As the fishing season of 2024 busts loose we Mid-Atlantic area anglers and Chesapeake Bay fishing fans are on the lookout for cool new goodies that will help us catch more fish. Here are three top picks that can make it happen.

furuno fcv600
Standalone CHIRP fishfinders aren't too common these days, but Furuno has a pair of new models to check out.

Furuno FCV600 FCV800: CHIRPing Away

If you want a potent CHIRP fishfinder but you don’t need the added expense and complexity of a chartplotter you won’t have too many options to choose from in this day and age, but Furuno has two new ones hitting the water in 2024: the FCV600 and the FCV800. These stand-alone fishfinders can drive CHIRP (40 – 225kHz) and dual-frequency continuous wave (50 – 200kHz) transducers. They also offer improved visibility in bright daylight, make it easier to differentiate fish from the bottom with Color Range Expansion, and boast improved resolution and target separation with RezBoost. The FCV600 has a seven-inch display and the FCV800 is 8.4 inches, waterproofing is to IP56 specs, and multiple displays can communicate wirelessly. Small boat anglers will love the fact that the user interface comes via soft-touch buttons and a rotary dial as opposed to a touchscreen. Price: $895/$1495.

fishing tackle bag
Stow all that fishing tackle in the H2OX Evo 3700.

H2OX Evo 3700: Bag of Tricks

- By Mark Nicolaus

Looking for a tackle bag that can be packed with as much gear as possible while still being able to throw it over your shoulder? The H2OX Evo 3700 from Academy has got you covered. This bag comes with four 3700 tackle boxes, one 3600 box, two side pouches, two roomy pouches on the front and back, along with multiple netting slots for pliers and knives. All of the boxes have adjustable organizers, so whether you’re packing in large swimbaits or small split shots it can be organized to your preference. The zippers are heavy duty and slide past the bag’s polyester material without getting caught up. The shoulder strap is strong and cushioned, so adding plenty of weight to this bag is not an issue. It has a rugged, waterproof bottom, too, so setting it down on the damp ground won’t let moisture soak into the bag. The H2OX Evo 3700 fits in the back of a kayak instead of the traditional-style milk crate, but even on a boat, this will be a great option for storing your tackle and keeping it all in a safe place. Personally, I am a big fan of the front/back and side zipper pouches which seem to get overlooked with most other tackle bags. They are great for storing extra line, lip grippers, and anything else besides tackle that you need on a trip. This is a great do-it-all choice for tackle storage no matter your preferred style of fishing! Price: $89.99.

fishbites blue crab flavor
Is there a species of fish found in Chesapeake Country that doesn't enjoy eating blue crab? We don't think so, and Fishbites makes it easy to tempt them.

Fishbites EZ Blue Crab: Feeling Crabby

Fishbites bloodworms have become a tacklebox staple for many Chesapeake Bay anglers, but now Fishbites has a new offering of interest: EZ Crab Blue Crab. The strips are blue on one side and white on the other, and any finned critter that enjoys slurping down blue crabs (are there any that don’t?) should enjoy eating them. We gave EZ Crab Blue Crab multiple tests while fishing for black sea bass late last fall and winter, and found that threaded onto the hook of a small spoon and dangled in the depths the fish loved ‘em. In fact, multiple anglers fished it multiple days side-by-side with cut squid and live minnow, and we discovered it made zero difference which bait was on the end of the line. To the fish, that is — from our human vantage point this stuff is spectacular, because it doesn’t make a mess, you don’t have to keep it alive, one bait lasts for a half-dozen or more fish, and you can toss a pouch into a drawer and leave it there for months on end between uses. Price: $5.99.