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To Catch A Great White

Fake shark spawns plan to track down real tackle

Oooh, this gives me an idea! Go find tackle to land a great white shark. (Mike Suchan photo) Oooh, this gives me an idea! Go find tackle to land a great white shark. (Mike Suchan photo)

By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com

ORLANDO, Fla. – A life-size replica of a great white shark was parked on a trailer in front of the Orange County Convention Center during ICAST.

There to promote Blood Stream Top Predator Chum, the fake plastic shark gave birth to a real idea – locate gear to land one of the big predators.

With about every imaginable fishing product spread out over 500,000 square feet of showroom, the mission turned into a speed run to find rod, reel and a hook to handle a giant.

The mission was complete in about an hour, and it was also kinda cool just to see the biggest, baddest tackle there.


Click the image to see results of the great white search


Eric Ault poses in front of a skeletal artwork of a payara, or vampire fish. (Mike Suchan photo)
Eric Ault poses in front of a skeletal artwork of a payara, or vampire fish. (Mike Suchan photo)

Helter Skeletons

Nope, not the Beatles song off the White Album, nor the movie of the Manson murders … but there will be killing.

The company based in Stuart, Fla., takes the actual sport fish to create art. Eric Ault says the process of extracting, cleaning, sealing and rearranging real-life bones in a shadow box can take seven months for artist Grant Stoecklin.

Helter Skeleton has been attending shows throughout Florida but made a big splash as a new exhibitor at ICAST, winning Best of Show in the giftware category.

The skeletal works are definitely cool, and they can do any species and add several for interactive scenes, but a 30-inch fish (around $2,000) will cost you a humerus and a femur.

However, a visit to their booth revealed more than the 3D art, like skeletal prints and T-shirts, which were more reasonable for those on a budget.

Thomas Sanotra of Westin holds their Big Bob, what he called the world’s largest plastic lure. (Mike Suchan)
Thomas Sanotra of Westin holds their Big Bob, what he called the world’s largest plastic lure. (Mike Suchan)

Something Hopping in Denmark

It looks like Thomas Sanotra was holding a nice trout he just caught. Closer inspection at the Westin Scandinavia booth revealed something big is happening in Denmark.

There were lots of large, realistic plastics baits, and several more that looked like something you’d want to catch, the biggest of which was the Big Bob.

Sanotra said he recently used the nearly 16-inch long, 1.6-pound plastic lure, to catch a mess of big cod. A visit to their web site provides an equally eye-opening description:

DO NOT buy this lure if you’re after normal, piddly-sized cod or halibut. No, siree, no! Because the brutes this fella’s going to bring up will scare you! The really big beasts – the “Skrei” – the big pelagic cod from the Barents Sea, get together round northern Norway in late winter and early spring for lots of feasting and fish-sex. That’s when you’ve got your best chance of catching the record sea-ogres - the hog-sized cod and barn-door halibut that you want to ring up strangers at night to talk about!

Westin showcased a variety of realistic lures. (Mike Suchan photo)
Westin showcased a variety of realistic lures. (Mike Suchan photo)

Matt Pangrac of Pure Fishing found a real pearl during ICAST. (Mike Suchan photo)
Matt Pangrac of Pure Fishing found a real pearl during ICAST. (Mike Suchan photo)

The Pearl of ICAST

Many media and buyers at ICAST searched hard for that gem – Matt Pangrac bit on his. Pangrac was chomping oysters at Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar when he felt something out of the ordinary. He plucked out a pearl.

“They said someone finds one every two or three weeks,” said Pangrac, who fished B.A.S.S. college series with Oklahoma before taking work with Pure Fishing. “They’re really not that valuable.”

Yes, but it’s a nice conversation piece and many are made into jewelry. Pangrac folded it back in his wallet for safe keeping.

The lucky find came up when he was being asked if he had seen any pearls on the floor. Alas, like most workers at ICAST, he said he hadn’t had much time to scour the aisles.

Click here for videos, stories and photos from ICAST 2014.

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