Editor’s Log: The ICAST Marathon - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: The ICAST Marathon

From July 11 through 14 The Fisherman Magazine team attended the annual ICAST show in Orlando Florida. Alongside me was New Jersey & Delaware Bay editor Jim Hutchinson, the sales staff made up of Dale Nicholson from New England and John DeBona from Jersey, and of course owner Mike Caruso.

Initially Mike and I were supposed to fly down early on the 9th to attend a couple of pre-show meetings but our Frontier flight got canceled while we were in the Islip airport, minutes before our flight. Due to the limited number of flights and our timeframe, we ended up rescheduling for Tuesday — the first day of the show, which is what we like to refer to as the “demo day.” While I do love trying out the new products in the field (the lake in front of the convention center), that July heat under the Florida sun can be brutal to say the least. Pop up downpours cut the event short anyway so we didn’t miss too much.

A New Product Showcase held indoors followed the outdoor demos which we always make a point of attending. More than 1,000 new products are placed in many different categories to compete against each other and get voted on by attendees of the showcase for Best in Category. I do enjoy this portion of the event since all the new stuff is in one spot, all at the same time so I don’t have to go looking on the show floor. Many of these products were covered through video interviews and will be released throughout the rest of this year and into the next.

The main show days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were a marathon to say the least. Jim and I hit the ground running Wednesday morning and went booth to booth conducting our interviews with representatives of companies and select products that made sense to cover — new, innovative and interesting to their existing lines. I haven’t done the final count yet but I know we conducted about 50 of these short product overviews in our time on the show floor. Each running anywhere from one to ten minutes.

Yeah, a marathon it was and “the dogs were barking” by the end of Friday. I have to remember to bring a better pair of sneakers next year. Regardless, seeing almost everyone in the industry in the same place at the same time is outstanding. Between the products making me feel like a kid in a candy shop and the conversations I had with good friends as well as new ones, it’s an outstanding time.

ICAST didn’t let go of Jim easily either as I believe he spent over 30 hours in the Orlando airport waiting on ongoing delays due to some nasty weather coming through. Sorry about that Jim, I got mine too.

I drove up to Tampa to see a good friend and some family over the weekend, doing a little mix of salt and freshwater fishing in that part of the state. I have to admit I probably spent more time eating seafood though (not complaining about that one).

Alas, my journey was coming to an end also but that familiar wrath of ICAST wasn’t through with The Fisherman Magazine team yet. My evening Frontier flight ended up getting canceled. Fortunately with a quick visit to the Southwest desk, I was able to book the first flight out of Tampa airport in the a.m. Nobody likes sleeping in an airport so with a little snooping around I found myself a cozy spot at the airport hotel with a couple of cold ones I grabbed from the front desk and watched a rerun of the Ray’s game. It wasn’t all that bad aside from the fact that I had to watch the team that has been kicking the Yankees butts all this season. Oh, and after two cancellations from Frontier in a week I think I’ll be sticking with Southwest from now on. Maybe that’s why Fred Golofaro always swore by them.

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