EDITOR’S PICKS

Our fish­ing editor casts his vote for the most in­no­va­tive new lures for 2017

Field and Stream - - CONTENTS - By Joe Cer­mele

Make some room in your tackle box for these 20 in­no­va­tive new baits.

1/STRIKE KING MR. CRAP­PIE SCIZZOR SHAD

If the crap­pies in your lo­cal lake have been bom­barded with tube jigs, here’s a curve­ball to throw them. The wide body and thin, twin legs of the Scizzor Shad pro­vide slabs with a big tar­get that wig­gles with the slight­est twitch. $4 per pack; strikek­ing.com

2/JACKALL GAVACHO FROG

The body is con­toured around dou­ble hooks to make it more stream­lined and snag­proof than other hol­low-body frogs. Not only can the Gavacho play in the nas­ti­est slop, but its pop­ping mouth kicks up the splash fac­tor back in the junk. $10; jackall-lures.com

3/STORM 360GT SEARCHBAIT

A unique plas­tic jig­head with in­ter­nal rat­tles ramps up the Searchbait’s sound; a wide boot tail and a fully ribbed back in­crease vi­bra­tion as the bait swims. Four avail­able sizes let you mimic the pre­ferred prey when hunt­ing for ev­ery­thing from walleyes to stripers. $4– $6 per pack; storm­lures.com

4/RIV­ER2SEA MAD YABBIE

This slim craw­fish is dou­ble-ribbed to dis­place lots of wa­ter, in­creas­ing both the sound and the vi­bra­tion as it falls. Whether it’s Tex­as­rigged or used as a jig trailer, the flap­ping claws won’t go un­no­ticed by bass. $5.24 per pack; riv­er2seausa.com

5/RAPALA SKITTER V

The new V-shaped body com­bined with a weighted tail al­lows this topwater to make harder cuts across the sur­face com­pared with clas­sic Spook­style baits, trig­ger­ing more re­ac­tion bites from fol­low­ers. $9.49; rapala.com

6/RAPALA TWITCHIN’ MULLET

With two heavy-gauge, in-line sin­gle hooks, this bait is ready for ac­tion on tro­phy tar­pon, stripers, and snook that hunt bite-size fin­ger mullet. The translu­cent body pro­duces a re­al­is­tic bait­fish flash, while the lazy side-to­side sub­sur­face walk draws tar­gets in from a dis­tance. $10

7/RIV­ER2SEA DOU­BLE PLOP­PER

Two shrunken ver­sions of the com­pany’s proven Whop­per Plop­per topwater lures ro­tate on dou­ble arms flank­ing a skirted jig, mak­ing this one of the loud­est buzzbaits ever. $18

8/BERKLEY WARPIG

Tired of los­ing rat­tle baits in the wood? Your box will stay stocked longer with the Warpig. With its blunt nose, this rat­tler is de­signed to bang off hard cover to trig­ger more strikes with­out get­ting hung up. $7; berkley-fish­ing.com

9/STORM ARASHI SPINBAIT

Per­fect for tar­get­ing sus­pended bass, the Spinbait sinks slowly as its front and rear counter-ro­tat­ing props gen­tly spin to boost flash and vi­bra­tion. Once you have the bait counted down, the slight­est twitch will get those props spin­ning faster to draw blasts from hov­er­ing bass. $8

10/SHIMANO COLTSNIPER JERK­BAIT

An in­ter­nal weight slides to the rear for max­i­mum cast­ing dis­tance, then springs to the front once the lure hits the wa­ter. Cou­ple the bait’s abil­ity to cover lots of wa­ter quickly with its se­duc­tive, rolling wob­ble, and you’ve got a preda­tor killer. $13–$15; fish.shimano.com

11/Z-MAN EZ SHRIMPZ

Made of durable soft plas­tic, this crus­tacean im­i­ta­tion will with­stand a day full of red­fish, snook, and seatrout chomps with­out need­ing to be re­placed. Let it fall on a slack line, and the seg­mented body flaps away like the real thing, as the thin ap­pendages add to the il­lu­sion. EZ Shrimpz are avail­able rigged and un­rigged. $6–$7 per pack; zman­fish­ing.com

12/PANTHER MAR­TIN BEARDED BANSHEE

Un­like tra­di­tional spin­ner­baits, the Banshee matches Panther’s proven in-line spin­ner blade with a clas­sic buck­tail skirt. $6–$7.49; pan­ther­martin.com

13/SAV­AGE GEAR 3D BLUEGILL

It’s hard for tro­phy bass to pass up a live bluegill, and this soft bait is about as close as you can get to the real thing. Back and belly tre­bles in­crease your hookup rate, and the triple-seg­mented body makes the bait move like a nat­u­ral. $15; sav­agegearusa.com

14/BERKLEY CUT­TER 90+

A cof­fin-shaped bill al­lows this sus­pend­ing jerk­bait to dart side to side and flash wildly with min­i­mal rod work. That comes in handy in clear wa­ter and cold weather when it takes fi­nesse—and lots of zone time—to coax a bite. $8

15/LIVE TAR­GET SWIM­BAITS

With seven fresh­wa­ter and three salt­ters wa­ter mod­els, this new line of soft swim­baits will im­i­tate just about any bait­fish you choose. While the pat­terns vary widely, they all have life­like swim­ming ac­tion thanks to a unique tail de­sign un­matched by other swim­bait mak­ers. $9 and up; live­tar­getlures.com

16/CASTAIC BD SOFT POPPER

This popper has a soft, hol­low body that Castaic says will up your topwater game. For starters, the bait makes a sub­tler sound than a hard­body model when it hits the wa­ter and pops. It also col­lapses in the fish’s mouth, in­creas­ing hookup rates. $8; castaic swim­bait.com

17/BILL LEWIS STUTTERSTEP

It may be one funky­look­ing topwater, but the com­pany claims it will de­liver what other topwa- can­not: the abil­ity to walk in place. Quick twitches make the 5-inch lure’s tail kick and head sway with­out ad­vanc­ing the bait for­ward, so you can keep work­ing it in the zone un­til a fish can’t help but hit. $14; rat-l-trap.com

18/MEGABASS FUNKY FLIPPER

The Funky Flipper mea­sures only 2 1 ⁄3 inches, but it packs a wal­lop. Re­trieved with the rod tip high, this wake­bait pushes lots of wa­ter to draw in nearby bass. Drop the tip and the Flipper will dive up to 6 inches. $20; megabas­susa.com

19/SAV­AGE GEAR 3D SUI­CIDE DUCK

A topwater duck may not be the first lure you tie on when hunt­ing for bass or muskies, but ev­ery­one dreams of see­ing a gi­ant fish eat one. This duck has real fishat­tract­ing fea­tures like buzzing feet, and back and belly tre­bles to in­crease con­nec­tions. $17–$20

20/KASTMASTER RATTLEMASTER GLOW

The Kastmaster’s ba­sic form has re­mained un­changed for decades, but these triedand-true jigs now fea­ture in­ter­nal rat­tles. And with fresh UV paint jobs, their low­light vis­i­bil­ity has also been beefed up, big­time. $5.49; acmetackle.com

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