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July 15, 2016

ICAST 2016: Top 10 Lures

by Craig Ritchie

Are they made to catch fish? Or are they made to catch fishermen? With new lures it's sometimes hard to tell. What can't be argued is that lure designers keep getting more inventive all the time, as evidenced by the entries in the annual ICAST Best of Show Awards for 2016. Here are 10 top baits that impressed the judges.

Livingston Lures Walking Boss
MSRP: $19.99

When the initial prototype was destroyed by a muskie on the first cast, Livingston knew they had a winner in the Walking Boss. With its pronounced wobble walk and ability to be worked at speeds from 5 mph to a slow roll, this versatile bait has a natural look while the EBS sound calls in big predators for the strike. Built tough to withstand plenty of chewing and abuse by big predator fish, this 8-inch 4-oounce topwater features a solid 1.8mm steel wire design and 2X strong VMC hooks.

Rapala Skitter V
MSRP: $8.99

Its unique belly design is said to give the Skitter V a radical topwater action. The innovative V-Rap belly design mimics the hull of a boat, allowing for extreme, sharp-turning action. Combined with tail weighted balance, the design allows the 4-inch, ½-ounce lure to cut quick to stay in place without leaving the strike zone.

Biovex Joint Bait 142
MSRP: $16.95

The Biovex Joint Bait 142 is a slow floating, 5.5-inch, 1-ounce near-surface lure developed out of the Japanese trend of "snake-based action." Retrieved slowly, it provides a unique waking movement just below the water's surface.

Mann's Big 4-0
MSRP: $6.99

The newest member of Mann's DL (Deep Ledge) series, the beefy 4-0 is said to dive to an astounding 40 feet. Made in the USA, the Big 4-0 weighs in at 2.5 ounces and is just over 6 inches long. It can be cast like a traditional crankbait using most beefed up rod/reel combos. The Quick Dive lip gets the lure down faster than other crankbaits, so it stays at the desired depth for longer periods of time. Available in 6 popular colors.

Berkley Dredger
MSRP: $8.95

A unique body shape and weighted bill drive Berkley's Dredger deep and keep it in the strike zone longer. With a tight, subtle action, it offers great castability and a slow rise when paused. Comes in 5 different sizes and 20 different colors.

Lunkerhunt Link
MSRP: $13.99

Said to be the only hinged walking topwater currently available, the Link offers an enticing gliding, serpentine action to replicate some of North America's most popular forage species. It comes in two styles: chasing baitfish which replicates fleeing minnows, and serpent, which mimics the slithering action of a snake or eel along the water's surface. The Lunkerhunt Link is equally effective in both freshwater and saltwater environments and comes in 4.5-inch and 6.75-inch sizes in a choice of 9 natural forage patterns.

Daiwa EverGreen Crankbait CH-1
MSRP: $15.95

An extreme shallow-running crankbait with a fast pitch and rolling action, the CHI crankbait generates a tremendous amount of vibration on the retrieve, making it a great choice in stained water. Designed with a weight transfer system that provides for long accurate casting when searching for productive waters, the CH-1 comes in 6 productive colors either in a natural pattern or vibrant combinations with high quality tournament hooks.

Shimano Coltsniper Jerkbait
MSRP: $14.99

Extreme casting distance with a dynamic swimming action is the best way to describe the all new Coltsniper Jerk by Shimano. The Shimano propulsion weight transfer system uses a spring-loaded sliding weight that delivers a 20 percent increase in casting distance compared to traditional weighted lures. With a tight wobble and slashing action that triggers aggressive strikes, anglers will be able target fish from a greater distance to avoid spooking or pushing a school down in the water column. Available in 2 sizes and 8 colors.

Westin BabyBite
MSRP: $9.99

Available in both shallow runner (SR) and deep runner (DR) versions, the BabyBite has a tight swimming action with "just enough craziness to attract even the weariest of hungry predators." The lure's low density keeps it in the strike zone longer when you perform a spin-stop retrieve, and is also effective on a continuous retrieve.

Savage Gear 3D Suicide Duck
MSRP: $19.99

The Suicide Duck's spinning feet throw water in all directions on the retrieve, calling in large game fish from a considerable distance. Rigged with both top and bottom hook configuration so anglers can customize the bait for any fishing situation, the 3D Duck is available in two sizes and three fish-catching colors.
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