By Todd Ceisner
For many years, the existence of Lake X was a closely-guarded secret, a mystery testing ground used by Mercury Marine to perfect its outboard motors in the heat and humidity of central Florida. Many referred to it as the Area 51 of the boating and fishing industries.
The 1,400-acre lake is situated on a 10,426-acre property now operated by a charitable organization known as the Kirchman Foundation, named for Kenneth Kirchman, who purchased the tract after the death of Mercury founder Carl Kiekhaefer.
Lake X (or Lake Conlin as it's named on a map) served as the backdrop Tuesday for Tackle-X, a hands-on demonstration showcase of some of the new tackle and products that will be introduced this week at ICAST. A number of manufacturers participated in the event, allowing members of the media to see how their baits, rods, reels, etc. work on the water.
Below is a photo gallery of some of the sights and new products unveiled for the first time.