pro fishing the Black Forrest area that he worked the first day, and he’s sticking with the same routine of flipping heavy cover. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-09-setina-overcomes-slow-start

Setina Overcomes Slow Start

Pittsburg, Texas, pro Joe Don Setina is off to a hot start in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division this season. After a top-10 finish at the opener on Lake Amistad, Setina jumped out to the day-one lead on Sam Rayburn today. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Setina, however. He says nothing went right for him this morning, when he lost fish, snagged trees and finally had to sit down and collect himself before continuing on. After refocusing, Setina caught his first keeper at about 11 a.m. and proceeded to sack up 23 pounds, 6 ounces for a slim 8-ounce lead over second-place pro Denny Brauer, who also finished in the top 10 at the Amistad opener. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-09-top-5-patterns-from-sam-rayburn-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 1

Overcoming a tough start, Joe Don Setina rallied to take the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He’s fishing flooded trees and bushes like most of the field and weighed in 23 pounds, 6 ounces. With the lake at a 15-year high thanks to recent rains, Rayburn’s bass are scattered, often in areas that are difficult to reach. Some pros are muscling their way through the thick stuff to search for bedding fish, while others opt for working the perimeter of the flooded zone for postspawn bass. READ MORE »

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Anglers Brace for Rough Weather

At the morning takeoff, Texas pro Jim Tutt joked about putting on his rainsuit in the warm, dry sanctuary of the cove where the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn would soon commence. However, upon leaving the protected waters just east of the Sam Rayburn Dam, anglers soon found a very different mood that’s likely to worsen as the day progresses. Cloudy morning skies generally foretell some type of weather system coming or going, but this afternoon and evening will see some pretty fierce meteorological mayhem making its way across the Midwest and Mississippi Valley regions. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-09-swollen-rayburn-challenges-anglers

Swollen Rayburn Challenges Anglers

High water, high winds and high hopes – that’s the forecast for the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, which kicked off today at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. Torrential rains of recent weeks have swollen this Angelina River impoundment, and a huge downpour last weekend has all but stymied efforts to lower the water level. Currently, the lake sits about 5 feet above normal – a level not seen here in more than 15 years. Realistically, anglers aren’t looking for much, if any, decline this week – particularly given the approaching storm system. READ MORE »

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Tour Opener Timed Right for Florida Spawn Fireworks

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Meyer Motivated by “Catch” of a Lifetime

Cody Meyer had a tremendous Walmart FLW Tour season in 2014 – three top-10 finishes, his seventh consecutive Forrest Wood Cup qualification and a second-place finish in the Angler of the Year race. Suffice it to say, the seventh-year pro from Auburn, Calif., carries significant momentum into 2015, but that’s not all he’ll bring. Meyer’s recently intensified motivation comes from something you can’t find on stat sheets or in a tackle bag. Put it this way: Meyer has hoisted plenty of nice largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, but on Jan. 14, he lifted the most precious “catch” he’s ever held: Brooke Emily Meyer. READ MORE »

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Sebile Action First Star Shiner

It’s no secret that one of the best baits you can throw at lethargic bass in chilly water is a suspending jerkbait. Just in time for this year’s prespawn brawl, here is a new twist on the darting, diving minnow imitator that’s sure to put a twinkle in the bass’ eye without putting a big dent in your tackle budget. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-25-magnum-rods-for-jumbo-plugs

Magnum Rods for Jumbo Plugs

With the magnum crankbait craze spreading in 2014, it makes sense that rod companies would start building rods specifically for fishing jumbo plugs. We analyzed three tournament-worthy rods built for launching crankbaits ranging from standard deep-divers such as the Strike King 6XD up to today’s true jumbo plugs like the Strike King 10XD. Here’s how they fared. READ MORE »

/news/2014-11-04-top-3-patterns-bfl-wild-card

Top 3 Patterns – BFL Wild Card

When day one of the Walmart Bass Fishing League Chevy Wild Card on Kentucky Lake commenced, J.R. Henard got right to the point, sacking up a limit by 8:30 a.m. and never looking back. For two days, he kept his foot on the gas and hauled in a tournament-winning total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces – nearly 12 pounds better than second place – and a top prize of $4,478, plus entry into the 2015 BFL All-American. READ MORE »

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Top 3 Patterns – Kentucky Lake Regional

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/news/2014-10-24-top-3-patterns-sam-rayburn-regional

Top 3 Patterns – Sam Rayburn Regional

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