Part 2: “lakedarbonnelife.com “Best of Show, ICAST 2019”
see part 1 here: https://lakedarbonnelife.com/2019/07/15/our-own-icast-best-of-show/
7. The Zebco 33
I’ve got to tell you, stopping by and seeing the new Zebco 33 line was a pleasant reminder of the past and a look at the future. First developed at the Zero Hour Bomb Company (now ZEBCO) in 1947, this reel has stood the test of time. But this year, Product Manager Caleb Osborn showed a new, sleek design incorporated to make the reel quieter, cast further and require less maintenance at affordable prices. I’ll fess up — that was my first fishing reel and I caught my first bass on it. They are exceptional for teaching kids to fish. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the new ones.
8. SB-57 Bill Lewis Squarebill crank bait
A basic word in a bass fisherman’s vocabulary is Rattletrap. That’s been the signature bait of Bill Lewis Lures from Alexandria, La., who made a name for itself with that lure. But the lipless favorite now has another new family member with a lip and the SB-57 Squarebill is going to be another winner. It was supposed to be unveiled at ICAST, but pro fisherman Mark Daniels lit up the bass in a recent MLF tournament with it before it even went into full production. Bill Lewis President Wes Higgins was excited about the new bait’s possibilities in helping anglers catch more bass. You’ll have to stay tuned for more details on this one.
9. The Old / New Creme Tube worm
There was me (the old) standing there at the Creme Worm booth with Monroe BASS pro Brett Preuett (the new) and what should we have in front of us? The Creme Worm’s Tube worm, the new version of it’s old Tube worm. It’s been off the market for a while, but brought back by popular demand in new colors. Preuett was talking about all the virtues of the new lure and it’s ability to be fished in numerous presentations, from Texas rigged to floater. Creme has been making worms for 70 years and this year brought back an old favorite in new colors. The head is solid, but the core is hollow, allowing the worm to float from an inch off the bottom all the way to the surface, depending on how you rig it.
10. Catfish Pro Catfish Bait
Let’s show Mr. Whiskers a little respect, too. This product was born of frustration at keeping other catfish baits on his hook that started six years ago. Army vet and owner Mike Baker of Springdale, Arkansas, took a scientific approach to developing a better design for bait that would stay on the hook and systematically release scent from the bait. At Catfish Pro, they’ve got real blood, shad and chicken liver flavors (it doesn’t hurt that they are right down the road from a cluster of the world’s largest Tyson Chicken plants). They also have “crawdad”. I led a long discussion that it should be crawfish, but I gave in. These guys from Arkansas wore me down on the crappie vs white perch name calling debate a while back, too, you know).
11. Accusharp tabletop pull-through knife and tool sharpener
I’ve been using a handheld Accusharp for most of my sharpening needs for years. But I love the new tabletop versions. The medium size unit is small and lightweight, but has two sharpening stations. The first are the usual dual diamond honed tungsten carbine blades for sharpening. There is also a set of dual ceramic rods for polishing and finishing the edge. Sales Manager Kelly Clark showed me all the sharpeners in their line, but this one is my favorite because of the size, convenience and of course, results.
12. As Buzz Lightyear says… to infinity and beyond!
Gosh, there were just too many attention grabbing products for all of them to make our list (more than I can count!) But the list of cool products is endless. I’m listing a few of the other products I loved with a brief explanation of why. Here you go:
Tackle management systems (yes, those are tackle boxes) have undergone as much change as fishing baits. Buzbe Colony 28 Modular Tackle box is one that caught my eye. Another Louisiana company, it is just starting up in Baton Rouge under the guidance of Caleb Sutton. Sutton, in fact, had just received his first supply of his new boxes the day of the show. The unique thing about them is the modular design lets you switch in and out a number of different sizes of interlocking trays in the box, instead of just sticking dividers in little slots to make compartments.
Do you ever cut your hands fishing, or cleaning fish? When I saw the demonstration of the Gorilla Grip Gloves booth, I had to stop and do a double-take. They were holding an apple in their hand and cutting it in half with a machete — one whack, that’s all. Apple sliced. Hand (inside Gorilla Grip glove) not bleeding. Wow! ** LiveTarget’s new technology is just awesome. They won three best of category spots with their new ICT (Injected Core Technology) lifelike lures. The natural color patterns are injected in the center of the lure and covered with a protective coating. The key is that some of the protected coating gives the lures extra action, but isn’t taking away from the natural look to the fish.
Looking to take some great, guided fishing trips, but not sure how to tell who the reputable, insured and reliable guides are? There’s a new group in town called https://www.fishanywhere.com/ and they’ve vetted all kinds of guides all over the country and abroad. With more people traveling to fish, what a great idea. Fishanywhere.com takes the guesswork out of it. ** A big pile of fresh shrimp drew me to the Toadfish Outfitters booth, where I was amazed to see the Frogmore Shrimp Cleaner hand tool in action. It peels and deveins shrimp in one quick motion. That thing did a dozen in the time it takes me to do one, two on a good day.
When you fish, you need to be comfortable, so I have to mention Columbia Sportswear, one of the most comfortable clothing brands I know. And did I mention their clothes come in BIG FISH sizes (just right for me!) They have several new lightweight shirts and shorts to offer, as well as traditional clothing in some new colors. Kyle Thomas shared all those with me. ** And last, but not least, how about some oneforneptune.com whitefish jerky, designed to provide a healthy, sustainable, delicious snack. Fish jerky? I gotta tell you, I tried all three flavors – smoked sea salt and juniper; fiery cajun and honey lemon and ginger. Different? Yes. Good. Yes. Even though they are from Oregon, they now cajun is good. And the team behind this product believes in what they are doing 100 percent.
If you want to look at the official ICAST “Best of Show” in all the categories, click below: