UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

ICAST Day 1 Tidbits

ICAST Day 1 Tidbits

ICAST can be a bit of a scramble, but if you take time to roll through the show with a bit of a plan and some input from friends you can end up seeing some neat things and have a good time. So far this year there doesn’t seem to be one standout new product, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty cool stuff to be found. There’s also a lot left to see. Below is a sampling of what we saw today day. There’s a lot more to come this week.

The category winners from the New Product Showcase were announced today, and the Best of Show awards will be announced Thursday afternoon. 

Category winners 

 

The Shimano Curado DC, with electronic cast control, is the star of the show, but the Shimano SLX is going to get a lot of play. It comes in pretty much all the gear ratios and models you could ask for and sells for around $99.99. It is compact and feels good, and looks pretty good too, with similar styling to the Curado K but with blue accents. There’s also a matching SLX series of rods to go with, and for the price they feel really good.

 

Shimano debuted the Curado line of rods last year, and they’ve added a bunch of models to it this year. Running from about $160 to $170, they now cover a very broad spectrum of techniques. They aren’t “technique specific” per say, but there is everything from a 6-8 spinnerbait rod to flipping sticks and drop-shot rods in the bunch. With a lot of cork, they should be popular with folks who are a little more old-school, and they’ll go a long way toward building a specialized combo for under $300.

 

Molix has a new finesse jighead that looks pretty good. The bait keeper could probably use a little work, but the hook itself seems just right and comes in a lot of the small sizes you want for little swimbaits and the like. It’s called the Round Jig Head Fiber Guard and comes in four sizes from 1/16 to 1/4 ounce with two hook sizes in each weight. The weedguard is made of nylon, and feels like it ought to cut down on snags a little without cutting down on bass.

 

The Bill Lewis MR-6 crankbait might help the makers of the Rat-L-Trap continue to branch out from the lipless market. It’s a little crankbait that is poised to compete with the Rapala DT 6 and the SPRO Little John MD as a prime mid-depth option. It has a weight transfer system for long casts, is 2 1/4 inches long and weighs just 1/2 ounce. Retailing for $7.99, it’s a little more than the DT 6 and less than the Little John. It’s a tough market, but it should be more durable than the Rapala, and if it works just as well it can certainly carve out some space. It comes in a full suite of colors, with strawberry craw designed by Mark Daniels Jr. and ghost craw and pro blue designed and tweaked by Brian Latimer.

 

The Jackall Riser Bait 085 SP is an interesting cat. Jackall has made a little bitty size of it before, but the 85 weighs 3/4-ounce and is going to cast like a bullet on a baitcaster. It’s essentially a sinking topwater that works like a crankbait in reverse and automatically snakes back along the surface on the retrieve. The MSRP is $14.99, so it isn’t cheap, but Alex Davis says that schooling bass can’t stand it. With a prop for added commotion and a mouth for spitting, there’s a lot going on, but the Forrest Wood Cup-bound FLW Tour pro swears it isn’t a gimmick.

 

Lew’s may have taken a big step forward in the spinning reel arena with the Team Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spin. The reel feels buttery smooth and has an aluminum body, high-strength gears and 12 stainless bearings. At $129.99, it has a very attractive price as well. The only downside is that it isn’t a featherweight, but if you get good performance out of it at the price point it should be a winner.

 

The new Strike King Mega Dawg is a giant topwater. It’s not exactly a Lunker Punker, but it’s getting close at 6 inches long and 2 ounces. The bait will retail for about $14 or $15 bucks, and it will probably find a home in some anglers’ arsenals, though some might find it a little big.

 

Berkley has a pile of new stuff out this year, and it’s doing some interesting things. A lot of the old Havoc shapes have moved into the PowerBait line. It’s expanded the MaxScent line, and also rolled out a pile of new topwaters.

In the MaxScent line, the Flat Worm is pretty intriguing. It’s caught Shane LeHew a bunch of fish at St. Clair already and is a standard but smelly smallmouth drop-shot bait. I’m a fan of the MaxScent stuff (the Creature Hawg seems to catch ’em), and the ability to have a Gulp! scent without the messy Gulp! inconvenience might be really clutch for drop-shot stuff. 

The new topwaters all look pretty decent too. The Cane Walker is Justin Atkins’ baby (you might remember him doing well with a topwater last August), and the Choppo 120 is a River2Sea Whopper Plopper knockoff that some say is better than the original. The best thing about the Berkley topwaters is that they’re all less than $10.

 

The Favorite MLB Casting Rod is a real disappointment to me for two reasons: They don’t make a spinning model and they do make a Yankees model. There’s a color for every team in the league, and they almost all look baller. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of choice in the lineup, but if you need a medium-heavy baitcaster, $149.99 will get you one with your favorite team on it.

 

The Stanford Baits Boom Boom Frog looks like a winner to me. It’s got a couple of neat features the average frog doesn’t have and all the usual good stuff you’d expect from a frog designed by Fred Roumbanis. The thing that sticks out the most is a little patch of Frogfur on top that actually helps to keep bass teeth tangled up in it for just a bit longer. It also collapses really well and has an eye on the bottom for extra realism. Additionally, it is the meanest-looking frog on the market. You can get one for $10.99.

 

I’ve got a knack for seeing cool drop-shot baits at ICAST and then never applying them to real life. Hopefully that doesn’t end up being the case with the Missile Baits Bomb Shot. It’s a slick-looking little dude with a nice tail and some fun ribs like the D Bomb. It ought to catch plenty of smallies. It comes 15 to a pack for just $3.99.

 

Nishine Lure Works is a newcomer to ICAST. Started in Japan and now based out of Ontario, Canada, the company has a drop-shot bait, the Erie MD 115 jerkbait and the Chippewa series of crankbaits. The hard baits are all priced in the teens and look really good. The jerkbait is a floater that comes with a weight to make it a slow-sink model. If you went with a lighter weight it could become a suspending jerkbait.

Tags: jody-white  article  2018-07-10-icast-cup 

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Champlain Midday Update – Day 1

Takeoff was a little blustery, but overall, it’s been a perfect start to the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. The event is the kickoff of the Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, and the tournament itself is presented by Polaris. READ MORE »

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Champlain Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Last year, every event in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division, which is presented by Gajo Baits, was won entirely with smallmouth bass. This season, the kickoff event on Champlain, which is presented by Polaris, looks destined to involve some largemouths. Everyone in the top five weighed green ones on day one, though somewhat surprisingly, the south end down by Ticonderoga didn’t play an overwhelming role, as only three of the top 10 anglers made the long run southward. READ MORE »

Go-Time Again on Champlain

Go-Time Again on Champlain

Each of the last three years have seen the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits kick off on Champlain. This tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but the dominant pattern certainly won’t be spawning smallmouths. Instead, it could be a largemouth slugfest, as the fishing has continued to prove strong on the south end of the lake. READ MORE »

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Thrift Takes Command on Champlain

Less than three weeks removed from a third-place finish on Lake Champlain in the FLW Tour’s 2019 season finale, Bryan Thrift hauled 22 pounds, 6 ounces of green fish to the weigh-in stage to take the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division opener, which is presented by Polaris. In second, Brandt Tumberg weighed 21-10, and Joe Wood is just an ounce behind him with 21-9 for third.  READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Brian Latimer.  READ MORE »

Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

For three years running now, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits has kicked off on Lake Champlain. The tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but it’s going to be far different than the last two FLW Series tilts on the big Northern lake. READ MORE »

Big Little Boats

Big Little Boats

There is a massive surge in innovation in the fishing kayak industry, as evidenced by a showroom floor packed with canoes, kayaks, boats – and, in many cases, a combination of all of them – at ICAST 2019. READ MORE »

4 Hot New Reels from ICAST

4 Hot New Reels from ICAST

2019 is the year of the trolling motor at ICAST, but it wouldn’t be ICAST without at least a few next generation reels from some of the best manufacturers in the business. READ MORE »

New Baits from ICAST 2019

New Baits from ICAST 2019

Here’s a primer on some of the baits that we thought stood out at the show. It’s not a comprehensive list. Rather, it’s just a taste of what will probably make a splash on the market in the coming months.  READ MORE »

Sign up for Polaris Sportsman Giveaway

Sign up for Polaris Sportsman Giveaway

FLW has teamed up with its partners at Polaris to give away a Polaris Sportsman® 570 EPS valued at approximately $7,799. This special giveaway offer is being shared with FLW members and fans. READ MORE »

Ouachita to host Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup

Ouachita to host Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup

The Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack will feature up to 238 of the top kayak bass anglers from around the country who have qualified for the event through the FLW/KBF Kayak Open, the KBF National Championship, the KBF Trail and the KBF Pro Tour. They will be competing for a total prize package of $18,000 – a $3,000 Dee Zee gift card and $15,000 in cash. READ MORE »

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Before we shift our focus to previewing the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, let’s start with a look back at the baits that were used to win the seven FLW Tour events this season. READ MORE »

First 2020 FLW Tour Invites Sent

First 2020 FLW Tour Invites Sent

Today, FLW sent out 119 invitations for the 2020 FLW Tour to the top performers from the 2019 FLW Tour. These invitations are in alignment with the 2019 FLW Tour rules that were announced last summer that transitioned the Tour to a qualification system, as well as one amendment made to accommodate changes in the pro bass fishing industry. The amendment was announced to pros at the registration meeting for the season finale on Lake Champlain last week. READ MORE »

2019 FLW Cup Roster

2019 FLW Cup Roster

With Casey Scanlon’s win at Lake Champlain in the books – not to mention the crowning of David Dudley as Angler of the Year for the fourth time and Ron Nelson as Polaris Rookie of the Year – the 2019 FLW Tour season is complete. Now, focus turns to Hot Springs, Ark., and the 2019 FLW Cup August 9-11. READ MORE »

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Oklahoma pro Kyle Cortiana was involved in an accident near Indianapolis on his way home from the FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain on Saturday. He has since been released from of a local hospital and is now in a hotel room recovering and waiting for a ride home to the Sooner State.  READ MORE »

Nelson Wins ROY

Nelson Wins ROY

Ron Nelson blanked on the first day of his first FLW Tour event. Then he got things on track – so on track that he finished the season ninth overall in the standings and above every other rookie to earn the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award. Winning ROY is typically a career-setting accomplishment, and to go with the hardware Nelson will also receive a Polaris Sportsman® 570 ATV. READ MORE »

Melissa Browne’s First Look at Champlain

Melissa Browne’s First Look at Champlain

When Browne passed away last month after a difficult fight with cancer, there was one item on his list with regard to Champlain that remained unchecked. And it had nothing to do with actually competing there.  Glenn never got to take his wife, Melissa, to visit Champlain and spend time together in the Adirondack region. She’s remedying the situation this week by participating in the FLW Marshal program. READ MORE »

Jonathan Henry, 1982-2019

Jonathan Henry, 1982-2019

Professional angler Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., lost his battle with cancer today. He was 36 years old. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »