Every July, all eyes fall on ICAST for a look at next year’s new tackle. While it’s certainly the biggest, collective launch of new product in the industry, it’s not the only one. It’s not even the first.
The Outdoor Expo at the Bassmaster Classic, held in March on the Tennessee River, was the first opportunity for manufacturers to show off new gear. While the bulk of 2020 line-ups won’t be unveiled until ICAST, the Bassmaster Classic featured brand-new products well before the entire industry descends on Orlando this summer. Showcased bass lures, rods, reels and the like are immediately available for purchase, and Elite Anglers in the tourney heavily fish other “New for ‘19” product that has just hit the shelves.
There was no shortage of new lures released at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, so we checked them all out and picked the 10 Hottest New Bass Baits of the year. Here they are.
1. Jackall Chubble
The Chubble combines several key crankbait qualities into one package. The elongated body swims naturally while generating ample flash. It’s built with an innovative magnetic weight transfer system that pushes mass to the tail for bomb-casting and returns to a center balanced position on the retrieve. This system keeps the bait running true even at blazing speeds. High buoyancy and a square bill offer optimal deflection, allowing you to bounce the Chubble off structure and trigger strikes. The Chubble measures just over three inches, weighs in at a ½ ounce and runs at depths of two to four feet. $16; Jackall-Lures.com.
2. Castaic Dying Jerk
Imitating the action of a wounded baitfish, Castaic’s Dying Jerk presents an easy meal for bass. Its jointed construction exaggerates the side-to-side motion, producing a darting action with slight twitches of the rod tip. It generates a loud knock and subtle vibration from its rattle chamber. The heavy vibration is killer for catching bass in murky or stained water. Castaic equipped the Dying Jerk with razor Sharp Kitana hooks to catch strikes other baits might miss. The 4 ½ inch jerkbait weighs ½ ounce and is available in four natural baitfish patterns. $8; Trophytechnology.com.
3. Bagley Pro Sunny B Twinspin
With a beefy body and twin blades, The Pro Sunny B Twinspin from Bagley creates serious surface commotion to draw strikes. Its roll and sputter compare to a wounded baitfish flopping on the surface. The Pro Sunny B Twinspin works equally well with a steady retrieve, or with a rip and pause that sprays water then waits for a response. The topwater can be fished over any structure, making it a quality year-round selection. The 3-inch, fat-bodied topwater weighs ½ ounces and is available in four natural and two hi-vis patterns. $9.40; Bagleybait.com.
4. Booyah Toadrunner Jr.
Booyah waited until the Bassmaster Classic to unveil the Jr. size of the hit topwater they launched at ICAST last year. With identical features of its larger brethren, the Toad Runner Jr. packs a buzzing and churning action into a traditional hollow-body frog design. The smaller profile of the Toad Runner Jr. is perfect for hopping through tight vegetation of lakes that see a ton of pressure. Its 3-inch, ½-ounce body over-produces surface disturbance for a bait of its size. The Toad Runner Jr. is built with the same internal design as the original that stabilizes the bait and keeps it upright, and is available in the same ten lifelike patterns. $9; Booyahbaits.com.
5. Jackall Deracoup
Jackall unleashed an all-star line-up at the Classic and the Deracoup is the most intriguing of them all. With all-lead construction similar to a jigging bait, the Deracoup incorporates a Colorado blade in the rear that’s intended for use in both casting and vertical presentations. Its smaller profile and dense mass produces huge casts for shore anglers in addition to boaters. Unlike other tail spins, the Deracoup won’t foul due to an innovative tube on the tail Jackall created specifically for the bait. The Deracoup is available in ½-ounce, ¾-ounce, and 1-ounce models in eight flashy patterns. $10; Jackall-lures.com.
6. Bagley Flat Balsa B
Squarebill crankbaits have been a staple in every bass angler’s arsenal since their inception. Bagley continues to improve on previous designs and the Flat Balsa B is their latest offering. Its tight, fast vibration is a killer in cold water and high-pressured lakes. It’s extremely buoyant, with a broad square bill that bounces easily off structure and triggers strikes. The combination of buoyancy and deflection also allows the Flat Balsa B to be fished in heavy cover, on rip-rap or on rock piles where bass often hold. The Flat Balsa B measures 2 ¾ inches, runs from zero to three feet and is armed with a pair of sticky-sharp VMC trebles. $9; Bagleybait.com.
7. Berkley PowerBait Maxscent Flatnose Jerk Shad
Berkley PowerBait products immediately began putting more bass in the livewell since the moment they hit the shelves. This year Berkley took their hugely successful flavors and stuffed as much taste and smell as they could into their new Maxscent baits. The technology immediately releases a scent field when it hits the water that can attract bass from a wider area. Of the Maxscent products, the Flatnose Jerk Shad is a standout for its classic profile that can be hooked weightless, Texas, drop-shotted or just about any other technique. The 5-inch bait is the perfect size for any application and is available in five go-to color patterns. $7 (10-pack); Berkley-fishing.com.
8. Megabass Deep X LBO
Master lure creator, Yuki Ito, is the brain behind the design of Megabass’ new Deep X LBO. Anglers can rely on Deep X LBO to immediately track down to its max diving depth and stay where it’s intended to run. The combination of a steep dive, high-pitched rolling action, and intense flash create a vibrating visual effect that gets noticed quickly. Three models are available, the 100 that measures just over two inches inches and dives to eight feet, the 200 that measures 2 ¾ inches and runs 11-12 feet and a 3-inch, floating 300 model. $18; Megabass.com.
9. Jackall Rhythm Wave
The Rhythm Wave relies on simplicity and perfect balance for its fish-catching ability. Jackall infused this traditional soft-plastic swimbait with a swinging kicking action and a seductive wobble. The action is never lost, even at a super slow retrieve. The Rhythm Wave features a slit on the top of the bait that neatly conceals the hook point while not hindering penetration on the strike. With its ability to slip through structure, it’s a great choice for fishing weed beds, submerged timber and for flipping docks. It’s available in sizes from three to six inches in seven popular color patterns. $5 to $6 (per pack); Jackall-Lures.com.
10. Berkley Highjacker
The Highjacker is a walk-the-dog topwater that was built specifically for schooling fish. Long casting capabilities allow you to reach bass that would normally be out of range for other lures. Schools can come up to feed and disappear just as fast. The Highjacker excels at getting right on top of the fish and drawing a quick strike with a walking action that stays consistent at any speed. Hook-up ratios should be well above average for a topwater thanks to Berkley Fushion 19 trebles. The Highjack measures four inches, weighs 3/5 ounce and is available in ten color patterns. $6; Berkley-Fishing.com.