UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Chickamauga

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 

Darrell Lowrance Part of Fishing’s First Generation of Innovators

Darrell Lowrance Part of Fishing’s First Generation of Innovators

The future of fishing is brighter thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of industry pioneer Darrell Lowrance, who passed away on Saturday at age 80. FLW joins the industry in mourning his loss, and offers its condolences to the Lowrance family. READ MORE »

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

Setting Up a Slugfest at Chickamauga  

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division promises much better fishing than the first. Moving north from a cold front-plagued Florida swing, the field will visit Lake Chickamauga for the middle event of the season. The tournament, which is presented by T-H Marine, should feature excellent fishing, as the east Tennessee reservoir pretty much always kicks out giants. READ MORE »

Seminole on YouTube

Seminole on YouTube

The third stop of the FLW Tour season on Lake Seminole was a roaring success. Many pros documented their practice and tournament days to give viewers an inside look at how their event unfolded. READ MORE »

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is a re-design of the Speed Spool, and it’s a very affordable casting reel that works quite well. It hit the market in the fall of 2018, and though it doesn’t visually stand out and it’s lacking in nonessential bells and whistles, the reel is more than capable of getting the job done for under $100. READ MORE »

FLW, Abu and Boy Scouts Launch Youth Contingency

FLW, Abu and Boy Scouts Launch Youth Contingency

FLW, along with Abu Garcia and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), recently announced a new contingency program for youth bass anglers who fish the YETI FLW College Fishing and Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing tournament circuits. READ MORE »

President Signs S. 47, Expands Fishing Access

President Signs S. 47, Expands Fishing Access

President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, signed into law S. 47, a package of bills that “sets forth provisions regarding various programs, projects, activities, and studies for the management and conservation of natural resources on federal lands.” READ MORE »

College Open Midday Update — Day 1

College Open Midday Update — Day 1

Kentucky Lake is showing out in a big way on day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open. Cool but fairly calm conditions have paved the way for a lot of quality fish and some impressive stringers so far. READ MORE »

KHSAA Region 2 Tournament Moved

KHSAA Region 2 Tournament Moved

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Region 2 bass tournament originally scheduled on Lake Cumberland out of General Burnside Island State Park has been moved to Halcomb’s Landing. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

Bryan Thrift’s bomb at the third stop of the FLW Tour on Seminole may ripple through the minds of fans for a while, but the other contenders for Angler of the Year pretty much stayed on fire. In the lead, Terry Bolton banked his second top 10 of the year and padded his lead. Behind him, Scott Martin earned his second top 10 in a row to push him into the runner-up spot as he pursues his second AOY title on Tour. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

FLW, Kayak Bass Fishing Join Forces

FLW, Kayak Bass Fishing Join Forces

FLW announced today that it has partnered with Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF), LLC, the nation's foremost organization supporting kayak bass anglers, to hold two kayak bass-fishing tournaments in 2019. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The two events will be held in conjunction with FLW Tour events – the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga and the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton – on nearby fisheries to offer kayak anglers and Tour pros separate fisheries for competition. KBF will manage operation of the two events, and the winners will be recognized on the FLW Tour stage and featured in FLW’s media outlets. READ MORE »

Polaris Named Title Sponsor of ROY Award

Polaris Named Title Sponsor of ROY Award

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that Polaris, the leading global powersports manufacturer, has been named the presenting sponsor for the coveted Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year (ROY) award. The award is given to the highest-ranked first-year angler on the prestigious Tour, which features some of the top anglers in professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Britt’s Final Practice Day on Seminole

Fishing his third year on the FLW Tour, Aaron Britt is off to his best start yet, sitting at 26th in the points and fresh off a top 10 at Toho. As is the case for many of his peers, Britt has never fished Lake Seminole, the site of the third stop of the FLW Tour presented by Costa. READ MORE »

FLW Kayak Fishing

READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Seminole

Get to Know Lake Seminole

The site of the third stop of the 2019 FLW Tour is Lake Seminole, a bass fishing gem sprawled through the pines and swamps of north Florida and south Georgia. Anglers will take off out of Bainbridge, Ga., in this tournament, which is presented by Costa, and should enjoy some really phenomenal fishing. READ MORE »

First Look at Seminole with Upshaw

First Look at Seminole with Upshaw

Stop No. 3 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes place at Lake Seminole and is presented by Costa. Though Seminole is a historic lake that is well-trafficked by the Costa FLW Series, the Tour hasn’t been here since 1996. It’s relatively unfamiliar for many pros, and Andrew Upshaw is one of them. In his eighth year on Tour, Upshaw has qualified for the FLW Cup in back-to-back years, and he’s off to a great start in 2019, sitting at 15th in the points through the first two events. READ MORE »

Co-angler Parks Nearly Goes Wire-to-Wire

Co-angler Parks Nearly Goes Wire-to-Wire

Jesse Parks came within 1 pound, 6 ounces of running wire-to-wire for the co-angler win in the Costa FLW Series Western Division Opener presented by Ranger Boats. He finished day one in fourth place with 10-9, but a 9-4 day-two effort (on a day that stumped most of the field) and two more fish for 3-11 on day three were plenty to claim the lead and never relinquish it. READ MORE »

Lake Mead Midday Update – Day 2

Lake Mead Midday Update – Day 2

It’s hard to get a read on how well Mead is fishing on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener presented by Ranger Boats. By some accounts, calmer conditions and cloudy skies have made the bite pick up in some key areas of the lake. On the other hand, the Overton Arm area is much slower today than it was on Thursday, and it's an area of the lake that produced for many anglers atop the day-one leaderboard. READ MORE »

Lake Mead Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Mead Midday Update – Day 1

As expected, the fishing has been pretty slow so far on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener, presented by Ranger Boats. On the bright side, it seems like the bite has picked up between 10 and 1 o’clock during practice this week, so we should be seeing more fish in livewells across the tournament field in the next couple hours. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Seminole Preview

2019 Lake Seminole Preview

Lake Seminole was created after the completion of the Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam back in 1952. It backed up the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers and created more than 37,000 acres of prime bass habitat. The Flint River and Spring Creek sections of the lake are entirely in Georgia, but the Chattahoochee arm runs along the border between Florida and Georgia. READ MORE »