Last night I got a chance to walk through the new products showcase here in Las Vegas at the annual ICAST industry tackle show. As much as I enjoy looking at all the new stuff, lures are always what I find the most interesting to peruse. I think it’s because a lure is what truly fools a fish. You can have the best rod, reel, and line around, but if your lure doesn’t work, the rest doesn’t matter. Down the road, both online and in print, you’ll see plenty more new lure coverage. But for now, just as a glance of what’s new in the lure world, I thought I’d show you three of the baits I think are some of the most intriguing on the show floor. Do they work? We don’t know yet, but of the hundreds in the showcase, I gave these second and third look. Let me know what you think.


LIVETARGET BaitBall ($17): LIVETARGET Lures is definitely coming out swinging this year, and though I don’t know how much stock I put in the theory behind their new BaitBall crank, you can’t knock the creative thinking. People were flocking to this bait like flies ona rib roast, shooting photos, and “oohing” and “ahhing.” Measuring 2.5 inches and diving to 10 feet, I guess you could say this lure is sort of the company’s answer to the umbrella rig craze. They claim the three shad housed inside the crankbait shell “showcases the schooling formation of baitfish amid constant assault by predators.” It’s cool looking, but do you think bass will really differentiate a cluster of shad underwater, or will they just see a quick flash of color like they do with any old crank?


Pirana Lure ($15): If Pirana Lures LLC existed prior to this year’s ICAST, they slipped under my radar. I’d never heard of them, but their new “topwater crankbait” caught my eye. At first, I’ll admit, I picked it up because it had a mouth full of teeth that reminded me of the rubber sharks I used to fish for off the deck when I was little. But upon closer inspection, there are some intriguing features that make me want to try this bait. The teeth are just for show, but the quadruple flared gills and gaping mouth are supposedly able to create a mean bubble trail when retrieved. You can also fill the lure with scent or chum if you want to add more than bubbles to that trail. I assume the lip makes it shashay seductively side to side across the surface, and the 2 built-in steel bearings give it some extra “clack.” Kind of a funky design.


LIVETARGET Shrimp (Price not yet set): I didn’t really want to feature 2 lures from LIVETARGET in this blog, but I’m sorry…this soft-plastic is without question the most realistic shrimp imitator I’ve ever seen. If you removed the hooks and put a bunch on ice at the fish market, I’d buy a pound and probably not know the difference until I got home. To take the realism a step further, LIVETARGET claims the “body is infused with real, organic shrimp, creating a scent and taste predators can’t resist.” The extra-stiff, yet super-thin antennae are anatomically perfect, and I suspect they won’t collapse when you work the shrimp, helping to maintain a natural look. If you chase tarpon, redfish, seatrout, or stripers, I think this bait will do some real damage.