The 10 Best Lures of ICAST 2019
From an ink-shooting octopus to swimming cockatoos, this years lures were interesting, to say the least
ICAST 2019 once again wowed the fishing community with lures that ranged from absolutely lifelike to ridiculously bizarre. Here’s a top 10 roundup of the best new lures for 2019.
Felmlee Bucket of Eels
Sure, it’s not completely brand new for 2019; in fact, the Felmlee Eel has an established pedigree that is over 50 years old. But as Felmlee says, “The Bucket of Eels has been brought back by popular demand,” and this time, with a lot more of them. The Bucket of Eels takes the classic throwback from the early 70s, that never went out of style for both striped bass anglers and largemouth anglers alike, and gives them to you en masse. The big tub contains eels of three different sizes, so you can mix up your options and hone in on your target species. All big fish love eating eels, so now you’ll never run out of them.
Innovative lure designer Patrick Sebile and his umbrella company, A Band of Anglers, are back at it again with the Hyperlastics Dartspin. Available in four sizes—3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 7 inches—and 28 color patterns (10 patented and 18 injected), the revolutionary soft bait/spinner willow blade design is securely embedded within the rubber body where no fish can rip it out. Incredibly versatile, the Dartspin can be worked on a jig head, wide gap hook, or used as a teaser for zillions of fresh and saltwater applications. Softough, Sebile’s latest invention, is a proprietary material never before used on a fishing lure, and the Dartspin has strategically placed holes in the body for easy hook placement and easy rigging on any jighead or hook. The Dartspin has already claimed 70 species of fish in its brief existence. Personally, I’ve caught fish from 150-pound tarpon to 5-pound largemouth, along with nasty-mawed bluefish and feisty flounder—this lure just keeps on ticking.
A swimming cockatoo—how could anyone pass this by? This year, Chasebait came up with a water blooping, rattling walkbait constructed to mimic a swimming bird stuck on the water. U.S. applications definitely have northern pike and muskellunge written all over it. It is fitted with realistically long-trailing tail feathers and matching head feathers with color patterns to imitate cockatoos, finches, sparrows, and budgies. The Smuggler walks as the outstretched metal wing blades splash and bloop to attract nearby predatory fish. Matched with ultra-strong BKK hooks and a robust body that can withstand pounding hits, the Smuggler is ready for battle. Available in 2.5- and 3.5-inch sizes and seven color patterns.
Live Target Slow Roll Shiner
Live target has a knack for realism, and the award-winning Slow Roll Shiner does not disappoint. As an unrigged swimbait, the Slow Roll Shiner exhibits the profile of a thin minnow, shiner, or herring. Various rigging options include fitting it to a weighted swimbait hook, on a jig head, or Texas rigged with a nail weight. The proprietary Injected Core Technology of the material allows the lure to present its action naturally as gamefish focus on its natural profile. Available in 3, 4, and 5 inches and six traditional color patterns such as silver/pearl and silver/blue.
I can’t believe I’m actually saying these words, but octopus lures have been taken to a new level. Cool name aside, the Mustad Inkvader is so incredibly lifelike that it actually shoots out scented ink. Constructed with 10X strong TPE Material, the lure is fished with a “lift and fall” tactic by slow trolling and slow pitch jigging. It comes with 10 scented ink tablets that fit into the octopus’ head for underwater ink dispersion. Available in 9 natural colors, the Invader is equipped with Mustad UltraPoint Assist hooks and can be fished right out of the box.
Rapala’s trusted lipless crankbait, the Slab Rap, is now available in a larger No. 6 size, joining its little brothers No.4 and No. 5 sizes. At 2-1/2 inches long and 3/8 ounces, it’s ready to handle big bites from burly fish. Two No. 8 VMC Black Nickel round bend hooks ensure a secure hookset on the maws of largemouth, smallmouth, and pike. Designed to be fished with quick rod snaps in a lift-drop cadence, the Slab Rap works its magic with an erratic circling pattern on the fall and rocking action from a centerline tie and weight-forward build. Available in 14 color patterns including Purple Tiger UV and Redfire Crawdad.
I passed this Savage Gear Pulse Tail Bluegill on the floor and it was so lifelike that I almost wanted to throw it back in the water tank. The split-rear Pulse Tail design vibrates with water displacement, igniting a gamefish’s urge to feed. Each body style can be ordered with a Loose Body which includes a rapid hook interchange system and a Ready to Fish (RTF) model that’s already fitted with a custom heavy-duty EWG hook. RTF models have the option to integrate rattles and lead harnesses and can also be bought in Line Through models for the angler to add his choice of treble hooks. Pulse Tail Bluegill is found in 6 color patterns, sure to fool any bass.
Bass anglers love to bump over stuff and the Yo-Zuri 3DB Crank Squarebill is going to be bumping and grinding over logs, rocks, and laydowns all over the nation’s lakes. At a 1/2-ounce and 2-3/8 inches long, the floating bait maintains epic buoyancy while calling fish in from afar form with Yo-Zuri’s exclusive “Wave Motion Technology.” A red eye resembles a distressed baitfish, while a patented 3-D finish and unique square lip are guaranteed to get attention from wandering bass. Two round-bend Black Nickel #4 treble hooks almost guarantee that no fish is getting away. Available in both 3D and painted colors from Sexy Shad to Black Back Chartreuse.
Storm Arashi Glide
Big bass, you are on notice. Storm Pro, Brandon Palaniuk, took three years to perfect the Storm Arashi Glide. At 7-1/2 inches long and 3-1/8 ounces with a .4-foot-per-second sink rate, the single-joint, hard swimbait comes with replaceable tails to target bass of a lifetime. Unlike other glide baits, the Arashi Glide works wonders both at slow and fast retrieve speeds. The slower pace imparts a slow-rolling action while a faster reel presents a darting motion (just make sure to always fish the bait with the pre-rigged snap for proper gliding motion). Available in standard freshwater color patterns such as rainbow trout and threadfin shad.
Tsunami Tidal Pro Sardine
I can’t tell you how many surf stripers I’ve hooked on paddle tail soft baits, and Tsunami just put another one in the quiver with the Tidal Pro Sardine. Used to target any saltwater species from stripers to snook, this lure’s enticing undulating tail, sardine profile, and sturdy construction can stand up to any salty fare—at the right price too. Baits come in both 3.5-inch and 4.5-inch sizes and most definitely can be tossed in freshwater to target bass, pike, and other aggressive sweetwater species.