August 2007

Sportfishing Industry Celebrates 50 Years Of Innovation at ICAST

Nearly 7,000 Attend World’s Largest SportfishingTrade Show

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— From July 11-13, nearly 7,000 representatives of the sportfishing industry came together to celebrate 50 years of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST).

ICAST50 once again lived up to its reputation as the world’s largest showcase of fishing tackle and accessories all under one roof. ICAST represents the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, driving sportfishing companies’ product sales year round.

With a sold-out show floor for the sixth consecutive year, ICAST50 featured 421 exhibitors filling 1,338 booths, a 6 percent increase over 2006. The show boasted nearly 2,000 buyers and 350 registered members of the media.

ICAST50, produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), covered 350,000 square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Our commitment to fishing makes our industry so much more than a collection of businesses. It’s also a lively, creative, passion-driven community,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. 

“For much, much longer than 50 years, we’ve all sustained one of America’s favorite pastimes. Fifty years of our trade show is a great opportunity to celebrate our industry’s impact on the lives of so many people.”

New Product Showcase Had 600+ New Products

The New Product Showcase, the flagship feature of ICAST, occupied an expanded section of the show floor and included more than 600 new products from nearly 180 companies. The New Product Showcase once again brought together all of the latest in fishing gear and accessories for the upcoming year in one place.

The products in the New Product Showcase were entered into the “Best of Show” competition where buyers and members of the media judged each product based on its level of innovation, execution, workmanship, and practicality to select “Best of Show” honors in 17 categories, as well as the overall “Best of Show” winner.

The E21 Carrot Stix, a freshwater rod, was voted by buyers and media as the most innovative product in the ICAST50 New Product Showcase in both the Freshwater Rod category and in the overall “Best of Show” category.

Other winners in the 2007 New Product Showcase “Best of Show” are Bert’s Custom Tackle/Tecia, Old Harbor Outfitters, Lowrance-Navico; Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Pure Fishing, Inc., Shimano American Corporation, MacDaddy’s Fishing Lures, Emmett Stacey Inventors & Investors, Outdoor Adventure Kids, Pfluegar/Shakespeare Fishing Tackle, and Dee’s Diamond Flasher.

ASA Honored Companies, Individuals

In honor of 50 years of the show, ASA recognized 22 companies that exhibited at the 1958 American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers’ Fishing Tackle Trade Show at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, Ill., and were still exhibiting in 2007.

They are Bagley Fishing Products, Boone Bait Company, Cortland Line Company, Ed Cumings, Inc., Frabill, Inc., Harrison-Hoge Industries, L&S Bait Company, Mason Tackle Company, Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company, Plano Molding Company, PRADCO Fishing, Pure Fishing, REC Components, Roddy Manufacturing, Sampo, Inc., Shakespeare Fishing Tackle, South Bend Sporting Goods, Water Gremlin Company, The Worth Company, Wright & McGill Company, Yakima Bait Company, and Zebco/WC Bradley.

Several legends of the sportfishing industry were also recognized during the show for their lifelong contributions. They are Berkley Bedell, Bill Cullerton, Sr., Norm Gauch, Bill Gautsche, Jack Gillen, John Keith, Sr., Dick Kotis, Sandy Levin, Jerry Rodstein, and Ron Weber.

“These men devoted their entire careers, even their entire lives, to sportfishing,” said Nussman, “and it’s only fitting that we recognize them during this historic year.”

In 2008, ICAST will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, from July 16-18. ICAST 2009 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., from July 15-17, 2009.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups, and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic, and conservation values of sportfishing in America.