UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

More from ICAST

More from ICAST

Continuing on through day two of ICAST 2018 produced more info on some stuff we already knew about and a few more finds along the way. There’s still no standout product, but there are plenty of things that look like they’ll find a niche in anglers’ arsenals. Overall, it seems like this ICAST is a winner, with good numbers of participants and lots of new stuff sold.

The 2019 FLW Tour schedule was released Thursday evening, along with a bunch of exciting rule changes. You can read up on the rules here and see the schedule here.

 

13 Fishing is doing baits now, and its most intriguing new hard bait is the SCAMP. It’s a pretty standard square-bill except for the bill, which is made of Airfoil Carbon to be thinner, stronger and more sensitive than other bills. It is supposed to be quite buoyant, and comes in two sizes for $10.99 and $11.99.

 

Gruv Fishing has a unique silicone anchoring system that locks hooks and hard baits in place in boxes, and the company expanding the collection with the Big Jig Launch Pad ($8) and Hard Bait Launch Pad ($10) this year. Both seem to hold baits really well and could be a great way to introduce people to the system. You can stick them to the underside of compartment lids, or somewhere else on the boat for quick access. They look to be a really good way to cut down on clutter in the boat and free up some cup holder space at the very least.

Topping the Freshwater Reel category, the Shimano Curado DC isn’t entirely a new concept, but it marks the first time Shimano’s I-DC4 digital casting technology is available on a remotely affordable reel. Though still in the higher price ranges, you can get a Curado DC for $249.99.

The reel has a microcomputer in it that is powered by the cast to control how much brake is applied throughout the cast. It can monitor the spool speed 1,000 times per second (which seems like a lot) and has four casting modes for different lines or situations.

Supposedly, DC will make a lot of decent and bad casters into better casters, but it won’t make everyone into Bryan Thrift. Alex Davis says it is phenomenal for a guide with overconfident customers, but that he can basically cast just as well with or without it (though, granted, he’s a pro). That doesn’t mean it won’t be applied by pros or high-level anglers. It will help guard against momentary distractions, and it’s just a good reel at the base of it.

One aspect that will take a little getting used to is that the side plate does not readily come off. There’s a spool tension knob on the side, which you should only barely touch, and a knob to adjust the modes, but that’s it. The side plate houses the digital technology, and in over a year of hard fishing Davis hasn’t had to touch it.

 

New from T-H Marine this year is the Hydra, which basically multiplies your battery terminals for easier rigging. Direct-wiring electronics has become a go-to way to cut down on interference, and with the increasing number of aftermarket accessories on bass boats, space on terminals is getting limited. You can get a three-way model for $24.99 and a five-way for a bit more.

 

Ark is mainly known for rods, but it has some pretty slick tungsten weights rolling out now as well. The main attraction is an unpainted no-chip model that comes in all the sizes you need. The flipping models also have the weight etched into the side for easier organization. Weights come in matte black and matte silver, and there will also be drop-shot and nail weights in the lineup.

 

Shin Fukae has been using this system on his wacky rigs for a while, and it’s a very neat deal. The G7 Worm Protect Tubes combined with the G7 Worm Tube Pliers work together to save you a ton of worms and make wacky and Neko rigs a lot better. The pliers are made to not cut the silicone tubing, and they open in reverse for ease of use. The tubing comes in a variety of diameters, but the most popular sizes are going to be 6mm for Trick Worms and 4-inch Senkos and 7mm for 5-inch Senkos.

 

Sunline XPlasma Asegai is an eight-carrier braid that incorporates P-Ion technology to make it slicker and more abrasion resistant. The P-Ion technology is pretty noticeable in the Assassin FC, and it might be pretty good on braid too. That said, it doesn’t feel noticeably slicker right out of the package, so it’s likely something you’ll need to see in action or after the line has worn down a little bit to realize the benefits. It will come in some light and heavy sizes, and a standard filler spool will run you about $24.

 

The Scent Keeper Tube Jig Head from Rapid Fishing Solutions is designed to lock in scent for longer. It’s basically got a pipe cleaner pre-wrapped on the shank of the hook, and it comes in 1/8- to 3/8-ounce sizes and retails for $7.99 for five. It’s a bit of a niche product, but if things go well the company plans to drop some heavier models into the lineup as well.

 

New from Halo in 2018 is the Black Widow Bass Series of rods. They’re pretty affordable at a $159 price point, and the styling really stands out. There are eight casting and two spinning models to choose from. Halo is also branching out into reels now: the HF Series for $89.99, the Viper (in three colors) for $119.99 and the Aero for $149.99.

 

Yo-Zuri has long sold the Crystal Minnow for saltwater, but it’s moving the bait over to the fresh side now with three sizes and some slick new colors. It’s a floating jerkbait that sells for around $9, and Clent Davis says that the spotted bass on the Coosa River eat it up. From the sounds of it, you can expect a suspending version next year as well.

 

Z-Man has cranked out some new skirted baits this year, including a swim jig and a spinnerbait, but the company also has plenty of new plastics and tackle for fishing them. The Finesse BulletZ is a weedless Ned rig head that will hold ElaZtech and come through the grass. For Ned rigs and other really small applications the TRD CrawZ and TRD MinnowZ are new, and the CrawZ look wicked sweet. The Scented Jerk ShadZ also comes in a new 4-inch size, and it looks like it could be really good for drop-shot and fluke applications.

 

G-Ratt is a newcomer to ICAST and to making baits for something a lot closer to mass production. Based on wood carvings and made from PVC, the two standout baits are the 5-inch Magic Mouse and the 6-inch Sneaky Pete. The Magic Mouse is a neat floating rat that wiggles across the surface without a bill. The Sneaky Pete is a solid looking glide bait. Both will retail for about $35.

 

Did you know that John Hunter’s nickname is “John John?” Now you do. From Cashion Rods, the FLW Tour pro has a single new rod out called the Hunter Series. It’s a 7-foot baitcaster made for crankbaits, jerkbaits and other light applications. It feels good in hand and retails for $135.95. 

 

The Stingray Fishing Line Cutter is downright cool. It comes with a lanyard and an adhesive/hook-and-loop backing, and it cuts braid like butter. It’s easy to use and can cut through knots and other types of line as well. The MSRP is $13.99, which is way less than a pair of fancy pliers, and it comes in a whole slew of colors.

 

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2018-07-10-icast-cup 

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The ninth largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Cumberland is a perfect stage for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Home to all three bass species and over 1000 miles of shoreline, the lake can swallow up a big field with relative ease, and with the fall bite starting to pick up in earnest and the water level lower than usual, the fishing should be pretty good. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. are best friends off the water, and it looks like they’ve got the makings of a deadly team on the water. Weighing five smallmouths for 21.16 pounds in the first session and 23.92 pounds in the second session, the pair totaled 45.08 pounds to win the individual competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. READ MORE »

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Though Team USA locked up the top three places, Team Canada placed six teams in the top 10 and averaged 38.98 pounds to win the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. Results were tallied based on the average weight brought in by each team in the two sessions of fishing, which almost guaranteed an extremely close finish. Earning a silver medal, Team USA finished just a hundredth of a pound back with a 38.97 average. READ MORE »