The below companies all donated fishing tackle and gear to Team FishTalk/PropTalk’s 2023 Fish For a Cure fundraiser auction. That earns them some serious cred in our book – THANKS, people!!!
Game On X-Walk
Game On Lures has a line of plastics and spoons we’ve tested before, but now they’ve jumped into the topwater game. The new X-Walk Topwater comes in 4.5” and 6” versions, in a range of colors including white, bunker, mullet, sardine, white mullet, and green mackerel patterns. The front hook is a treble on a split-ring, the rear hook is a swinging single, the rattle chamber has plenty of volume, and through-wire construction ensures it will stand up to very big, very mean fish. When we started slinging the X-Walk we noticed that the ever so slight cupping at the face doesn’t interfere with the walk-the-dog back-and-forth motion, but does give a little gurgle and burble that rockfish seemed to find particularly appetizing. Price: $14.99/$15.99.
Powerbait to the People
Could there ever be such a thing as too much Powerbait? Heck no!! One of the newest versions to hit the water is the Berkley Powerbait Saltwater Power Swimmer, a ridged paddletail that’s designed with a larger tail to displace more water and help call in the fish. Infused with Powerbait’s fish-attracting flavor enhancers, it’s available in 3.3” and 4.3” sizes. There are 14 different colors in all, and these are sinking tails so you can use them to fish the shallowest of the shallows rigged fluke-style on an EWG hook, as well as on a jig head. Price: $6.99.
Old Skool Daze
Does walking the tackle shop isles leave you dazed and confused? If so, you’ll like the Old Skool Sampler Best Sellers Sample Box. It includes everything you need to hit the water and catch stripers, specks, and reds, like 3.5”, 3.75”, and 5” tails in multiple color patterns, mullet and SB jigheads, and skirted heads. There’s a mix of paddletails (Rip Shiner) and jerkbait tails (Jerk Shad), and with five packs of tails and all those heads, this package deal should get most anglers through the better part of a season, at least. Price: MSRP is $59.99 but last time we checked the website, they were on sale for $49.99!
Imperium in Nature
Imperium Outfitters made a tremendous donation to the Fish For a Cure effort, and among the lures was a seriously sweet spreader/splash bar. The Big Eye Spreader Bar ($159) is a 36” bar with three birds up front trailed by float-stuffed Bulb and Humbolt squid. Mono is 300-pound test, and the available colors include pink, rainbow, purple/black, blue/white, and zucchini. If you want to create even more of a commotion on the ocean check out the Dragoon Spreader ($199), which has jetted cup teasers behind the birds (also on a 36” bar with 300-pound mono; available in purple, pink, green, and blue). We also found the Nano Pack ($129) pretty dang cool, with a selection of three HexaJets and two Super Smokers, an ideal set to pull from when you’re trolling a mixed spread for tuna and mahi.
Getting Hooked (Optics)
The Hook Optics Yellowfin sunglasses will be of interest if you spend long days on the water battling a blazing sun and glare. The Yellowfin has a wraparound fit to cut out light intrusion, and the shatterproof Zeiss polarized lenses are ThermoForce, with a 90-percent A/B infrared radiation absorption, full UV protection, and less weight than mineral glass. There are four frame colors and three lens colors, and prescriptions are available as well as platinum glass. Price: $199.
High Octane: Snakes Alive!
Snakeheads love chatterbaits, and the High Octane Weedless Chatter stands apart from the crowd with custom touches like in-house powder coat, .051 stainless-steel wire, 2X split rings, and 3X VMC EWG hooks. You’ll be able to slow-roll this one through thick weedy cover while creating a snake-alerting chatter, while trailing either a paddle or twin-tail behind the skirt. There are too many color and size options to list, but the fact that you can get the blade in either polished or gold finish gives you an idea of just how customizable this bait really is. Price: $8.99.
Sea to Summit
You’re sick and tired of stuff getting wet? Sea to Summit has the answer with their Big River Dry Bags. Available in six sizes from five to 65 liters, they feature a Hypalon roll-top, a triple-coated oval base, and are made of waterproof 420D nylon fabric laminated with TPU film. We particularly like the lash loops that allow for securing the bag in small boats or kayaks, and that it’s double-stitched for extra ruggedness. Added bonus: the Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bags are PFC-free. Price: $39.95 to $79.95.
More for Fish For a Cure
You’ve heard us expound about BKD lures about 1001 times, but we want to send them a huge thanks for donating not one but two lure packs for the fundraiser this year. Same goes for Hard Head Custom Baits, which donated a wonderful selection of both jigging and trolling lures. Then there was Wayne Young and his books, which we all enjoy snippets from each and every month right here on the pages of FishTalk. Contributor Peter Turcik chipped in, too, with custom-tied rabbit hair jigs and flies. Captain Billy Gee of Ebb Tide Charters tied up skirted jigs, parachutes, and umbrellas for the cause. Annapolis Diving Contractors donated a boat cleaning in the Annapolis area. And Bryan Point Outfitters gets the nod for donating a guided goose hunt. We at FishTalk and PropTalk thank all of you for helping with the cause; please know that your donations have contributed to funding the help that cancer patients at AAMC need.
We would be remiss if we didn’t send out a special, unique thanks to FishTalk contributor Eric Packard. Between the artwork and fishing trips he donated the funds Eric raised were over 10-percent of Team FishTalk/PropTalk’s total. When you see him in the tackle shop, at the boat ramp, or on the water, be sure to give a big Fish For a Cure shout-out to Eric Packard!