It truly was Christmas in July for the sportfishing industry last week in Orlando.
The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, came to the Orange County Convention Center with all the glitz, glamour and excitement of a rock concert.
Annually, ICAST is the world’s largest sportfishing trade show hosting 10,000 members of the global recreational fishing industry.
ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the sportfishing industry’s trade association, which keeps its eye out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community.
As outdoor shows go, nothing compares to ICAST. It’s in its 57th year and some 11,000 members from the international sportfishing industry, as well as nearly 1,000 members of the media poured into the convention center to network and report upon new products that will hit the market in the coming months.
New fishing line, hooks, plastic and hard baits, waders, rain gear, rods, reels and anything you can imagine that may help one catch a fish was on full display. The show is not open to the public. It is specifically held for industry buyers and media members.
If you have never been in the Orange County Convention Center I can attest, as can my feet and back, it’s a gigantic venue. I walked for seven hours between exhibits and still did not make it to everything.
I did get a chance to sit down and pick the brains of some of the fishing industry’s brightest stars and most enduring pros. The show was a virtual who’s who in the fishing world. From Kevin VanDam to Mike Iaconelli, Tommy Biffle to Denny Brauer, all the A-listers were there.
They shared some of the newest lures and hottest techniques and equipment that I hope to be able to translate into valuable information local anglers can take to the lake or river and make the day more productive, safe and enjoyable.
Matthew Beck is the Chronicle Outdoor editor and can be reached at 352-564-2919 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.