ICAST 2022 is just around the corner. Lots of new tackle information is hitting the web constantly prior to the show. Here are the AnglerGear.net top 10 preshow picks.
10. Autism Anglers Youth Fishing Rod Combo
Autism Anglers is a nonprofit that has made a name for itself in bringing about Autism Awareness, especially in the bass fishing community. I’ve seen and been impressed with a few of their collaborative efforts with Sixgill in the past. For ICAST 2022 they are showcasing a youth fishing combo out that brings affordable quality to new anglers leveraging American Tackle components. MSRP TBD
9. Plano EDGE Frog Box
The award-winning EDGE series from Plano has been a popular addition to many anglers’ tackle arsenal since their debut in 2019. The new Frog Box builds on this lineup with a bait specific design that lets you store up to 50 frogs by the line tie to let the baits hang vertically and facilitate keeping baits legs dry and tangle free. The WaterWick divider and O ring seals on the box should also help keep the box dry. Maybe you can finally ditch the baby powdered box? MSRP $54.99
8. Berkley Slobberknocker
Berkley’s take on a bladed jig? Sounds like a fish catcher to me. Yeah, okay there are a number of Berkely baits that are essentially “derivatives” from popular mainstays in the industry. But with category leaders in any bait line, one can argue there will always be competing baits willing to challenge. With a new head design, hand tied PowerBait skirt, and Fusion 19 hook, these bladed jigs look to be top notch. MSRP $13.99
7. Missile Baits Magic Worm
Missile Baits Flair+ Hand poured Roboworm goodness = Fish Catching Machine.
6″ straight tail finesse goodness available in 12 fish catching color patterns. MSRP $10.99 / 14pk
6. Team Lew’s Elite Ti SLP Casting Reel
Lew’s modern baitcasting options have gotten expansive over the last few years. Their design team has been making strides with some interesting and popular reel options. The new Elite Ti-SLP will be their new flagship offering taking over the Popular Purple Pro-Ti SLP. With an MSRP of $500 this reel encroaches into a price point paradigm that brings lofty expectations. Can it live up to the hype?
5. Z-Man HellraiZer
This lure just screams “WTF is that thing!?”. Both to anglers and the fish it targets. Eclecticism aside the original Chatterbait itself brought about a whole new fishing paradigm once it hit the mainstream. Designed by the inventor of the original ChatterBait, the new Z-man HellraiZer, is perhaps best described as a tail walking topwater lure. 5/8 oz, 5inches long and available in 10 color patters. MSRP $14.99
4. LiveTarget Ultimate Frog
Who doesn’t love frog fishing? LiveTarget has had a few different permutations of Frog baits over the years. Some more successful than others including the ICAST 2010 award winning hollow body and ICAST 2012 Frog Popper. For 2022 LIveTarget hopes to repeat that ICAST success with the introduction of their new Ultimate Frog. Two different models a popping and finesse. The finesse option has hinged legs that expand and contract while in motion and sits at a natural stance when paused. I think they look awesome! Wonder what the fish think? MSRP $17.99
3. Spro KGB Chad Shad
KGB makes some amazing custom swimbaits. Have you seen the level of detail on their 9″ Crappie? The new collaboration KGB Chad Shad 180 between KGB and Spro brings handcrafted flair into an off the shelf glide bait. At 180mm in length and 2.4oz in size, and availability in a variety of color pallets, this proven bait profile should be a popular option for many beginners and seasoned anglers alike looking to catch their next trophy or kicker fish. MSRP $59.99
2. New Trolling Motors: The Power Pole Trolling Motor (a New Minn Kota Ultrex?)
Is this the year we finally see this product come to market? When the Trolling Motor War of ICAST 2019 kicked off the Minn Kota Ultrex was kicked around a bit by the GPS anchoring capable Lowrance Ghost, MotorGuide Tour Pro, and Garmin Force. The Garmin Force won out that year ultimately taking Overall Best of Show Honors. Since then, rumors of a Game Changing trolling motor from Power Pole have been swirling, for what seems like forever. Along those same lines are also rumors of a more up to date and refined Minn Kota Ultrex with brushless motor technology analogous to its competitive counterparts. Obviously like much of the rest of the industry these two players have been subject to post COVID-19 supply chain woes. Will we see either of these products make its debut splash next week?
1. Humminbird MEGA Live TargetLock
Coinciding with the epic rise of forward-facing sonar technology coupled with GPS capable anchoring trolling motor technology brings a very unique problem. How do you best leverage these two technologies simultaneously while out on the water?
There are a number of what I call independent shaft control options for forward facing sonar transducers already on the market. While many manual hand operated products are popular with the Crappie crowd, foot operated options like the RITE HITE Turret or the DD26 Live Foot are much better suited for bass anglers who like to keep their hands free. Both the Rite Hite Turret and Live Foot effectively decouple the forward-facing sonar transducer from the main trolling motor shaft and allow anglers to GPS anchor while still retaining the ability to move the transducer and actively scan for fish.
The new Humminbird Mega Live Imaging Target Lock Unit does the same thing as those manual units but has one key feature automates the process one step further. By simply pressing a button the TargetLock feature will keep the transducer locked onto the user selected structure/or fish and automatically compensate for changes in boat position. If you’ve ever tried to use forward facing sonar in windy conditions, you immediately know how valuable a feature like this is.
Much like how Minn Kota’s “Spot Lock” and subsequent competitor GPS anchoring technologies changed bass fishing. The Humminbird Mega TargetLock and its follow-on competitors will forever change bass fishing once again. MSRP $2,999w/transducer/ $1,499 w/o transducer