The SHOT Show, held each winter in Vegas features outdoor products from nearly every possible outdoor activity, but a show sponsored by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), ICAST, was held last week showing off what’s new for the fishing industry. The kicker — it was all done virtually.
While usually held in Orlando, this year ICAST opened its online doors to manufacturers, buyers and media from around the world to experience the latest innovations in fishing tackle, gear and marine products, as well new designs in apparel, sunglasses, coolers and other outdoor lifestyle categories. More than 15,000 attendees from 71 countries went online to see the latest the sport fishing world has to offer.
“While these may be difficult times, we are presented with a great opportunity for our industry. As we all know, we are not defined by what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens,” said Glenn Hughes, President, American Sport fishing Association. “Our plans are to return to Orlando next year, in person.”
Issues impacting sport fishing across the United States and really worldwide were addressed through several virtual workshops during the show. Everything from Aquatic Invasive Species to how the Balance in Washington will affect fish and wildlife in the coming election were addressed. The United Nations even had a presentation on Protecting 30 percent of the Earth by 2030.
Businesses in the sport fishing field are some of the big attendees for the ICAST show, much like the shooting industry attends the SHOT Show. How to build better online markets, trends in boats, motors and tackle, and selling to proven customers were all topics for retailers.
The New Product Showcase, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, is a once-a-year opportunity to see the latest and greatest innovations all in one place. The New Product Showcase embodies the sport fishing industry’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and rewards that ingenuity with awards in 29 categories for “Best of Category” and, ultimately, one “Best of Show.”
The “Best of Category” awards were presented during the Wednesday night New Product Showcase Awards. Winners were selected by credentialed buyers and media from around the world who vote for the best of the new product entries.
Taking the Best of Show for this year was the Johnson Outdoor Watercraft Old Town sportsman autopilot. This motorized kayak leverages Minn Kota’s GPS Spot-Lock technology to deliver the most advanced kayak fishing craft on the market. Motor to your spot faster and hold your position on your spot no matter the conditions. Controlled with a touch of a finger using the i-Pilot remote, your hands remain free to fish. The Autopilot features a seamlessly integrated, saltwater-ready 45 lb. thrust 12V Minn Kota motor is compatible with lead acid or lithium ion batteries. ($3700)
Some of the Best of category winners for this year’s show are:
Boating Accessories – Mnn Kota Raptor shallow water anchor.
Boats and Watercraft – Johnson Outdoors Watercraft – old town sportsman autopilot.
Eyeware – Costa Del Mar — Ferg
Giftware – Garmin Quatix 6X solar watch.
Footwear – Under Armor Micro g Kilchis.
Cooler and Bait/Storage – Yeti roadie 24.
Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools – Lien Cutterz dual hybrid micro sissors.
Electronics – Hummingbird Coast Master Charts.
Fishing Accessory – American Tackle Company – Tsuka Handle System.
Fishing Line – Pure Fishing – Berkeley flouroshield
Kids’ Tackle – Pure Fishing – Abu Garcia Gen Ike EZ cast baitcast combo.
Tackle Management – Plano Synergy — Product: Plano EDGE Flex
Terminal Tackle – Band of Anglers – pyperplastics dartprop pro SK
Freshwater Soft Lure – 13 Fishing – The Mullet
Freshwater Hard Lure – Z-Man fishing products – Chatterbait jackhammer
Freshwater Reel – Shimano – Vanford 2500 spinning reel.
Freshwater Rod – St. Croix of Park Falls – Legend Xtreme spinning
Rod & Reel Combo – Pure Fishing – Abu Garcia virtual casting combo.Some of the more interesting items from this year’s show include:
Garmin Quatix 6X solar — Do what you love longer with the quatix 6X Solar marine GPS smartwatch with solar charging. Its unique power-replenishing feature uses the sun’s energy to extend battery life up to 24 days. Designed for life on the water, the quatix 6X Solar is preloaded with specialized boating, fishing, cruising and sailing capabilities. With comprehensive connectivity and built-in activity profiles for SUP, kayaking, skiing, golf & more, it’s ready to go the distance for every adventure on and off the water. ($999)
Hummingbird CoastMaster Charts — Humminbird CoastMaster charts deliver captains the information to fish and navigate with confidence, with complete coverage for all U.S. coastal waters on one card. Anglers can identify fish-holding areas by utilizing detailed depth contours, points of interest, navigational aids, and predictive tides and currents. And as part of the One-Boat Network, anglers can pair a Humminbird chartplotter and Minn Kota trolling motor with i-Pilot® Link to automatically follow a depth contour. ($149)
Abu Garcia Virtual Casting Combo — The Abu Garcia Virtual rod is the world’s first integrated fishing rod that digitally logs your catches. Paired with the Anglr app via Bluetooth from a smartphone, a simple click of the button records your catch with location, weather and water data, and documents it in your personal and private logbook. The combo pairs this innovative new rod with a tried and true Abu Garcia reel that matches the rod cosmetics and takes your fishing to the next level.
Yo-Zuri Hardcore Minnow SP — The patented magnetic weight transfer system allows this jerk bait to be cast up to 30% farther than any others on the market. The weights snap to the bait of the bait during the cast allowing it to fly straight and cut through the wind. After hitting the water the weight are locked back in place in the front by the magnetic, giving the bait perfect balance and quick cutting action. Japanese quality painted and translucent finishes. Available in 70mm, 90mm, 110mm & 130mm versions in 6 colors.
13 Fishing Skull Cap — Protect your favorite reels from dings, dirt, and grime without having to remove them from the rod. Skull Cap Reel Guard is designed to snap into place around both right and left-handed combos while rigged. Constructed of high-impact durable rubber, the Skull Cap will keep your reels protected and reliable for years. Vote for this product in the New Product Showcase category for Fishing Accessory. ($15)
Heddon Slopenose — In 1902, James Heddon patented the Dowagiac Perfect Surface Casting Bait, which anglers quickly dubbed “the Slopenose” due to appearance given by the metal ring near the front of the lure. More than 118 years later, the Slopenose returns to action. It can be fished as a popper, chugger or stickbait. The Slopenose can walk-the-dog and do a more subtle movement where the head moves left and right, but the lure stays on a straight-line retrieve.
Savage 3D bluegill V2 — Filling the footsteps of its predecessor, the new 3D Bluegill offers improved details and a photo print finish that make it look just like the real thing. It’s 4 segmented body gives the new 3D Bluegill an improved operational speed window, offering lifelike action at both fast and slow retrieval speeds. Equipped with a heavy-duty jig hook and internal rattle, this bluegill has everything it needs to do battle with the biggest and wisest fish in the waterway.
Southwest Fishing Report
Fort Cobb: Elevation normal, water in the 90s. Channel and blue catfish slow on cut bait around the main lake. Report submitted by Brayden Hicks, game warden stationed in Caddo County.
Waurika: Elevation above normal, water in the upper 80s and stirred, Blue and channel catfish fair on cut bait and punch bait around channels, creek channels, and main lake. Striped hybrid bass and white bass slow on sassy shad and shad around channels, dam and main lake. Report submitted by Matt Farris, game warden stationed in Jefferson County.