Atlantic City tackle show has a lot to offer

December 16, 2017

Last Wednesday, I made my annual pilgrimage to Atlantic City, N.J., to attend the Folsom Tackle Show. Folsom is a major wholesaler in the fishing industry, supplying everything from hooks to rods and reels for many of our local tackle shops. I try to find something new each year to suggest as holiday gifts or just to let you know what to expect to see on the shelves in 2018.

Last summer, as I did my fishing reports, I noticed a new artificial bait was mentioned several times. The bait was Otter Tails and was used to catch flounder and sea bass, among other species. I had a chance to talk with the reps for this product at the show and play around a bit with some of the material they use to produce Otter Tails. This stuff is very tough and will stretch but not tear off the hook. It is also very soft and should move with just the slightest pressure from the current or the rod tip.

Add to the tough, but flexible, material, squid and fish oil scents and you have a pretty effective trailer for bucktails, flounder rigs, spinnerbaits, tubes and Diamond jigs. Right now, Otter Tails come in eight colors and seven shapes. With Uncle Josh out of business, these Otter Tails should fill the need for a trailer. And one other advantage, Otter Tails can be left on the hook and used again instead of having to use a sharp knife and lots of pulling to get the bait off then throw it away.

Tsunami Tackle is a part of Folsom and they make just about everything you could ever need in the line of fishing equipment from clothes to flounder rigs. I used their flounder rigs last year, and while I still didn’t manage to catch anything over 15 inches, I was on more than one occasion high hook on the boat.

This year Tsunami has made their rigs even better with the addition of Silicon skirts on the Glass Minnow along with a round hook with bait-holder spurs along the shank. The round hook will hold large baits without having the barb impeded due to being covered by the bait.

My friend, Larry Weldin, can vouch for the strength and sharpness of these hooks. On one trip last fall I hooked a 4-foot toothy shark on the Glass Minnow. As Larry grabbed my bucktail to remove it from the shark, the fish made a lunge for the bottom, impaling the hook on the Glass Minnow in his hand. Fortunately, the shark also freed itself from the bucktail, so all we had to do was cut the hook out of Larry’s hand and get back to fishing.

Speaking of sharks, Tsunami has put together an outfit for those who like to catch big sharks out of the surf. The Air Wave Elite TSAWESS1202XXL Rod is rated for 6 to 12 ounces of weight and that combined with its 12-foot length should get the bait out to the fish. The reel they recommend with this rod is the 8000 Shield filled with 60-pound braid. To complete this outfit Tsunami has a special surf shark rig with either a 10/0 circle or Octopus hook.

Cuda makes a full line of pliers and knives and now have added gloves to their inventory. The gloves come in three styles for cutting bait, handling leader wire and offshore fishing. I tried on these gloves, and while I didn’t get a chance to leader in a big fish or cut up any bait, I found the gloves very light and comfortable.

I have fallen in love with a pair of Cuda pliers. Their model number 18846 has cutters for mono, braid and wire. The blades are Titanium bonded and will stay sharp pretty much forever. The pliers come with a sheath and a lanyard.

Tony Maja has made a device that will allow anglers to troll his bunker spoons from and downrigger. It is an elastic cord with a release clip that will let the spoon to work correctly even without the special soft rods made for trolling bunker spoons.


Last week I wrote about fishery management and I made one mistake. While both the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission and the National Marine Fishery Service manage summer flounder, it was the ASMFC, not NMFS, that found New Jersey out of compliance.

Earlier this week, both agencies held a joint meeting in Annapolis to set the quotas for summer flounder. Once that is done, the states will submit plans for compliance by early 2018. If all goes well, the new regulations will be in place before the first flounder shows up in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.

  • Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age.  Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.  He has been the regional editor for Salt Water Sportsman, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and the Fisherman Magazine.  He was the founding editor of the Mid-Atlantic Fisherman magazine.  Eric is the author of three books; Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide to Striped Bass Fishing and Fishing Saltwater Baits.  He and his wife Barbara live near Milton, Delaware. Eric can be reached at