The Bassmaster Classic Expo is something of a deep, dark secret among veteran bass anglers. While much of the fishing industry prepares to unveil their new innovations at the ICAST show scheduled to take place in Las Vegas in July, the real sneak peek happens at the Classic Expo. To that end, Outdoor Life meandered through the Expo aisles to find some of the new great tackle that your fishing buddies won’t hear about for a few weeks.

Rapala Scatter Rap


The frantic action of a fleeing baitfish impersonation is what triggers most hard bait strikes and the Rapala Scatter Rap’s patent pending ‘evasive action’ accelerates the attraction with an erratic sweeping motion created by the innovative Scatter Lip. All made of balsa, the Scatter Rap Crank, Scatter Rap Minnow, Scatter Rap Shad and Scatter Rap CountDown operate in 5-9 feet of water. (

Luck “E” Strike


You might think someone goofed on the assembly line, but a lip on top of the bait’s head is exactly where lure designer wanted it for the innovative Upshot. Crankbaits generally pull downward, but this one pulls up. Cast and wind this sinking bait, or jig it vertically – the Upshot gives fish a different look and different often tempts the picky ones. (

Berkley Havoc


Made to simplify finesse fishing, the 4-inch Beat Shad features a minnow head, a gradually tapering ribbed body and a paddle tail. Mike Iaconelli, the 2003 Classic champ, designed this bait and fished it on a dart head to catch some of the bass that earned this year’s fourth-place finish. (



Improving on an industry classic, a new material and lip design enables the Perfect 10 Rogue to get deep and get there in a hurry. The internal weighting system of this suspending jerkbait features a tungsten rattle that produces a unique “thump” proven to trigger strikes. This system also prompts the Perfect 10 to be more responsive, settle to the horizontal position quicker after a twitch, and retain the renowned “Rogue roll.” (

TWA Sports


Like an escort and body guard for fishing worms, TWA’s hollow, conical Weed Guard facilitates weedless presentations, protects plastics from wear-and-tear and includes interior space to accommodate a bullet weight. The tiny line hole requires an included line threader. (

Smart Baits


Injured baitfish make easy meals and this new line of temperature-activated color changing baits mimic the blood marks and uneven coloration of wounded prey. (



Answering the call of anglers who lamented bent hooks, V&M fitted its Heavy Hitter football jig with a heavy duty Mustad hook that’ll stand up to aggressive tactics and big fish. The Heavy Hitter pairs well with V&M’s new Twin Tail trailer. (

Livingston Lures


Electronic croaking sound and vibrating rattles call the fish’s attention to this lineup of hard baits. The Dive Master (14 and 20) features light-up eyes, while the Pro Sizzle topwater and Pro Wake sport lighted backsides. (



No longer will anglers need to add lead strips, extra split rings or larger hooks to their floating or suspending jerkbaits. The steal beads inside Jack-It’s slow sinking Jerk Money 120 SS pull this 3-hook jerkbait into the strike zone. (



The Rod & Reel Performance Kit features the first consumer-applied nonstick coating, which reduces friction and vibration between the rod, guides, line and reel. The flexible nano-ceramic clear coating also protects against corrosion and dirt or ice buildup. (

Live Target


Picky bass will have a tough time telling the Squarebill Craw from the real thing. Shown here sans hooks, the New Live Target crankbait features lifelike coloration, intricately detailed body contour and protruding red eyes that resemble a real mudbug. (