Would you like to peek into a top pro’s tackle box on tournament day? Wouldn’t it be great to know what new fishing lures the best anglers are excited about using? We reached out to five full-time anglers for their favorite new lures. From muskie in Ontario to Gulf Coast redfish, New England striped bass, Michigan bass and California lingcod, we know what the best anglers will be tying on their lines.
5 Top Anglers Pick Their Favorite New Lures
1 Brandon Barton
Hobie Pro | emeraldcoastkayakfishing.com
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Target: Redfish and speckled trout
Lure: 3.5-inch Savage 3D Shrimp
Tactic: Sight casting on grass flats, working lures under docks, across points and through sandy potholes. Rig the lure on a 20-pound-test fluorocarbon leader with a loop knot. Slow hop the lure along the bottom
Favorite features: Scented body with rattles. Fluorocarbon weed guard, indestructible Duratech soft plastic.
2 Scott Barton
Jackson Kayak Pro Staff | Host, Kayak Musky Challenge online tournament
Location: Madawaska River, Ontario
Lure: Musky Innovation Pro Dawg Magnum
Tactic: Effective for both casting and trolling, muskie will destroy the ProDawg at prime structure like the edge of weedbeds, flats adjacent to dropoffs and fallen timber. While trolling, I alternate between pauses and pulls to work the lure. When I’m casting, I work the ProDawg like a jerkbait ripping over cabbage and dropping it down weed edges.
Favorite features: The Pro Dawg now comes in UV colors muskie can see with special cones in their eyes. The internal harness forces the Pro Dawg to dive nose down and hop when I jerk it.
3 Billy Mitchell
Seven Stripes Fishing | sevenstripesfishing.com
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Target: Striped bass
Lure: One-ounce Hogy Pro Tail
Tactic: The Hogy Pro Tail casts great and sinks fast, making it the perfect run and gun lure for chasing schools of striped bass. If fish are holding deep, cast up-tide and let the lure sink to the bottom with a few rod lifts and twitches. Finicky fish respond to a straight, slow retrieve. To entice fast moving schools on top, rip the lure along the surface with long pauses.
Favorite features: Small profile to match silverside anchovies, menhaden and butterfish.
4 Mike McKinstry
The Bassquatch Hunter |bassquatchhunter.com
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Target: Largemouth and smallmouth bass
Lure: Berkley Champ and Berkley Fusion Underspin
Tactic: The Champ on a Fusion Underspin is my secret weapon for warm-water bass. Bass feed aggressively in the summer and the Champ looks ultra realistic especially when I’m fishing around structure. I fish the lure on 10-pound test Trilene fluorocarbon, which is virtually invisible underwater and transmits vibrations better than monofilament. I let the lure drop to the bottom then work it steadily back to the kayak. Every few cranks, I pause and give the rod an erratic jerk to imitate an injured baitfish.
Favorite features: The large, thumping paddle tail sends fish-attracting vibrations through the water. Ultra realistic colors and shape with the flash of the underspin blade gets the fish’s attention and keeps it.
5 Kevin Hofer
Wilderness Systems Pro Staff
Location: Northern California
Target: Lingcod and rockfish
Lure: Branson Baits, Tournament Series Sl’eel
Tactic: I use my fish finder to find underwater pinnacles and shelves then drop the Sl’eel to the bottom. No need to wear out my arm wildly jerking the lure, the Sl’eel’s super reactive rubber does the action for me. To rig the Sl’eel, I start with 50-pound braided line and a 30-pound monofilament leader. I attach the leader to the mainline and the lure with snap swivels so I can quickly change damaged leaders.
Favorite feature: Reinforced mesh keeps the fish from ripping the plastic off the jighead. A rattle chamber and scent chamber add attraction. High quality plastic is hand poured in the United States for the perfect balance between flexibility and durability.
How do they do it? Now you know. | Feature photo: Brandon Barton