Some exciting new designs were in evidence in the booths of lure manufacturers at the 2018 ICAST tackle trade show. I noticed more stickbaits than ever, reaffirming a growing interest in this category of saltwater hard lure. Smaller lures included quite a few new twitchbait designs. Another notable trend, as this gallery shows, is the increasing use of inline single hooks in place of trebles. Many anglers who favor this approach say hooked fish stay hooked, and fish are far easier to unhook so better for them and anglers. Prices are rounded to the nearest dollar.
13 Fishing Dual Pitch topwater pencil lure
- Dual sound chambers are built into a weight-transfer system for longer casts. Mustad KVD TripleGrip trebles are standard.
- 12 color patterns
Bomber AW Jointed Wake Minnow
- Bomber’s Wake Minnow long popular with anglers, fresh and salt; this smaller lure measures 4 ½ inches. Designed to create distinct V-wake; includes internal rattle, and comes with #4 black nickel hooks.
- 10 color patterns
Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper
- Another lure caught in the downsizing trend, this new version of the familiar Pencil Popper is 4 ½ inches, intended for a wide variety of inshore fishing. It offers a weighted tail for distance and sits in the water nearly vertically.
- 12 color patterns
Fathom Offshore Jet Head Trolling Lure
- This heavy metal-head jet lure from Fathom Offshore is designed for trolling at high speed for wahoo, particularly. It channels water through four openings inside its cupped head to attract additional attention.
- Nine colors (all with Mylar)
Fish Tornado Stickbait
- Fish Tornado is a new line in the umbrella of Japan’s Sea Falcon lures. The Fish Tornado lures are designed by famed Japanese big-fish hunter Kozo Okubo.
- Available in 200- and 240-mm sizes.
Halco Max 220 Trolling Lure
- A classic design in a larger package, the new Max 220 (its length in millimeters; a bit over 8 ½ inches) is designed to troll at up to 20 knots. It’s built for wahoo and tuna strikes, with reinforced side walls, Halco’s 7XX split rings and Mustad 9/0 inline single hooks.
- 14 color patterns
Halco Slidog Stickbait
- Halco’s entry into the stickbait market is this 150-mm (nearly 6-inch), weighing about 3 ounces for long casts. Like the larger Max 220, the sinking Slidog features reinforced side walls, 7XX split rings and Mustad 7/0 inline single hooks.
- 9 color patterns
MirrOlure Skin Series Suspending Twitchbait
- These new suspending lures are offered in three finishes, designed to perfectly mimic the look of three particularly important forage fishes — pilchard, pinfish and shad.
- Three color patterns
Nomad Design Tackle Dartwing Topwater
- From Australia comes a surface lure like no other — the Dartwing which Nomad lure designer Damon Olsen calls “the ultimate surface skipping popper.” Its winged head give it a unique action; its weighted belly helps during retrieve and in allowing long-distance casts. The Dartwing measures 6 ½ inches and weighs 1.25 ounces.
- 12 color patterns
Nomad Design Tackle Madscad Stickbait
- Key design feature such as the flattened head, scalloped sides and small tail wings combine to give this sinking stickbait — styled on the deep-bellied baitfish so prevalent around the world — a dynamic action. It can be twitched hard and fast or worked more slowly for a gliding side-to-side action.
- 14 color patterns (for smallest size)
Rapala Saltwater X-Rap Twitchin’ Mullet 6
- With a “relaxed side-to-side” action, the slow-sinking Twitchin’ Mullet ofers a wide walking action, with a glide-and-drop retrieve particularly effective. It uses VMC Coastal Black inline single hooks.
- 16 color patterns
Savage Gear Mack Stick
- Savage Gear’s new slow-sinking stickbait is based on a scan of a real mackerel, and the realistic profile and superb detail show. Inside the reinforced body is stainless-steel through-wiring. Standard with ST66 trebles; extra-strong single hooks supplied.
- Five color patterns
Westin Swim Saltwater Glide Bait
- Westin’s newest suspending lure is designed to offer a unique S-shaped swimming pattern during a steady retrieve. It’s also effective with a short jerking retrieve. Featuring 3X hooks and through-wire construction, the 4 ¾-inch, 2 1/8-ounce lure is designed for saltwater game fish such as redfish, stripers and snook.
- Eight color patterns
Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow
- While the popular Crystal Minnow isn’t new this year, its “real” colors are. The lure is now offered in real bunker, real glass minow and real mullet patterns. Combined with the Crystal 3D Minnow’s famed 3D-prism finishes and the erratic side-to-side action, the lure imitates a strikingly realistic-looking injured baitfish.
- Three (new) color patterns