The HOTTEST Thing at ICAST 2018

The HOTTEST Thing at ICAST 2018

Welcome to ICAST, the biggest product show in the fishing industry.  It draws every manufacturer, from the largest heritage brands to the smallest, newest, one-man-show start-ups.  It draws every retailer and wholesaler, and scores of media members looking to get the latest scoop on the greatest gear.  In every aisle, you’ll see TV personalities and tournament legends.  For anyone connected to the fishing industry, it is the place to be and a dreamland for consumers.

And we were there.

Pretty cool that a podcast, just a few months old, would be able to get into the biggest angling circus on the planet, but we made it, and we promptly inserted ourselves into every conversation we could, snooped around every booth we could, and tried to dig up every bit of inside information possible so we could share it with you.

First, we caught up with Addictive Fishing’s Blair Wiggins, who has teamed up with Lew’s to create their latest ICAST award-winning rod, the M2.  He told us about the revolutionary American Tackle Wave Guide system he’s now using to get more control and distance on every one of his casts.  It all sounded like a bunch of crazy science…until he compared it to a Zebco 202!  He also shared some bad news about his truck, and gave us the lowdown on our very own Scott Shank.  Scotty’s been working with Blair and Lew’s on the development of the M2s, so The Mogan Man has gotten to know Mr. Shank quite well.  Funny that an icon like him would come to the same conclusions we have about Scotty…

Now if you’re not an Aussie, you may not have heard of Paul Worsterling and “IFISH with Tackleworld”, his landmark television show.  He’s a character, great guy, and an outstanding angler…and he was also at ICAST.  Turns out he was streaming live on Instagram when Chris hopped on to share some pics.  Chris checked in, saw where he was, and began running over attendees to chase him down!  After a monstrous haul across the South Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, Chris caught up with Paul and his family – and promptly butted right into his live streaming event and interviewed him for our podcast!  Yep – an interview recorded during a live stream.  Only in America…

And ONLY in America can a guy find himself in the presence of a icon he’s watched – and cheered for – for decades with the opportunity to interview him.  Scotty was that guy at ICAST, and Bassmaster legend Gary Klein was that icon.  You know things are going to be interesting when the interviewer starts with “I’m…I’m…I’m speechless!” lol  Anyway, Gary was kind, courteous, and on the money in the short time he was with us.  He shared his perspective on the great aspects of IGFA, and how excited he is to see the industry’s involvement in the next generation of anglers.

Gary wasn’t the only one to be excited about the youth movement happening in the fishing industry.  We were so happy to see so many high school and middle school fishing teams strolling the aisles and checking out the displays with stars in their eyes!  We stopped these gentlemen – the Bartow High School Bass Fishing Team – and had a great conversation with them.  They’re 30 members strong, and several former teammates have gone on to earn college scholarships and compete at the next level.  If you’re at all worried about fishing when it comes to the next generation, you need to listen to these young men.  They’ll put you at ease in a hurry.

And if you listen and you’re still not convinced that the youth movement is strong as ever, our final interview will definitely convince you.  We caught up with the Okeechobee High School Bass Club as they were huddled around one of their heroes, “Big Fish” Bobby Lane.  We talked with Bobby, and he shared his excitement for the next generation and how much he wants to help them learn to do what he loves to do, thereby perpetuating professional and recreational fishing.

The bottom line is this: we saw a lot of great products at ICAST, but there is no doubt that the hottest thing going was the passion of the youth propelling fishing and the angling industry into the future.

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