New Products and Outdoor Fun Welcome Orlando to America’s Recreational Sport Fishing Industry
On Tuesday, a small town of exhibitors set up booths inside the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) for ICST, the largest trade show in the sport fishing industry. Around Central Florida, a swarm of attendees eager to kick off the annual fishing festival produced by the American Sport Fishing Association flocked to a trio of pre-show activities known as super tuesday.
From Tuesday, July 11 through Friday, July 14, more than 12,000 industry representatives will attend for a first look at the products that will help define the future of recreational fishing.
As dawn broke over nearby Lake Toho in Kissimmee, the team of Steve Weist, Christian Bellomono and Trevor Bates led a 46-team field in Major League Fishing ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament with a winning weight of 17 pounds 3 ounces. The event, now in its eighth year, raises funds for ASA’s angler advocacy program, Keep America Fishing through the early morning bass fishing tournament.
“I can’t think of a better way to start ICAST than to have teams competing on Lake Toho,” said Dave Washburn, vice president of operations for Major League Fishing. “We only fish for four hours and every year we catch quality fish.”
This year, the ICAST Cup raised $9,200 for Keep America Fishing bringing his all-time total to over $80,000.
On the Water Product Demo Day Records Record Attendance
From the doors of the North Lobby of the OCCC it was a hive of activity for ICAST On the day of demonstration of water products hosted by garmin. This year, the event set record attendance for exhibitors, who lined the shoreline with new rods, reels and gear while a flotilla of personal watercraft and a dinghy patrolled the fish-filled waters.
“I feel like ICAST has come back to life,” he said. KastRey CEO Tate Cui. Cui said both attendees and competitors were delighted to participate in hands-on product demonstrations. “We are seeing many international visitors at this event. We’re seeing the audience here try out new products, and new products really drive the industry forward.”
next to the pier, Canoes and kayaks in the old town Ashley Lewis demonstrated the company’s new electronic foot-operated system to attendees. “The crowd is very anxious and excited,” Lewis said. “They want to come in and see what’s going on. Being on the water gives us the opportunity to congregate as we naturally would around docks and jetties to experience fishing. So we can do that with new products and with each other to build excitement for the new.”
New product exhibition preview reception sheds light on the exhibition floor
On Tuesday night, the doors to ICAST opened to allow qualified voters to see more than 1,100 new products for the first time during the New product display reception hosted by Fishing tackle retailer. In a special section of the ICAST floor, rows of new products like rods, reels, lures, clothing and marine electronics shined bright for a gallery of peers who will decide the winners in 37 categories.
“It is a big problem to win a category in ICAST”, saying Fishing tackle retailer Angie Thompson Publisher. “It means a lot to these brands to get to establish immediate credibility and immediate value. It’s huge from a marketing standpoint and they take it very, very seriously.”
Thompson said New Product Showcase voters (retailers and media) are the engines of the industry, one that is running full speed at ICAST.
Voting continues Wednesday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm Winners will be announced Wednesday night during the Industry Awards Reception in the OCCC Ballroom.
ICAST opens in full today
On Wednesday, attendees will have access to the full ICAST show floor. In addition to the New Product Showcase, the full lineup of 633 exhibitors for ICAST 2023 will be ready and waiting for attendees excited to peruse an almost endless variety of fishing tackle. From major industry players and household names to startups and newcomers, ICAST’s aisles are home to a wealth of products waiting to find a home in tackle shops around the world.
New for ICAST 2023, the ICAST fly shop, adjacent to the New Product Showcase, is set up to provide a first-class experience for fly-fishing aficionados. The Fly Shop recreates the experience of visiting a world-class fly fishing dealer right on the ICAST floor, complete with fly fishing products featured by ICAST exhibitors that complement the segment’s “Best of Category” awards.
In addition to the Fly Shop, the FlyCASTing Pond adjacent to the booth provides a place for attendees to try those products for themselves or enjoy launch demos.
Activities on the show floor
From 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the decoy tank sponsored by the Get Folks Fishing Foundation will showcase the latest in hard and soft lures with an up-close look at the action under the waves.
Meanwhile, lunch and learning Business Seminars sponsored by television waypoint highlight content and data from social media.
The ASA Pavilion (Booth 1338) is set to offer attendees a break from new products by shifting focus to industry advocacy, while the NMMA Pavilion provides a platform for marine industry innovations.
Navigate the ICAST Show with the ICAST App
Loaded with useful features, the ICAST mobile app, sponsored by ANYTHING Brands possible, is a one stop shop for maps, event schedules, booth locations and exhibitor listings. Available on Android and Apple devices, the app is a convenient digital companion for keeping a busy week organized.
Keep up with ICAST
ICAST can be found on social media at: Facebook – @icastfishing – Instagram – @icastshow and Twitter – @ICASTshow. When posting, use hashtags: #ICAST2023 #ICASTshow #ICAST.
Thanks to the sponsors of ICAST 2023!
ASA extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to our members for their generous support of ICAST 2023.
Platinum:Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, under armor and Wired2Fish
Gold:, Coastal Conservation Association, crocodile bay, Engel Refrigerators, Fishing tackle Retailer, garmin, Major League Fishing, KastRey, Shimano, Santa Cruz Rod, VisitOrlando and way point tv
Silver:AFTCO, ANYTHING Brands possible, Bonnier Corporation, Get Folks Fishing Foundation and swamp wear.
Bronze:beer stopper, Hook + Bullet and hook and tackle