The lakes are thawing, and all those anglers are eager to get on the water. But they're ready to spend some money before they do.
I took a trip to the packed Northwest Sportshow last weekend, and asked dealers and distributors about the new trends and the popular mainstays that dealers in fishing hotspots should think about stocking. Here's nine of those products:
1. Spring weather protection
Some wintery garb like this hood from Go Athletic Apparel is a must have for fishermen who don't mind dodging some icebergs for their early-season fishing fix.
2. Tricky lures
The new Bait Ball line from Live Target mimics a small school of panicked fish. Ideal for big bass fishermen.
3. Dry life vests
Neoprene life vests are nothing new, but with new techy options like endless pockets, carabiner loops and make these an attractive addition to any fishing kit.
4. Costumes for kids
Getting miniature anglers to wear their life vests can be a challenge, especially when the adults aren't donning theirs. But bright colors and familiar themes turn a boring vest into a fun costume.
5. Cutting-edge reels
Shaving grams off their kit is a secondary hobby for scores of fishermen. The new TourMg from Quantum Fishing is astoundingly light at just 5.4 ounces. And starting at $279.99, it can be a valuable sale in the shop.
6. Lazy bobbing
The worst part of fishing for many fishermen (myself included) is the long stretches staring at a bobber. The Wobble Bobber from Thill is the Weeble People of bobbers. Now I can stare at the scenery instead of my bobber.
7. Satellites and remote controls
If James Bond had an Aston Martin bass boat, he'd probably have a MotorGuide trolling motor. With GPS anchoring and remote controls that function from 200 feet, as well as numerous price points, it's a fun and functional gizmo.
8. More motion
Bored with fish-mimicking lures? The Lunker Frog from Lunkerhunt skips and flops atop the water, attracting bass, pike and muskies. It's also less likely to get stuck in the weeds.
9. Big time storage
The all new 1850 DC from Larson was built from the ground up for fishing, but with a slew of family-friendly options. Storage for rods, baitfish, lures and room for extra navigation equipment make the new offering from Larson quite attractive for full- or part-time anglers looking to upgrade in a big way.