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ICAST 2023 Coverage


The Worthy, Wild, and Just Plain Weird Soft Lures at ICAST 2023


Date: 7/27/23
Tackle type: Lures - Soft
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: This ICAST there was a wide range of soft-bodied lures introduced by American, JDM, and even a few independent manufacturers just breaking onto the scene. This year there was a lot to unpack in the soft lure category with a number of baits that looked worthy of tying on immediately, some that had wild features, and others that just looked plain weird. Here's a look at those soft baits.


The Scope Shad from Yamamoto Baits is a shad bait designed for forward facing sonar. It can be rigged for a vertical presentation of on technique-specific jigheads


The Yamamoto Yama Craw is one of the most realistic looking craws from Yamamoto and features a compact body and flapping craws. The body of the craw has specially been designed to be beefy enough to put on a jig keeper without splitting or Texas Rig with a sizeable hook


The Yamamoto Baits Yamatanuki is made from custom heavy soft plastic to make it easier to fish weightless. This hybrid worm/poop bait is designed for pitching, casting and dragging


Missile Baits also joins the poop bait wars with a hybrid worm, craw/poop bait called the Bomba


The Bomba almost looks like a compact craw, worm, or salamander and is designed to be rigged Texas and will fall erratically to the bottom while gliding and rocking erratically


Evergreen's Bow Worm Noodle is a 8" long thin worm that is very soft and is designed to be rigged wacky style


BASS Pro Angler Justin Kerr has been using the Bow Worm Noodle in competition with success


Crush City plastics are a collaboration of Rapala and Pro Angler Jacob Wheeler


The Crush City Bronco Bug features hinged arms, double sided, ribs, and forward facing legs


When the Bronco Bug makes contact on the fall the arms swing backwards like a defensive craw


The NED BLT is a TPE based NED plastic with a tapered ribbed tail


The NED BLT can be fished with the VMC free Swingin' jighead


New from Strike King is the Rage Luau Craw which is built on the body of the famous Rage Craw. Adding a plastic skirt on the other end gives the craw an exciting new profile


BassReaper designed the Mortal Kreature as a multi use craw/creature bait


The slender body id designed for punching through cover with fewer hang ups. The claws have wing-dams to generate some more water displacement and swimming action


One of the wildest looking plastics at this year's show was the J Bro's Lures Jester


The Jester can be fished by itself or as a trailer and features a ribbed body and 6 appendages at the end of the bait


At rest on a jighead you can imagine why this bait is called the Jester


G-Ratt Baits is famous for their Sneaky Pete swimbaits and is expanding into soft plastics this season


The G.Ratt Mixer is a 4" soft bait that is designed to work as a vibrating jig trailer


The Dixie Flip is designed for flipping and getting through the heaviest cover. It also can be used with stand up heads or as a jig/vibrating jig trailer


Baits designed specifically for forward facing sonar were popular this year and the Power Switch is Berkeley's new bait for the application


The Power Switch will be available in sizes from 1.75" to 5"  sizes


The Power Switch features a weight forward design to allow for precise casts and drop-ins


Pro Walleye Angler Korey Sprengel is a master of working live sonar and fishes the Power Switch a variety of ways and pops the rod tip to create a darting action, yo-yo-ing, and bottom bouncing


Nishine Lure Works in Canada makes some of the most beautifully crafted hardbaits and their new Drop Shot Minnow is hand poured and coated with salt to prolong softness


The Drop Shot Minnow features a symmetrical scale pattern, gill plates, and eye sockets. They come 7 per pack for $6.49 each


The bait is designed to be both fished vertically with light wire drop shot hooks or on small jig heads, which Nishine also makes (Smelthead white pearl jighead pictured)


Natural Selection Lures introduced a baby alligator lure called "Alex The Gator" molded from thermoplastic elastomer so that it floats and is very durable


Alex has a multi-jointed swing tail and is designed to be fished on the surface as a topwater creature bait


The Gobius is Z-Man's take on a goby


The Gobius is made of ElaZtech and features a "bottom-hugging" internal jig harness. It will be available in 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 ounce sizes for $5.99 each


Z-Man first realistic ElaZtech line-through swimbait, the Mulletron LT


The Mulletron LT is designed for saltwater but can be used for freshwater as well. The bait will be available in 4'5" and 6" sizes

A look at the line through harness that is inside each bait


The packaging is designed to protect the ElaZTech body and can be used to protect the hook even when rigged


Jose Chavez is a talented lure designer that is responsible for many of the new Z-Man baits this ICAST


The Z-Man Rattle-Snaker is a easy to use tool to insert glass rattles into plastics


The tool holds rattles and can be used to insert the rattles into Z-Man ElaZtech lures


The A Band of Angler Roll Shad is designed by legendary bait designer Patrick Sebile and is buoyant so that it will land on the bottom upright. It is molded around a 6/0 hook and measures 6 inches and weighs 3.6 ounces


The shape of the bait's belly is designed so that the lure's tail raises up as the bait rests or is jigged on the bottom


Spro and John Crews are introducing a bottom rigged swimbait called the Megalogjohn. The Pearl Shad pattern shown

The most talked about, and controversial, soft bodied swimbait at ICAST was the Berkley PowerBait Nessie which is a soft bodied glidebait with a brush tail and underbelly harness


The Nessie Won ICAST Best of Show in the Soft Lure category which enraged anglers in the custom swimbait community that viewed it as a knock-off of the JDM Grow Design Flag Glide Bait. There are some differences including the tail design, hard fins, and of course PowerBait scent, but the profile and joint similarities are too obvious for many swimbait enthusiasts to overlook


Geecrack adds a paddle tail on the Bellows Gill to create the Bellows Gill Swimmer 3.2"


This bait is designed to be rigged horizontally with a belly weighted 4/0 EWG swimbait hook


The Imakatsu Lazy Swimmer 9 is a full sized ultra-realistic soft swimbait that retails for $85.99

The Lazy Swimmer is already available in the U.S. in 6" and 9" sizes. It is packed with multiple rigging options


The "Demon Tail" design kicks back and forth like a pendulum and can be cut down the center to create a more aggressive kicking action


Lunkerhunt launched the Compact Pooping Frog


The Compact Popping Frog is designed to be walked or popped, measures 2" and weighs 1/2 oz. The skirts come pre-trimmed to match the compact body and the lure is armed with a weedless slick-coated double frog hook


The Berkley Swamp Lord Frog was designed in collaboration with Bobby Lane for optimal hook penetration with a soft body and Fusion 19 frog hooks


The Jackall Kaera S2 Beat frog was one of our favorite new frogs and features two small blades on a single ring behind the bait


Pro Angler Jesse Wiggins shows us the various patterns


The blades on the Kaera S2 Beat create flash and a distinct scratching sound as they rub against each other. As with all Jackall frogs the patterns are awesome


FishLab introduced the Bio-Blade Buzzbait from bait design legend Bill Siementel. Technically these wire baits are hardbaits but FishLab is bundling them with their own plastic trailers


The Bio-Blade Buzzbait features a two piece blade design that generates a lot of noise at all speeds. The bait comes bundled with the company's Nature Series Flippin' Frog


Bill Siementel and FishLab are also introducing the Bio-Blade Spinnerbait which comes equipped with a BBZ Mimic Tail trailer


Another new hybrid bait from FishLab is the Nature Series Topwater Frog which has a frog profile with a swimbait paddle tail. Designed to be fished with a 3/0 or 4/0 hook it can be fished on the surface or sub-surface. They will come 6 in a pack for $6.99


Stay Tuned for Part 2 as we take a look at the most interesting hard bodied baits at this year's ICAST show. 


Looking for some these new Softbaits? Many are starting to become available at Tackle Warehouse










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