Best Hard Topwater Lure: X-Rap Pop

Best Hard Topwater Lure: X-Rap Pop
Normark Canada

The reason popper-style surface baits work so well is they attract bass with their unique sound and vibration. But it’s on the pause, when the feathered tails droop down below the surface, that they trigger bites. Few such lures do this better than the new 3/8-ounce, 23/4-inch-long Rapala X-Rap Pop. It features a special cupped mouth that not only “pops” when you jerk the bait forward, but also spits water as though it were a desperately struggling baitfish. You can also walk-the-dog with it—the deadliest presentation of all—pausing every few feet so the fish can hit it. More Info: Normark Canada

Best Soft-Plastic Bass Baits: Havoc

Best Soft-Plastic Bass Baits: Havoc
Normark Canada

Each pro-designed lure in Berkley’s Havoc series of soft-plastic baits matches a specific fishing condition or situation. Bassmaster Classic champ Skeet Reese, for example, designed the new Pit Boss (pictured), a compact creature-style bait for flipping and pitching into heavy cover. There are nine new baits in all, including worms, crayfish, creature baits and a twin-tail grub. And since they only cost $3.45 for a pack of six to 12 baits, depending on the style, they’re affordable for both pro and recreational anglers alike. More Info: Pure Fishing Canada

Best Lure Innovation: Backstabber

Best Lure Innovation: Backstabber
Normark Canada

The unique new Backstabbers are the most well-designed premium crankbaits to appear in a long time. They sport a treblehook on top of the lure rather than on the belly, making it tough to get snagged on rocks, logs and other bottom debris. Plus, the unconventional hook placement ensures fish are stuck on the lips and roof of the mouth. And because the trebles rotate 360 degrees on a swivel, hooked fish can’t gain leverage and throw the lure. Available in seven colours, the Backstabber comes in two lipless models and three lipped versions that dive four to 16 feet. More Info: Backstabber Lures

Best Soft Topwater Lure: Livetarget Hollow Body Field Mouse

Best Soft Topwater Lure: Livetarget Hollow Body Field Mouse
Normark Canada

LIVETARGET HOLLW BODY FIELD MOUSE From the big ears and long flowing tail to the pink nose and weepy eyes, this topwater lure looks more like a mouse than Mickey! Even the way the front feet are curled in and the head is cocked back suggests this rodent is real and in danger of being eaten by every bass, pike and muskie that lays eyes on it. The judges at ICAST were certainly impressed—they gave the Koppers Field Mouse the Best Soft Lure award. Available in three-inch and 3½-inch versions, the mouse also comes in four realistic paint jobs. More Info: Koppers

Best Hybrid Hardbait: BRZ-1 Crank-N-Swim

Best Hybrid Hardbait: BRZ-1 Crank-N-Swim
Normark Canada

Spro’s BBZ-1 Crank-N-Swim combines the controlled diving qualities of a lipped crankbait with the free-swimming virtues of a swimbait. The concept is brilliant. The bait’s lip causes it to dive five to 10 feet, depending on the line size and retrieve speed. And once it’s down and banging off the bottom, the lure glides as naturally as a swimbait. Walleye anglers are going to fall in love with this new hybrid lure, and I’m betting more than a few bass anglers will also relish the brilliant concept. More Info: Spro

Best Soft-Plastic Swimbait: Jerky J Kicker

Best Soft-Plastic Swimbait: Jerky J Kicker
Normark Canada

The Jerky J Kicker is the downsized fusion of two of Castaic's most popular and successful lures - it has the super-soft body and lifelike features of the Jerky J and the downward-swept tail of the Kicker, which California big-bass specialist Mike Long used to catch a 19-pound three-ounce largemouth earlier this year. Available in four- and five-inch sizes and 12 colours, the Jerky J Kicker is ideal for smallies, too. More Info: Castaic Swimbaits

Best Spoons: Nipigon & Yukon

Best Spoons: Nipigon & Yukon
Normark Canada

The Nipigon and Yukon spoons from Williams are ideally designed to catch trout, char and grayling, as well as bass, pike and walleye. The pure silver and 24-karat gold plating promises to reflect light, even down deep, making the spoons resemble the baitfish that big fish love to eat. Both models sport a red treblehook and a UV-reactive 3-D eye. The Nipigon comes in eight colours, while the Yukon is offered in six. More Info: Brecks International Inc.

Best Soft-Plastic Hybrid: Hula Swimmer

Best Soft-Plastic Hybrid: Hula Swimmer
Normark Canada

How can Yamamoto Custom Bait’s new 4½-inch Hula Swimmer not be a winner? Available in 12 colours, it’s the offspring of two of the finest soft-plastic baits ever made—the Hula Grub and Swimming Senko. You can flip it, pitch it, cast it, jig it and work it in open water or through cover for largemouth bass, although it’s just as deadly for smallies. And get this: every Hula Swimmer is handmade. More Info: Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits

Best Crankbait: D&S Crank

Best Crankbait: D&S Crank
Normark Canada

Named Best Hard Lure at ICAST, innovative designer Patrick Sébile’s D&S Crank sports a large, extra-wide single hook on the bottom of the bait—instead of the traditional treble—making it practically snagless. The bait’s unique shape also helps prevent hooking up on hazards. When a fish strikes, the hook pivots from the bottom to the back of the lure, locking into the roof of the fish’s mouth. The D&S Crank also features three narrow channels with enclosed balls that create high-pitched rattles. Available in nine fish-catching colours, the lure will dive to 20 feet when cast or 28 feet while trolled. More Info: Sébile USA

Best Frog Lure: Dahlberg Diver Frog 50

Best Frog Lure: Dahlberg Diver Frog 50
Normark Canada

#30 BEST FROG LURE DAHLBERG DIVER FROG 50 While many soft-bodied frogs resemble their natural counterparts, the Dahlberg Diver Frog goes one step better and swims like one, too. This year, River2Sea released the Dahlberg Diver Frog 50—a downsized version for smaller waterbodies and finicky fish. It kicks and retracts its legs just like the real thing. And with its unique diving collar, it can swim down two to three feet to the bottom, as if trying to burrow into the mud. When you pause to let it rise, it rests with its eyes and nose poking just above the surface. More Info: River2Sea