UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - St. Lawrence River

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 

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River – Day 1

Moving and transitioning fish, changing winds, long runs that didn’t always pan out and a 1-ounce lead at the top. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, certainly hasn’t lacked storylines. READ MORE »

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

Hatch Leads by 1 Ounce

There were no 25-pound mega-bags coming across the stage at weigh-in of the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division. The event on the St. Lawrence River, presented by Gajo Baits, hasn’t been the slugfest many expected after one day of fishing. There were still plenty of 20-pound bags, though, and the St. Lawrence on a bad day is still a tremendous fishery. READ MORE »

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

St. Lawrence Midday Update – Day 1

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the St. Lawrence River opened to perfect conditions for anyone looking to burn some gas. Yes, it was a crisp 40 degrees at takeoff, but it was clear and calm. In fact, the current is ripping so hard it’s keeping the river as flat as most anglers have ever seen. Most pros should’ve been able to run all 95 miles to Lake Ontario (and into the lake if they wanted to) with little trouble. READ MORE »

Seal Sticks to River

Seal Sticks to River

Zackery Seal of Findley Lake, New York, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division super-tournament at the 1000 Islands Sunday. Seal earned $6,066 for his efforts. The Northeast Division is presented by Gajo Baits. READ MORE »

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Elrod Nets a Hat Trick

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 29 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division super-tournament on the James River Sunday. Elrod earned $3,542 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Fitzpatrick Notches No. 7

Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Missouri, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division presented by Bassing Bob super-tournament on Lake of the Ozarks Sunday. For his victory, Fitzpatrick earned $6,891 for his efforts. READ MORE »

No. 6 for Schroeder

No. 6 for Schroeder

Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Kentucky, brought a two-day total of seven bass to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division super-tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Schroeder earned $6,122 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

Murray Wins on Watts Bar

John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Volunteer Division super-tournament on Watts Bar Lake Sunday. Murray earned $7,334 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Rampey Takes Another on Hartwell

Jayme Rampey of Liberty, South Carolina, added another BFL victory to his impressive resume Sunday, bringing a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell. Rampey earned $5,665 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Leary Frogs and Flips on G-Ville

Jim Leary of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division super-tournament on Lake Guntersville presented by Cortland Line Sunday. Leary earned $5,869 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

“I’m pretty wild on color selection,” says Schmitt. “I always have my shad colors. I always have my black and blues. But I fall in love with trying to find a niche color. Especially when you get into the fall of the year on the Potomac. I love to find a crayfish pattern, and I feel like then a crayfish-imitating ChatterBait out-fishes anything else. And I also like to find a bluegill pattern at times, so I play with the colors.” READ MORE »

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Humbard Claims Another Cherokee W

Bill Humbard of New Market, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division tournament on Cherokee Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts on the water, Humbard took home $6,337. READ MORE »

Youngstown Wins on Erie

Youngstown Wins on Erie

The Youngstown State University duo of Jeffrey Jardine of Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots of McDonald, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds even. The victory earned the Penguins’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championshi READ MORE »

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Williams Winds and Flips on Dardanelle

Charles Williams of Clarksville, Arkansas, won this weekend’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division tournament on Lake Dardanelle presented by Navionics after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 9 ounces. For his efforts, Williams took home $4,868. READ MORE »

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Shadowens Drags Docks on Grand

Mark Shadowens of Kiefer, Oklahoma, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Okie Division tournament on Grand Lake Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. For his finish, Shadowens pocketed $5,704. READ MORE »

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Smith Needed One Rod on Shelbyville

Bradley Smith of Saint Jacob, Illinois, took home the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces. For his win, Smith pocketed $7,310. READ MORE »

Lobato Sticks to Pool 8

Lobato Sticks to Pool 8

Fernando Lobato of Sparta, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at La Crosse Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 2 ounces. Lobato earned $5,316 for his win. READ MORE »

Hawkins Deep Cranks on Smith Mountain

Hawkins Deep Cranks on Smith Mountain

Rick Hawkins of Roanoke, Virginia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division super-tournament on Smith Mountain Lake. Hawkins earned $4,682 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

STIX Fishing is a relatively new company started by FLW Live host Travis Moran and Nick Smith that sells fishing rods with a bit of a unique plan. Instead of picking and choosing a rod or two at a time, STIX wants to sell you six rods at a time (the STIX PAX) for $500, which comes out to about $83 per rod. According to the company, the STIX PAX is a complete set of bass rods and will do everything you need rods to do. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

On the Potomac, hands down, I want to fish grass. The grass holds the numbers. But if you look at the event this week on the Potomac, the tournament was won on structure. READ MORE »