Alexandria, VA — Celebrating its 66th year, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades—better known as ICAST—returns to Orlando, Fla. and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) from July 11-14, for the planet’s largest sportfishing trade show. Produced annually by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the show is the largest, single event for the recreational fishing trade.
“ICAST is the cornerstone of the global sportfishing industry,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “ICAST is where connections are made that create business opportunities for our industry. It’s also where most new products make their debut into the fishing marketplace.”
ICAST offers more than 12,000 attendees representing dozens of countries the opportunity to see and interact with thousands of products from hundreds of manufacturers displaying colorful lures, clothing and watercraft, glowing marine electronics and multi-hued rods and reels. Tackle manufacturers, retailers, distributors and a host of global media all mingle at this once-a-year event.
“We have more than 600 companies on the show floor,” said Trade Show and Membership Vice President Blake Swango. “Many of them work year-round to develop and launch new products at the show to take advantage of the tremendous combination of buyers and media who converge in Orlando.”
“Fly”ing Higher in 2023
Acknowledged as the standard bearer in traditional fishing tackle, this year ICAST has greatly expanded its fly fishing footprint on the show floor. Dealers and media can watch fly casting demonstrations and try their own hand at new fly fishing products on the FlyCASTing Pond as well as see all the products in the all new ICAST Fly Shop booth.
“We are thrilled with our exhibitor’s response to the opportunity to showcase their fly tackle, gear and apparel in the ICAST Fly Shop booth,” said Swango. “Located adjacent to the New Product Showcase, we recreated an actual fly fishing “store,” with support from Orlando-area guides and fly shop owners, where show attendees can check out the products as well as tie a few flies.”
In addition to the ICAST Fly Shop, six new fly fishing categories have been added to the prestigious New Product Showcase, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, where the best of the best brand new products are highlighted each year.
Starting Off on Super Tuesday
ICAST starts on Tuesday, July 11 as attendees and professional anglers converge on beautiful Lake Toho to compete in the ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament. Sponsored by Major League Fishing, the bass tournament pairs respected professional bass anglers with tackle dealers, media members and manufacturers in a down south duel that benefits Keep America Fishing. Takeoff starts at 5:30 a.m. with weigh-in following at 9:00 a.m.
From 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., buyers and media convene outside of the OCCC’s for On The Water Product Demo Day. On the ponds outside of the North building, the latest SUPs and kayaks join an outdoor gathering of ICAST exhibitors offering opportunities to try out their rods, reels and lures for hands-on testing. Adjacent food stalls and refreshments add to the excitement of an opportunity to see the latest gear first-hand.
An Expanded New Product Showcase
With six new fly fishing categories and two new boating accessory categories, the ICAST New Product Showcase includes more exciting new products than ever. Credentialed media and dealers get their first in-person look at this expansive gallery featuring hundreds of fresh new tackle, apparel and lifestyle products at the New Product Showcase Preview Reception on Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Buyers and media have the opportunity to vote on the ICAST Best of Show awards while entering their name into a drawing for a chance to win one of three $500 cash prizes.
The New Product Showcase entries will be available for viewing on the ICAST app and on the ICAST website starting at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11. Images, descriptions and video of the tackle, apparel and accessories debuting in 2023 are open for viewing by attendees and the general public.
Best of ICAST Awards Presentations
On Wednesday evening, the results of dedicated design, research and development teams come full circle at the Industry Awards Reception. An elevated aura of anticipation fills the OCCC’s ballroom as voting results for the New Product Showcase awards are announced onstage. Surrounded by industry media and peers, this is the manufacturers’ evening to shine as product category winners are announced, trophies are presented, and the stage is set for ICAST’s most coveted prize.
Category winners move on to a special voting round where they are pitted against each other for the overall Best of Show award, announced at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday in the New Product Showcase.
A Much Anticipated Breakfast Event
One of the most important events in the fishing industry takes place on Wednesday morning at the State of the Industry Breakfast, sponsored by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. A who’s who of sportfishing decision makers settle in for a state of the industry address from ASA President Glenn Hughes along with opening remarks from ASA board of directors Chair Phil Lillo, owner, Don Coffey Co. These yearly presentations detail the most important industry-wide issues within the sportfishing community and serve as a launchpad for breakfast’s popular keynote presentation.
This year’s keynote speaker is Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut and Columbia University engineering professor. He is a veteran of two space flights. He has a team record for the number of hours spacewalking in a single space shuttle mission and was also the first person to tweet from space.
Breakfast tickets are $40 and can be purchased through the registration portal.
Business Seminars Add Tremendous Value
Incredible value awaits at ICAST for attendees who take advantage of the show’s Lunch & Learn business seminars. Each day, a special area on the show floor hosts experts in content marketing, social media, customer engagement and conservation issues that share their extensive knowledge for all.
“These seminars are simply outstanding value,” said Swango. “If attendees signed up for these courses individually, they might cost thousands of dollars. But they are a part of ICAST for free, and the speakers are really top notch.”
Value Added from Start to Close
ICAST attendees are invited to enjoy a host of interactive activities on the show floor. At the Lure Tank, sponsored by Lunkerville, visitors can see how new hard and soft lures perform both under and on top of the water. In addition to the FLYCasting Pond, the adjacent ICASTing Pond serves up the best in spinning and baitcasting rods and reels for fresh and saltwater applications.
The Marine Accessories Pavilion, presented by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) brings dozens of boating accessories, electronics and propellers to center stage in a dedicated home for all things boating.
And each day, ICAST’s famous social hour kicks off at 4:00 p.m., where an array of booths offers cold beverages, live music and networking opportunities before attendees overflow onto International Drive for post-show dinners and meetings at the assortment of restaurants dishing out global flavors just outside of the OCCC doors. Many restaurants and venues offer discounts with your ICAST badge.
Exhibitors Offering Show Specials
Buyers should take advantage of the ICAST-only show specials offered by more than 100 exhibitors. The offers include discounts on products and services, cash back, free shipping, baker’s dozen offers and much more.
There are daily cash prizes just for writing orders at the show. The grand prize winner, picked on Friday, is a trip for two to Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica’s best fishing.
Navigate the Show with the ICAST App
Loaded with helpful features, the ICAST mobile app, sponsored by Bonnier Corporation, is a one-stop shop for maps, event schedules, booth locations and exhibitor listings. Available on both Android and Apple devices, the app is a convenient digital companion to keep a busy week organized.
Keeping 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.
Thank You ICAST 2023 Sponsors!
ASA extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to our member sponsors for their generous support of ICAST 2023. Sponsorship opportunities are still available at a myriad of price points. Contact Blake Swango for more information.
Platinum: Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, UnderArmour and Wired2Fish
Gold: Crocodile Bay, Engel Coolers, Fishing Tackle Retailer, Garmin, Major League Fishing, VisitOrlando and Waypoint
Silver: AFTCO, ANYTHINGpossible Brands, Bonnier Corporation, Lunkerville and Marsh Wear
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 800,000 people.