Joe SillsWritten by

Why You Should Head to ICAST Early This Year

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If you’re a tackle retailer, you know ICAST. It is the fishing industry trade show, and it is the place where new tackle, equipment and gear is debuted every year. This year, ICAST is rigging up to give independent tackle retailers something special.

“We want independent retailers to know this is their show,” says ASA’s Trade Show Director Kenneth Andres.

Challenge accepted. Let’s see what they’ve drummed up:

It’s called ICAST Week, and it’s an all-new extension of the annual trade show brought to you by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). ICAST typically runs for parts of four days—Tuesday evening through 3:00 p.m. on Friday. However, this year, Tuesday’s plate is full. That means on Tuesday, July 14, you’ll want to be ready to rock in Orlando.

Here’s what’s going on:

The Inaugural ICAST Cup Tournament presented by FLW

Where: Big Toho Marina located on Lake Toho | When 6:00 a.m.—9:00 a.m.

Lake Toho Marina becomes the early-bird epicenter of ICAST as the sun rises on Tuesday morning. At 6:00 a.m., the inaugural ICAST Cup Tournament launches at 19,000-acre Lake Toho. Presented by FLW, the ICAST Cup teams professional anglers with media representatives and other industry affiliates in a battle for prizes and bragging rights. That’s great for them, but the real excitement for retailers is the opportunity to check out the live FLW weigh-in, beginning at 9:00 a.m., and the chance to get up-close and in-person with bass pros and media members.

Go to www.icastcup.com to register.

ICAST On the Water presented by Fishing Tackle Retailer

Where:Big Toho Marina located on Lake Toho | When 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.

Once you’ve taken in the sights and sounds of FLW, an immediate about-face will take you just a few yards away to the shore of Lake Toho. There, you’ll find the brand new ICAST On the Water event presented by Fishing Tackle Retailer. ICAST On the Water is your chance to see the products, equipment and gear of ICAST 2015 away from the show floor and out in the elements—where your customers will be using it. ICAST exhibitors will be on hand to demonstrate their latest and greatest for you. You can even go out on the water and try it yourself.

Obviously, we’re big fans of this one, and we’ve worked with ASA to make sure it’s an event that independent retailers will find valuable. Free shuttles to the event from the Orange County Convention Center will be provided.

ICAST Bass & Birdies Classic presented by ICAST and Florida Sportsman Magazine

Where: Shingle Creek Golf Club, Orlando | When 7:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.

Technically, the Bass & Birdies Classic debuted at last year’s ICAST show. However, it returns this year in conjunction with Tuesday’s other festivities, giving ICAST attendees a chance to play on one of the top golf courses in Orlando. (Yes, that’s saying a lot.) The Bass & Birdies Classic is a Best Ball/Scramble format tournament with an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. And it’s not your typical golf tournament: four designated holes will feature release-only fishing on the course’s notoriously bass-hungry lakes.

As a bonus, all proceeds go to benefit KeepAmericaFishing®. Just watch out for gators.

Go to www.floridasportsman.com to register.

New Product Showcase Preview Reception presented by Fishing Tackle Retailer

Where: Orange County Convention Center | When 5:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m. Open to registered buyers and Media/Editorial Badge holders

This will be your first shot to check out all of the new products at this year’s trade show. The New Product Showcase opens for all on Wednesday, so if you’re a buyer or media member, this is your chance to vote for the ICAST 2015 Best of Show Awards.

Protip: now is a good time to break for dinner.

ICAST Kickoff Concert with Easton Corbin presented by ICAST and the World Fishing Network

Where: Orange County Convention Center | When 8:00 p.m.—10:00 p.m.

Easton Corbin

Country music star Easton Corbin headlines the first-ever kickoff concert for the grandest of industry trade shows. Corbin has two No. 1 singles to his name, and is the first country male artist in almost 20 years to boast two consecutive No. 1 singles.

Attendees can grab tickets for $35.00 upon registration for the show or onsite at the Registration Desk.

[divider]The Wrap Up[/divider]

ASA says that ICAST has grown by leaps and bounds in the past two years. They also say that they truly want independent tackle retailers to see the value in attending. Yes, July can be a busy time of the year for tackle store owners, but ASA feels that the networking opportunities, new product information and, especially, their business seminars make ICAST a can’t-miss trade show.

There’s no arguing that with a growing fishing industry (the 4th quarter of 2014 was the best in over a decade), it’s important for retailers to stay on top of products and trends.

And now, with the addition of a full slate of events on Tuesday, attendees truly have a reason to turn an ICAST trip into a full ICAST Week.

Joe Sills Hi there, did you know? Each week, we curate a list of the Top 5 stories in fishing and send them right to your inbox. Reading Tackle’s Top 5 is one of the best ways to become or remain an industry expert. -Joe Sills, Digital Editor

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