Orlando, Fla. — All you had to do to understand the impact kayaks and paddleboards are having on the fishing industry was to pay attention to what happened this week at ICAST 2017, the world's largest sportfishing trade show.
Along with the dozens of the individual watercrafts on display all over the show floor came the drop-the-mic announcement of the show's top distinction.
The American Sportfishing Association announced the ICAST 2017 Best of Show award Wednesday night in front of a packed ballroom at the Orange County Convention Center — it was an innovative paddleboard that promises to take small-craft fishing to a new level.
BOTE's Rover was voted (by buyers and media) as the best new product in both the overall and boat accessory categories — 1,263 products in 26 categories from 280 companies were entered in the show's signature New Product Showcase.
The unique paddleboard, which can handle up a 6 hp outboard, if desired, is 14 feet long, 40 inches wide and weighs 105 pounds, according to the company.
On its website, BOTE says the Rover is a "stand-up paddleboard, micro skiff and everything in between."
Another paddleboard finished runner-up to the Rover in the boats and watercraft category — Live Watersports' Live L4Expedition — Realtree Edition.
Additionally, five other companies each won two best-of-category awards — Shimano (freshwater and saltwater reels), 13 Fishing (kids' fishing, freshwater rod); Frogg Toggs (lifestyle and technical apparel); Pure Fishing (fly reel and fishing line); and Yeti Coolers (boating and fishing accessories).
- See list of winning products below
ICAST — in its 60thyear as the industry's trade show — is the annual destination for representatives from the global recreational fishing industry to see the latest innovations in tackle, gear, accessories and apparel.
"This year we are living up to our reputation as the world's largest sportfishing trade show," show director Blake Swango said. "We are just shy of 15,000 registered show attendees.
"We saw a number of new products being entered into the New Product Showcase which will certainly have an impact on the 2017 and 2018 markets."
Best of Show Awards
ICAST 2017 Overall Best of Show — Bote
Best of Category — Boats and Watercraft — Bote
Best of Category — Boating Accessories — Yeti Coolers
Best of Category — Eyewear — Costa
- Product: The Sunrise Mirror Lens
Best of Category — Footwear — Huk Performance Fishing
Best of Category — Giftware — The Catch and Release Print Shop
- Product: Fish Prints — Actual Size
Best of Category — Lifestyle Apparel — Frogg Toggs
- Product: Prym1 Series Pilot II Jacket & Bibs
Best of Category — Technical Apparel — Frogg Toggs
- Product: Sierran Transition Wader
Best of Category — Electronics — Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. (Humminbird)
- Product: SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS
Best of Category — Fishing Accessory — Yeti Coolers
Best of Category — Fly Fishing Accessory — Simms Fishing Products
- Product: G3 Guide™ Stockingfoot Wader
Best of Category — Fishing Line — Pure Fishing Inc.
- Product: Berkley Fireline Ultra 8
Best of Category — FishSmart — Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle
- Product: 2017 Flounder Sample Pack
Best of Category — Kids' Tackle — 13 Fishing
Best of Category — Tackle Management — Daiwa Corporation
- Product: Tactical Backpack
Best of Category — Terminal Tackle — Trapper Tackle
- Product: Trapper Round Bend Treble
Best of Category — Freshwater Hard Lure — Okuma Fishing Tackle Corp.
- Product: Savage Gear 3D Topwater Bat
Best of Category — Saltwater Hard Lure — Rapala
Best of Category — Freshwater Soft Lure — Lunkerhunt LP
Best of Category — Saltwater Soft Lure — LIVETARGET
- Product: LIVETARGET Hollow Body Mullet
Best of Category — Fly Reel — Pure Fishing, Inc.
- Product: Pflueger Supreme QRS Fly Reel
Best of Category — Freshwater Reel — Shimano American Corp.
- Product: Curado K Baitcasting Reels
Best of Category — Saltwater Reel — Shimano American Corp.
- Product: Sustain Reels C4000/5000
Best of Category — Rod & Reel Combo — Lew's Fishing Tackle
- Product: Mach Crush Speed Spool Combo
Best of Category — Fly Fishing Rod — G. Loomis, Inc.
Best of Category — Freshwater Rod — 13 Fishing
Best of Category — Saltwater Rod — St. Croix Rods
- Product: Legend Tournament Inshore
First Runner-Up — Boating Accessories — Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc.
- Product: Talon Shallow Water Anchor — 15 ft
First Runner-Up — Boats and Watercraft — Live Watersports
- Product: Live L4Expedition — Realtree Edition
First Runner-Up — Eyewear — Maui Jim Sunglasses
- Product: Kanaio Coast Style #766
First Runner-Up — Footwear — Simms Fishing Products
- Product: Challenger Mid Boat Shoe — Waterproof
First Runner-Up — Giftware — L'il Sucker Products, Inc.
First Runner-Up — Lifestyle Apparel — Simms Fishing Products
- Product: SolarFlex® Armor Shirt
First Runner-Up — Technical Apparel — Simms Fishing Products
- Product: Contender Insulated Jacket
First Runner-Up — Electronics — Lowrance-Navico
- Product: Lowrance HDS Carbon 16
First Runner-Up — Fishing Accessory — Rapala
- Product: Mag Spring Pliers
First Runner-Up — Fly Fishing Accessory — Phoenix Inventors, LLC
First Runner-Up — Fishing Line — Rapala
- Product: Sufix 832 — Coastal Camo
First Runner-Up — FishSmart — Adventure Products, Inc.
- Product: EGO Kryptek S2 Slider Landing Net — Medium Clear Rubber
First Runner-Up — Kids' Tackle — Anything Possible
- Product: Steinhauser Tangle-FREE Pocket Combo
First Runner-Up — Tackle Management — Plano Synergy
- Product: KVD Signature Bag
First Runner-Up — Terminal Tackle — American Tackle Company
- Product: JIGSKINZ "ProSkinz Color Series"
First Runner-Up — Freshwater Hard Lure — Rapala
First Runner-Up — Saltwater Hard Lure — Yo-Zuri America, Inc.
First Runner-Up — Freshwater Soft Lure — LIVETARGET
- Product: BaitBall Spinner Rig
First Runner-Up — Saltwater Soft Lure — Chasebaits Australia
First Runner-Up — Fly Reel — Zebco Brands
- Product: Van Staal VFHD 8-10-12 Wt
First Runner-Up — Freshwater Reel — 13 Fishing
First Runner-Up — Saltwater Reel — Pure Fishing
- Product: PENN International VI — 50VISW
First Runner-Up — Rod & Reel Combo — 13 Fishing
- Product: Fate Black and Origin FB Reel
First Runner-Up — Fly Fishing Rod — St. Croix Rods
First Runner-Up — Freshwater Rod — G. Loomis, Inc.
- Product: CONQUEST Bass Rods
First Runner-Up — Saltwater Rod — Lew's Fishing Tackle
- Product: Tournament Performance TP1 Inshore