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It’s mid-July, and as tournament trails start their northern swing, the majority of fishing brands and hundreds of anglers make their way to the fishing industry’s largest show, ICAST.  

Media outlets and fishing enthusiasts, both professional and recreational, fill the Orange County convention center to see the latest and greatest from their favorite brands. And as forward facing sonar continues to catch fire, we see companies making products that revolve around the technology as a result. 

As we sift through the commotion, determining whether or not new designs are “gimmicky” or groundbreaking, original or copy-cats, we’re left with a boatload of new products that we can’t wait to get our hands on.  

We’ll take you through eight noteworthy baits and some cool new fishing gear that stood out at this year’s show.  

Best New Lures from ICAST 2023

Berkley Nessie: Best of Show Freshwater Soft Bait

Key Features

  • Lengths: 5, 7, and 9 inches
  • Weights: 0.4, 1, and 2 ounces 
  • Slow sinking
  • Infused with PowerBait scent
  • S swimming action 
  • Price: $8 to $13 

The Berkley Nessie is a soft glide bait that you can skip, burn, or twitch.

Z-MAN Chatterbait Elite EVO: Best of Show Hard Bait

Key Features

  • New head design for a hunting action
  • Includes both a molded and a wire trailer keeper
  • Wire-tied skirt
  • 5/0 heavy-duty, black nickel hook
  • 12 color options
  • ⅜ and ½ ounce weights
  • Price: $10

The Z-Man Chatterbait Elite Evo has a new head design and line tie position to create a chatterbait with a unique hunting action. Z-Man also created a custom hook with a larger barb, stronger hook point, and improved trailer keeper.

Spro KGB Chad Shad

Key Features

  • Length: 180 mm (7 inches)
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • ROF: 3-4 feet 
  • Hook: Gamakatsu #1 (47410) Round Bend Treble
  • Swivel: Power Swivel (SPSB-02)
  • Five colors
  • Price: $59.50

This new shad profile glide bait from Spro is an affordable way to get into swimbaiting. It’s a versatile bait that can make wide, slow glides or be burned in fast. Best of all it’s available right now for purchase.

Read Next: Best Swimbait Rods

Key Features

  • 16 color options
  • Mustad Triple Grip hooks
  • Aggressive vibration 
  • Tri-tone sound chambers create distinct sounds
  • Weights: ⅜ and ⅝ ounce

The Bill Lewis Hammer Trap feels more like a chatterbait than a traditional lipless crankbait, which creates a lot of vibration and sound. The tri-tone sound chambers creates three unique sounds as the bait move through the water.

Bass Mafia Daingerous Loaded Swimbait 

Line-through swimbaits are usually outfitted with a treble hook, but the new Daingerous Loaded swimbait is a top hook line through, which combines the best attributes of a jig-hook bait and a line-through. It’ll be available late fall 2023.

Berkley Power Switch 

Key Features

  • Built for use with forward-facing sonar
  • Weight-forward design for precision casts and fast drop-ins
  • PowerBait scent
  • Lengths: 1.75, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4.25, and 5 inches
  • Weights: 3/16 to 1 ⅝ ounces
  • Price: $8 to $10

This bait is especially made for scoping fish. Everything from its ability to cast and get in front of fish’s face quickly to its wide-range of presentations, contribute to its ability to catch fish with forward facing sonar.

Read Next: Garmin Echomap and Livescope Review

G-Ratt Thin Swim 

Key Features 

  • Length: 4 inches
  • Seven colors
  • Can run fast or slow
  • Price: $7

The new G-Ratt Thin Swim is a low-profile swimbait that swims straight with very little wobble. It’s ideal for an A-rigg or it can be rigged on a Beast-style hook or jig head for a finesse presentation.

Key Features

  • Length: 85, 100, 125, 140 mm
  • Pops and walks
  • Can be fished slow for finicky fish or fast for actively feeding fish
  • Price: $20 to $26

The Patchinko is a pencil popper that can be walked in place, popped, or walked with a wide side-to-side action.

Cool New Fishing Gear from ICAST 2023

Key Feautes

  • Two casting and two spinning rods available
  • Actions designed for the North American market
  • Casting Rods: 6-foot, 10-inch medium, 7-foot medium-heavy
  • Spinning Rods: 7 -foot medium, 7-foot medium light
  • Price: $880
  • Available: Pre-order available now; arrival expected fall 2023
Shimano Poison Ultima Grip
The monocoque grip has a flat butt section for resting against your forearm. Scott Einsmann

The Poison Ultima represents Shimano’s best rod technology. I fished all four models ahead of ICAST and they were exceptionally light, crisp, and sensitive. Some notable features include a carbon monocoque grip, which Shimano says transfers bites better to your hands. The grip’s butt section is flat on top for resting on your forearm, which is comfortable and adds a second point of contact for feeling bites. The spinning rods feature new, proprietary guides.

There are two casting models available: a 6-foot, 10-inch medium and 7-foot medium heavy. The 6-foot, 10-inch rod is going to be a fantastic jerkbait rod. The medium heavy is going to be a versatile rod—I fished it with chatterbaits and plastics. Here’s the bad news. These rods cost $880 and there will only be about 1,000 initially available. If you are the type of angler that loves high-end JDM tackle, I recommend pre-ordering one from your favorite Shimano dealer. —S.E.

Read Next: Best Bass Fishing Rods

Key Features

  • Gear Ration: 7.2:1
  • Right or left retrieve
  • Price: $350
  • Available: Pre-order available now; arrival expected fall 2023

Technology creeped and then steam rolled its way into fishing. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’re now seeing reels that pair with your smartphone and Bluetooth devices. The KastKing iReel One sends data like cast distance, number of casts, and retrieval speed to an app on your phone. It will also pair with KastKing’s upcoming Bluetooth sunglasses that have a speaker in the frame that announces your casting stats. The reel also utilizes a digital control breaking system, which reduces the need for thumbing your spool. —S.E.

E-bikes have exploded in popularity for their ability to assist with tough climbs or to motor you along without peddling at all. The new Bigwater ePDL+ works on a similar concept in that you can peddle it manually, use a peddle assist, or use the motor. Best of all, you no longer need to rig an expensive and heavy motor system, or worry about your battery quickly dying. —S.E.

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