Big crowds of fishing industry manufacturers, buyers, sales reps, outdoors media and angling pros gathered in Orlando on Wednesday for first day of action at the 2014 ICAST/IFTD show.
The biggest gathering of the fishing industry each year, this year’s fishing industry trade event saw brisk business and lots of activity on the crowded floor of the Orange County Convention Center.
Leading to a variety of quotes, notes, and things overhead during Day One of ICAST:
Doug Olander Wins Homer Circle Award
Sport Fishing magazine editor-in-chief Doug Olander was awarded the Homer Circle Fishing Communicator award on Tuesday night in Orlando as the 2014 version of the ICAST/IFTD show prepared to begin.
Olander was recognized for a variety of things including his writing and editing skills along with his strong voice in communicating important conservation issues to the fishing world.
Presented by the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the prestigious award honors the memory of the late and legendary Circle.
It also seeks to honor a current outdoors journalist who embodies Circle’s contagious spirit, his dedication to fishing, his communication abilities, and his strong commitment to pass fishing on to the next generation.
Florida Governor Speaks at ASA State of Industry Breakfast
During the American Sportfishing Association’s annual “State of the Industry” breakfast on Wednesday morning, several speakers gave their take on the current pulse of fishing.
That includes Florida Governor Rick Scott who told the crowd that he hopes they’ll work hard and help keep his state at the top of the fishing world.
The Governor seems to be a big fan of both freshwater and saltwater fishing in the Sunshine State since it creates an abundance of work.
After his remarks, the Governor took time out to visit with ICAST-TV.
“It creates jobs,” said Scott told ICAST reporters. “There’s so many people that have great jobs (because of fishing). It’s a great industry to work in. And do you know what they do? They create great experiences for families.”
ICAST Attendance Is Big
According to the American Sportfishing Association, attendance at this year’s ICAST show is huge. In fact, the ASA reports that there are more than 9,000 registered attendees at the 2014 show from some 70 different countries.
Huge Economic Impact by Fishing and the Outdoors
Just how big is outdoors recreation and fishing in America? It’s enormously big.
According to information presented by American Sportfishing Association president and CEO Mike Nussman at the ASA’s “State of the Industry” breakfast on Wednesday, proof of that above statement is easy to see.
All told, American outdoorsmen spend more than $640 billion dollars annually on their outdoors pursuits according to the ASA. Part of that figure comes from the nation’s 40 million anglers who create more than one million jobs, generate more than $45 billion in retail sales and make a $125 billion dollar impact on the U.S. economy each year.
Clunn Honored for 40 Years of Tournament Angling
Legendary B.A.S.S. pro Rick Clunn was honored on Wednesday by his sponsor Luck “E” Strike lure company for his 40 years of tournament angling.
Clunn, a Missouri resident, and Kevin VanDam, a Michigan resident, are the only two men in bass fishing history to win back-to-back Bassmaster Classic championships. Clunn and KVD are also the only two men to ever win the Classic on four different occasions.
KVD Has a Big Day
Kevin VanDam has made it a career habit of having big, important days to celebrate.
While that’s normally true on the tournament weigh-in stage or in a Major League Fishing Cup event, it was also true on Wednesday as the 2014 ICAST Show opened for business.
To start with, KVD picked up the honor of “Favorite Pro on Tour” from the readers of Game & Fish’s various state sportsman magazines. “I couldn’t be more humbled” stated VanDam, the king of bass fishing, on his Facebook page.
Next, VanDam announced that he has joined the Marolina Outdoor Team and will be wearing the technical apparel and accessories of Huk Performance Fishing both on and off the water.
“The apparel I wear is critical to my success,” stated KVD on his Facebook page. “Whether I am on the water or not, I understand the benefits of clothing with a technological focus.”
He added “Wearing the proper clothing keeps me on the water fishing harder (and) winning more. I am backing this brand and great group of founders and I believe that my experience and influence on the features and designs of the product will give a competitive advantage in the market and on the water.”
ICAST Important to Lucky Craft Prez
How important is the ICAST Show to manufacturers?
Very much so says Lucky Craft president Minoru Segawa: “It’s very important for us each year. It’s where we introduce new products – it’s a new item party. As soon as it’s over, it marks the time that we go to work on next year’s stuff. And it’s a place where we are able to interact with our FLW and B.A.S.S. touring pros and hear their opinions, and their ideas.”
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