Top Midwest Fishing Lures for 2008

Here's what every Midwestern angler needs to know about this year's array of new fishing lures and baits. (April 2008)

Lure makers have upped the ante again for 2008, bringing to market a number of innovative new lures, while some old favorites return in brand-new versions. What follows are details on the hot new baits you'll want to check out this fishing season.

Bandit 700 Series Crankbait -- Bandit's 700 Series deep-diving crankbait has a weight-transfer feature that improves casting and fishability. Weight moves to the back of the bait on casts for maximum distance, and forward during the retrieve. Its unique nose design produces a tight wobble; the lure comes in 12 different colors. (www.banditlures.com)

Bass Pro Shops XPS Shad Dancer -- The XPS Shad Dancer from Bass Pro Shops is an excellent choice for bass or walleyes. Offered in 15 colors, it has a tight wobbling action up front, but the narrow tail gives it a smooth, slick profile for a quick retrieve. The lure is a 10- to 12-foot diver when cast, and 15 to 25 feet when trolled. (www.basspro.com)

Daiwa DC Classic Shad SP -- Daiwa's new DC Classic Shad SP is a suspending plug with a wide wiggle. In murky water, it can be cranked slowly for an even wider, rolling action. It's available in two sizes -- a 2 7/8-inch, 3/8-ounce model that dives to 6 feet, and the DC7DSP at 2 7/8 inches and 2/5 ounce, which dives to 9 feet. (www.daiwa.com)

Lucky Craft Slim Shad -- Lucky Craft says its new Slim Shad produces amazing results in clear water, especially when fish aren't responding to any other fishing style. The Slim Shad's center of gravity (weighted by tungsten) facilitates sharp angle turns and long casting distances. This 2 3/4-inch, 7/16-ounce lure dives to 9 feet, and the body houses a built-in gravity-center-shift system. (www.luckycraft.com)

Matzuo Tournament Crank -- The Tournament Crank is a deep-diving, rattling crankbait that allows anglers to effectively target fish holding in deep-water structure and along points. The bait also has lifelike 3-D eyes, a bright and highly reflective prism pattern, contoured body and quality black chrome Matzuo hooks. (www.matzuo.com)

Rapala X-Rap Shad -- Rapala's new X-Rap Shad combines the tight action of a Shad Rap with the extreme characteristics of the brand's X-Rap line of lures. The X-Rap Shad has an internal long-cast mechanism to ensure ultimate castability, a suspending action and feathered tail hook. It's available in two sizes and 15 colors. (www.rapala.com)

Rat-L-Trap Vibra-Trap -- The Vibra-Trap looks a lot like any other Rat-L-Trap, but it has Tru-Tungsten shot in its PowerBall Chamber, which generates a hard-knocking, low-frequency sound and vibration. The subtly different Pot Belly design and the Vibra-Ribs on the bait's back half provide realistic swimming action and sound. (www.rat-l-trap.com)

SPRO Little John -- The Little John from Southern Professionals (SPRO) is a 1/2-ounce shallow-running crankbait. The diving lip is from a material that's more durable and sensitive than regular plastic. The internal chamber provides weight transfer of the soft tungsten inside to enhance casts and fishability, and it sports razor-sharp Gamakatsu hooks. (www.SPRO.com)

Storm Wiggle Wart Madflash -- The Madflash version of the venerable Wiggle Wart features all new color patterns and lifelike holographic eyes. It also sports red VMC Barbarian treble hooks. Like its cousin the Hot-N-Tot (also in Madflash form this year), the Wiggle Wart is great for casting or trolling for bass or walleyes. (www.stormlure.com)

Strike Pro Glide Baits -- Strike Pro calls its new Buster Jerk (6 inches long, 2 1/2 ounces) and Big Bandit (7 3/4 inches, 3 2/5 ounces) "glide baits" because they're smooth in the water, with a side-to-side motion that mimics many different baitfish species. They're also slow sinking, which means you can count them down to vary fishing depth. (www.strikeprousa.com)

Creme Mad Dad -- Nick Creme invented the plastic worm almost 60 years ago (in 1949), and the company bearing his name has introduced the Mad Dad, a swim-bait-style soft lure that mimics the escape of a crawdad. The 3/4-ounce bait is available in five colors. (www.cremelure.com)

Fish Belly Hawg Shad -- Fish Belly's Hawg Shad is a soft bait with big natural eyes that's available in four sizes from 2.8 to 6 inches. It also comes in three different tail shapes -- split tail, paddle tail and a low-profile pintail. The bait's silicone material provides a natural profile and swimming motion. (www.fishbelly.com)

Fishbites Xtreme -- Fishbites Xtreme is a complete line of scent-releasing, biodegradable plastic baits that are infused with Fishbites' powerful flavor/scent technology. Xtreme lures include a 6-inch finesse worm, 5-inch trick worm and 5-inch jerkbait. (www.fishbites.com)

FoodSource Minnow -- Reformulated for 2008, FoodSource's 4-inch Minnow can be rigged just like a soft jerkbait. The bait's size and profile make it an excellent match for drop-shotting or Carolina rigging. Like other FoodSource baits, the Minnow is non-plastic and 100 percent biodegradable. It comes nine to a bag and is available in four colors. (www.fslures.com)

Salmo Skinner -- You'll know at first glance that the Salmo Skinner stick bait is different. The Skinner is constructed from a 21st century foam that provides a buoyancy that floats the Skinner deeper in the surface film. It acts differently when you twitch it, too. You'll find it in six colors. Salmo claims it takes five months to make just one Skinner. (www.salmofishing.com)

Southern Lure Little Bigfoot -- The Little Bigfoot is a smaller version of the Bigfoot topwater combo bait from Southern Lure. The folks there say to fish it like a buzzbait because the soft-plastic "paddle legs" (my term, not theirs) create so much ruckus. But this bait also can fish like a frog or other topwater, with stops, twitches, jerks -- whatever. (www.scumfrog.com)

Strike King Coffee Tubes -- Strike King's new Coffee Tubes bring a caffeine buzz to your tackle box. The soft baits are not only salt-impregnated, but they're also scented with real coffee and coffee bean oil. You'll find them in 3 1/2-inch and 4 1/2-inch sizes, and a dozen different colors. (www.strikeking.com)

Vicious Big Daddy Craw -- This new soft-plastic bait is pro angler Russ Lane's signature bait. This buggy, bulky lure has large craws and a twister at the back of a thick, ringed body. The Big Daddy Craw is one of a series of baits Vicious has introduced under an agreement with Ultimate baits. Look for a half-dozen other designs in the new line. (www.vicious-fishing.com)

Wave Tiki-Gorilla -- Wave's new Tiki-Gorilla has four large moving legs and a twin-paddle tail, so you can expect plenty of action from the soft-plastic lure. The Tiki-Gorilla is salt-impregnated and scented with Wave's MOLOPO attractant. You'll find the Tiki-Gorilla in 11 different colors. (www.wavefishing.com)

YUM Doozee -- The new Doozee incorporates the fall and shape of a tube bait with the length and action of a traditional worm. It's available in 6- and 8-inch sizes, and in 12 colors. Both sizes have a solid head to hold hooks firmly in place, and both sizes feature YUM's exclusive Live Prey Technology. (www.yumbaits.com)

Blue Fox In-Line Buzz -- This buzzbait will most definitely cause a topwater disturbance! The new Blue Fox Inline Buzz is intended for muskies and pike, and it's made with a real deer hair bucktail and ribbon tail for life-like action. It features a large buzz blade, a brass bell with free-turning brass gear for vibration, and premium heavy-duty hooks. (www.bluefox.com)

BOOYAH 140 HD Spinnerbait -- Thanks to this spinnerbait's unique combination of a "weight backward" head design and patented counter-rotating blades, the new BOOYAH 140 HD Spinnerbait won't roll, no matter how fast you crank it. It features the Leverage Flexible Hook System and an XCalibur Tx3 black nickel hook; it comes in nine colors. (www.booyahbaits.com)

Terminator T1 Series -- Terminator's T1 titanium spinnerbaits come in several different blade combinations and in a wide variety of colors. Titanium frames last longer, never need re-tuning and snap back to their original shape. The baits' QuickSkirt system lets you change colors quickly without having to re-tie. (www.terminatorlures.com)

Worden's Tinsel Rooster Tail -- All 10 sizes of the popular Rooster Tail spinner include variations featuring flashy red tinsel in the famous hackle tail and a unique blade enhancement to make the lures even more attractive when they're being trolled or retrieved. Rooster Tails vary in size from 1/32 ounce to 1 ounce. (www.yakimabait.com)

Acme KastMaster -- Versatility describes Acme's KastMaster spoon, which is available in sizes from a diminutive 1/16-ounce up to a 1-ounce version for use in the deepest of honeyholes. The spoons are available in 26 different colors, so you'll likely find some in the perfect sizes and colors for your favorite styles of fishing. (www.acmetackle.com)

Blakemore Road Runner -- Blakemore's venerable Road Runner is 50 years old, and the company is producing the Gold Series 50th Anniversary Edition in 1/16- and 1/8-ounce sizes. Each lure sports a 14-karat gold-plated blade, a foil finished head, special chenille, premium feathers and flash accents. (www.blakemore-lure.com)

Cabela's Advanced Angler Bucktail Jighead -- Two pulsating bucktails deliver double the action and fish attraction in this jighead from Cabela's, which is available in seven colors, and in sizes ranging from 1/4 to 1 ounce. They're tied using Flashabou to catch the attention of predator fish and then trigger strikes. ()

Eagle Claw Nitro -- The Nitro Diver brings scent delivery to deep trolling through a special chamber for use with Eagle Claw's Nitro Gravy attractant. The Diver comes in standard (30-foot diver) and magnum (50-foot diver) sizes, each available in six colors. Nitro Gravy, which is packaged with the Divers, also is available on its own in seven flavors. (www.eagleclaw.com)

Northland Tackle Sling-Shot Worm Weight -- This worm weight should prove effective with both Texas rigs and Carolina rigs. Its cone head is weedless, and the weight features an adjustable rubber sling that slips up and down the line and grips easily with a turn of your wrist. The weight itself is slotted, so you can change weight sizes without cutting and re-tying your line. (www.northlandtackle.com)

Pautzke Orange Deluxe Salmon Eggs -- Anyone who's fished bait for trout, salmon or steelhead likely knows all about Pautzke's Green Label Balls O' Fire. Anglers have bought more than 73 million jars over the years. Enter Pautzkie's new Orange Deluxe, which provides another color of premium, natural salmon eggs for use in all conditions. (www.pautzke.com)

Snag Proof Bass Grabber Jig -- For more than 45 years, Snag Proof frogs have been easy to identify because of their distinctive double-hook configuration. Now, the Ohio company brings that two-point approach to flippin' and pitchin' with the Bass Grabber Jig. The Bass Grabber Jig is available in 3/8-ounce and 1/2-ounce versions in a half-dozen colors. (www.snagproof.com)

Tru-Tungsten Finesse Spider Jig -- Tru-Tungsten offers a true bass jig you can use on lighter tackle when finesse fishing rules the day. It features a small, cone-shaped head, a recessed line tie, a high-quality skirt and a big, wide-gap hook. You'll find the Finesse Spider Jig in three sizes -- 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 ounce -- and eight colors, including peanut butter and jelly! (www.tru-tungsten.com)

Vertical Jigs JigX -- The JigX has a unique, rear line tie, which provides knot protection and a concealed line-tie eye, which can mean fewer snags and less weakening of the knot. The jig uses a Teflon insert to prevent line fray, and it features a Mustad UltraPoint wide-gap 6/0 hook. JigX comes in five colors and five sizes, 1/4 through 1 ounce. (www.verticallures.com)

XCalibur Xrk 75 -- Old meets new in this lure, the One Knocker. Its single forged tungsten/lead internal ball is reminiscent of old Cotton Cordell One-Knocker Spots, except the Xrk 75 is louder and less subject to wear because of the hardness of tungsten. The One Knocker weighs 3/4 ounce and comes in six colors. (www.xcaliburtackle.com)

Williams Wabler -- The entire Williams line is going pink -- not just the Wabler. However, the popular Wabler spoon and the smaller Wabler Lite get pink versions for 2008, as does the Dartee series. Wablers also will show up in Rainbow Prism this season. That color already has proved popular and effective on the Dartees. (www.williams.com)

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