Like fishin' gear? Come inside

‘Tis the season for bassin’ gear gurus to get all jolly: ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) is upon us. From July 11 to 13, hundreds of manufacturers will be rolling out thousands of new products from fantastic (Humminbird’s 360 Imaging comes to mind) to downright odd (I recall a boat shaped like a giant lily pad last year).

No matter how freaky it gets, the gang here at will be bringing you the best of the show each and every day via our Live Blog, the same one we use during Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments. Our team of bloggers will scour the show floor to give you up-to-the-minute info on the stuff you’ve gotta have, complete with pictures. We’ll also have photo galleries each day of the best new products, and be sure to check back after the show when we’ll unveil the fruits of our labor, some of the most complete photo galleries you’ll find anywhere. We guarantee your checkbook will be crying “uncle!” before you see all of them.

In the meantime, here are the delusional ideas that one hard-core basser (yours truly) would find most intruguing:

  • Touch-screen electronics. This has got to be the next step in sonar/GPS systems. Most every other electronic doodad we use nowadays has a touch screen, so why not our bassin’ electronics? This oughta simplify some of the more cryptic, er, advanced menu functions.
  • New app! Yes, another one. But unlike that fish log you never use, this one would link and sync your smartphone to your sonar/GPS so you could look at and share (for a price) waypoints without having to be in your boat. This would enable you to get a point from a buddy via text message, and then have it show up on your graph instantly. How cool would that be? Think of the wild goose chases you could send them on!
  • Trailering manual. This would be ideal for your idiot buddies or those of the fairer sex who may not, well, be so great at backing a trailer down a dark and crowded boat ramp. Actually, I think I’ve found my next project. More on this later.
  • Steering wheel on the left side of the boat! Am I the only one who thinks this is odd? By having the wheel on the right, shouldn’t we be driving on the “wrong” side of the lake as well?
  • 150-horse circuit. OK, so this isn’t a new product per se, but it would be neat to see how the best pros fare with the working man’s bassin’ rig.

What new gizmo or gadget would you like to see? Email me at and we’ll see if we can’t find what you’re hankering for.

In less pie-in-the-sky news, enjoy the first of our preview galleries here. These manufacturers recognize the value of your readership and thought it prudent to give you all a sneak peek at their newest gear. Don’t let ‘em down!

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