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This week's Feature Blog

New Fishing Gear for 2023

By Mark Romanack

Every year in mid-summer, the Fishing 411 TV crew attends the ICAST sport fishing convention in Orlando, Florida. The ICAST convention is an industry trade show that brings all the power house brands associated with the fishing and marine industry into one building. During this three day event, manufacturers not only introduce their new products for the coming year, it’s an opportunity for industry insiders to network with the media, sales and marketing staff members that are otherwise scattered all over the nation.

Unfortunately, you can’t go out tomorrow and buy the products outlined in this blog. It takes some time for these products to be manufactured and distributed to retailers. Products introduced at the 2022 ICAST convention will typically start appearing on store shelves in the fall of 2022 or early winter of 2023.


The Bill Lewis Precise Walleye Crank or PWC for short was recently introduced at the ICAST convention in Orlando, Florida. Designed by noted walleye fishing experts Mark and Jake Romanack, the PWC features a classic minnow shape that has been certified by Precision Trolling Data to reach 32 feet on 10 pound test line.

Mark & Jake Romanack are the masterminds behind the new Bill Lewis Precise Walleye Crank or PWC for short. Certified by Precision Trolling Data to reach 32 feet on 10 pound test, this new walleye crankbait will be introduced in 20 fish catching colors to start including a solid metallic silver and solid metallic gold aimed at the custom lure painting industry.

The PWC also features a specialized sound chamber popularized by Bill Lewis in the iconic Rat-L-Trap series of lipless baits. Add in premium hardware, wide-bend oversized treble hooks and paint finishes that can only be described as “drop dead gorgeous” and the PWC stands out from the crowd.

Available in 20 fish catching color patterns, Lake Erie walleye enthusiasts will also appreciate that the PWC is available in a solid metallic silver and solid metallic gold finish. Solid metallic finishes are the perfect pallet for creating “custom color” creations.

Without question, forward looking sonar technology has dominated the fishing world in recent years. Lowrance introduced Active Target a couple years ago and for 2023 they have combined all the necessary components of this “game changing” technology into the all new Premium Explorer Series Ice Fishing Pack. Not only does this bag house everything needed for a productive day on the ice, it doubles as a back pack for stowing and transporting the necessary gear.

The Explorer Series pack houses a 9 inch Elite FS, 9 inch Carbon or 9 inch HDS Live sonar unit, a 24 amp hour lithium battery, the Active Target Module (the brains of the unit) the Active Target transducer, the necessary networking cables and a telescoping pole for mounting the Active Target transducer under the ice.

The back pack design is spacious enough to hold a larger lithium battery, plus all sorts of extras essential for ice fishing success. This ice bundle is perfect for the angler who hole hops or those who fish from permanent shacks and flip shelters. The back pack design also makes a convenient and safe way to transport all this critical gear on your back while using a snow machine or quad to access the fishing grounds.

For many years the Daiwa Saltist reels have made their mark as the highest quality trolling reels on the market. New for 2023 the Saltist is enjoying a face lift. The line counter has been moved from the left to the right side of the reel, making it easier to operate. Made from a solid block of aluminum, Saltist reels feature a blazing fast 6.1:1 gear ratio and Daiwa’s exclusive silky smooth Ultimate Tournament Drag system.

Available in both level wind and line counter versions, these reels are the perfect choice for fishing lead core and other sinking lines, diving planers, in-line planer boards and much more. Saltist reels are offered in 20, 30, 40 and 50 sizes providing the line capacity for literally every trolling situation. For those who insist on using the best. The best just got better with the newly redesigned Saltist trolling reels.


The Yakima Bait Company SpinFish has been taking the world of salmon fishing by storm. This unique rotating plug features a two-piece design that allows the plug cavity to be stuffed with cut-bait and/or scent products that creates a fish attracting scent stream in the water.

Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait Company shows that the SpinFish is deadly on salmon. The new smaller sizes of SpinFish will open up the Kokanee and trout fishing markets in the Pacific Northwest and also the Great Lakes regions.

“I like to stuff the SpinFish with a mixture of oil packed tuna fish, non-iodized salt and a little Pro Cure Bloody Tuna Oil,” says Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait. “This concoction is lights out for both chinook and coho salmon.”

SpinFish was originally introduced in two sizes, including the 3 and 4 inch model, aimed at the salmon market. The introduction of two new sizes including a 2 and 2.5 inch model, opens the door for SpinFish to make its’ mark on the Kokanee and also trout fishing markets.

SpinFish comes pre-rigged in the package and can be fished alone or in combination with attractors such as the iconic Yakima Bait Company Fish Flash, dodgers and also paddle style rotators. Available in dozens of fish catching colors, fishing tackle retailers coast to coast are stocking up on all four sizes of the SpinFish.


Hundreds of new products are introduced every year at the annual ICAST sport fishing convention. The products outlined here are just a few of the cool new items anglers can expect to see on dealer shelves in 2023.


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