by Craig Ritchie
Anglers will face tough choices when shopping for new lures next spring as manufacturers unveil a wide range of new hard and soft baits this week at ICAST, the world's largest fishing tackle trade show. More than 11,000 people representing manufacturers, buyers, dealers and reps from around the globe are on hand in Orlando to see what's new for 2016, including hundreds of new lures from manufacturers around the globe. Berkley
has unveiled a complete line of new hard baits, in cooperation with top bass pro David Fritts. The all-new Berkley Hardbait series consists of 11 different models, each rigged with Berkley Fusion19 treble hooks and featuring custom designs and colors. Models include the Bad Shad 5 and Bad Shad 7 crankbaits that rise slightly at every pause; the Cutter 90+, Cutter 110+ and Skinny Cutter 110+ suspending jerkbaits; the Digger 6.5 and Digger 8.5 crankbaits designed for covering water with an aggressive wobble and side flash; the square-billed Pitbull 5.5, designed to bounce off of wooded cover; the lipless Warpig 1/2 and 1/4; and the deep-running Wild Thang 8.5. Berkley's Hardbait Cutter Berkley's PowerBait Shaky Snake
While the new hardbaits definitely raised eyebrows, Berkley has also made some significant new introductions to its PowerBait lineup for 2016, topped by the all-new Shaky Snake. Designed for finicky fish that just won't commit, this five-inch bait features a beefy head section that tapers into an egg sack. Corkscrew ribs add a lifelike, fluid motion that should coax even the spookiest bass. The ribs on the Shaky Snake are said to add more surface area, allowing more scent dispersion throughout the water column.
Thanks to its unique moving weight system, the Jaco 58MR from Jackall
casts like a lure that's heavier than it actually is. The flat-sided crank will dive down to about six feet, making it a good choice for fishing over grass beds. Available in eight colors, it features an innovative internal scale pattern finish for enhanced underwater reflection.
Jackall's Jaco 58MRMann's Baits
raised a few eyebrows with its all-new Crystal Classic spinnerbait. This lure features an actual glass crystal mounted in a clear, polycarbonate blade, which the company says generates unique vibration patterns in addition to distinctive flash in the water. The Crystal Classic comes with a Silaflash skirt, Eagle Claw Trokar hook, and the classic spinnerbait head to create a truly modern twist on one of the all-time classic lure designs. Mann's Baits' Crystal Classic
Not to be outdone, Live Target
came to the show with a number of new lures for both freshwater and saltwater applications.
The Hollow Body Sunfish comes in two sizes and 12 colors that match varied Pumpkinseed and Bluegill patterns. Perfect for use in heavy cover, its weedless design utilizes a custom Trokar double hook. LiveTarget's Hollow Body Sunfish
With the round goby now a prolific baitfish in the Great Lakes region, Live Target has introduced two variations of this pre-rigged and weighted soft-plastic lure. Available in three sizes and eight colors, the Goby comes in both a Paddle Tail and Curly Tail versions. LiveTarget's Round Goby
Also new is a Magnum Threadfin Shad crankbait in the BaitBall Series. Designed to represent a group of shad that have become separated from their school, the new bait comes in eight color patterns, some with metallic flash enhanced anatomy schemes LiveTarget's Magnum Threadfin ShadSnagproof
enters the 2016 season with its new Wobbletron frog. The weedless, one-half ounce floating frog features new kicker feet that come straight out the back of the frog for great gurgling action during a slow, steady retrieve. The durable, soft, hollow plastic body stays weedless through the snaggiest weeds and feels natural to fish that hit it, allowing more time to set the hook. Specially weighted to land right-side-up at the end of the cast, the Wobbletron comes in five colors. Snagproof's Wobbletron Frog
The new Impulse Live Rigged Paddle Minnow from Northland Fishing Tackle
was designed for walleye, but should also prove a hit with smallmouth bass anglers. The lifelike baitfish-imitating bodies are precisely matched to ultra-realistic, stand-up jig heads and come conveniently pre- rigged in sizes from 3/64 to 3/8 ounce. Available in six holographic HD fish photo-image finishes, the Live Rigged Paddle Minnow is said to offer a uniquely lifelike action and feel. Northland's Impulse Live Rigged Paddle MinnowThe ICAST show runs at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando through July 17.