The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST just wrapped up July 15th in Orlando.
ICAST is an industry only event that brings fishing professionals together from all over the world. I saw people from all over the United States to places as far away as Europe and Japan.
This year’s ICAST saw more than 15,000 in people in attendance and nearly 2,000 different exhibiter booths. From Shimano to Salt Life, Skinny Water Culture to the guys from Geobass and Saltwater Experience, all the big players were there. CCA, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Bullsugar.org and other similar associations were present as well.
Aside from the industry heavy hitters, there were also companies that are new on the scene and were trying to make names for themselves. ICAST’s prominence can’t be understated; even Governor Rick Scott made an appearance. I cannot provide any information as to the nature of his visit, but he did receive large crowds and did speak to some attendees.
It was awesome to represent Tampa Bay’s “Coastal Angler” and attended seminars and demonstrations as well as walking the showroom floor to go to meetings and make connections, visited the casting pond to try some of next year’s fly rods as well as the lure tank to see how some of the new lures of 2017 swim. I am very excited because there are some great new products on the horizon; one of the things that was particularly impressive with some of the fly rods that are coming out next year.
My last day at the convention I got to attend the Costa after party with my friend Charles Hertel, president of the UCF fishing club. The Costa party was an absolute blast that I won’t soon forget.
ICAST in Conclusion
All in all ICAST was as productive as it was fun. I met a lot of TV personalities, made connections and acquired story leads. I even won a raffle from the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, but since I am the unluckiest person alive, I wasn’t around to claim my prize so another name was drawn.
Until next time, Tight Lines