We’re going to Disney World! No. Wait. Well, kind of. Been there and done that. But summer in Orlando, FL is also famous for something else near and dear to the top of my bucket list:
ICAST. The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades. It’s the world’s largest gathering of new fishing related tackle and gear.
The show isn’t even open to the public. It’s an event for sportsfishing and gear manufacturers to show off their newest and best products before they even hit the market to outdoor buyers, their pro staffs and outdoor writers. Thanks to a couple of folks that I work closely with in the industry, lakedarbonnelife.com is going this year!
Look, like Si is attracted to a tall glass of sweet tea, I’m naturally attracted to anything that has the words “fish, cast, boat, lure” etc. in it, so ICAST is right up there near the top of my key google recognition words.
And here’s a list of good reasons why a great trip to Orlando for me doesn’t have to include breakfast with a mouse or a duck:
- You’ll meet with fisherpeople and their companies who make your favorite outdoor gear. You know, the ones you wish lived right next to you? They both have one thing in common: the love of the outdoors and of making products that make you love the outdoors even more.
- Lots of fishing gear. And not just gear, but the latest, greatest gear in a convention hall the size of several football fields ( there’s a link at the bottom of this list where you can see everybody who’s coming to the party ). There are more than 700 outdoor companies there.
- Sneak peaks at all that good stuff. Kind of like Santa inviting you to the north pole in July to see what’s up for next Christmas. Here are a couple. We’ve already seen the new Tree Thumper crappie pole by B’n’M poles since it was designed in our backyard, but now the rest of the world gets to see it. And there’s the new Slab Hunt’R Minnow by Bobby Garland, a large profile minnow bait with unique easy-swim tail and a body design for holding optional scent and crappie rattle to serve up sight, sound and smell.
- And What? There is even fishing? Yes, there is. There’s a chance to meet up with some giant Florida largemouths in the FLW sponsored ICAST Cup taking place during the show on Lake Toho. Now that sounds like a Magic Kingdom ride worth getting a Fast Pass for.
- Hands on handling. The show doesn’t just let you pick up any kind of fishing rod you can imagine and wiggle the tip around in the air. There’s an actually on-the-water event where you can form your opinion about the gear while actually fishing with it. I might be able to manage enough enthusiasm to try that.
- And about that gear. Oh, you say you want me to take one of these home with me and try it out some more so I can write a review of the product. I guess I can do that. Free samples? Who can’t like free samples?
- Did we mention it’s in Orlando. And if any of my grandkids ask, I am not going to Disney World. I promise. But I am going to check out the nearby Kennedy Space Center and a couple of other attractions. All work and no play makes…well, you know. And yes, I like seafood.
- I’ve never been to ICAST before, but those that have tell me that it has anything and everything you can imagine and some things you can’t. If you can fish with it or float in it, store tackle in it or wear it fishing, they’ve got it at ICAST. It will be great to see which new products get chosen for one of the 29 “Best of Category” awards and the overall “Best of Show” award. Last year, it was Garmin’s new LiveScope electronics.
- Shooting fish in a barrel. The huge ICAST lure tank allows pro anglers to put on three days of near constant demonstrations of products in the big tank. You can see the lures in action and even see what the fish are seeing, thanks to underwater camera in the tank. It’s almost as good as some of the new electronics, right?
- Writing material. Time to visit with the most knowledgeable people in the fishing industry to talk about techniques and trends not only here in the United States, but around the world. And then let you know about it. From your perspective, I guess that would be reading material.
- Introduce more folks to lakedarbonnelife.com and our region of the world. Sure, we are accepting new sponsors! Thanks for asking!
- Road Trip! You know I like those. And on the way home, we can pass through Pensacola for a couple of days, rock Joe Patti’s Seafood for some fresh grouper, shrimp and tuna to bring home and well, you know, eat good. Here, they dump that kind of stuff right off the boat and right into your icechest.
- Fish. Eat. Sleep. Gawrsh, Goofy. I hope there is time for some sleep.
You can click on the link below and see a list of the companies that will be there. Can you say “Kid in a candy store?”