New Golden Nuggets
Media, buyers gather to vote on best of New Product Showcase
More than 500 registered media and buyers were expected to vote on Best of Show from the gear in the New Product Showcase. (Steve Bowman photo)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Louie Stout, a senior writer for B.A.S.S. publications, said he has seen thousands of similar lures in his 28 years covering ICAST, and that has left him looking for the truly unique new products.
“I look for the things that are different, that have something nobody else has,” he said. “I like the accessories that benefit the angling experience.”
While Stout focuses and votes only on bass fishing products, he was among the media members scouring the aisles of the New Product Showcase for this year’s nuggets. The showcase is the premier venue at ICAST, where companies debut their latest products.
Credentialed media and buyers have a one-day window to cast votes, from 5 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday.
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The showcase has long been the jewel of ICAST, run by the American Sportfishing Association. Both continue to gorw, ASA spokeswoman Mary Jane Williamson said.
“Already today we are already at 10,000 attendees between ICAST and IFTD (International Fly Tackle Dealer Show), that’s the biggest show we’ve ever had,” she said. “Tomorrow evening, during the Chairman’s Reception, we will announce the Best of Show in the 24 categories plus Overall Best of Show.”
Williamson said she expects about 500 ballots to be cast from the 750 registered media and more than 2,000 buyers eligible to vote.
Stout said assessing the gear at the showcase is only the first step for him. Of the more interesting products, he said he heads to the manufacturers’ booths to find out more.
“With just seeing them here, you can’t tell if they will catch fish or not,” he said. “I talk to them to find our more before I write anything. And hopefully we can take it out and catch fish.”
Along with several other B.A.S.S. writers, Stout will submit around 50 of his favorite new products from the show and write a little bit about each.
While the products gain a boost from winning a Best of Show award, it is the media exposure that helps get the word out. ASA itself says ICAST “is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, helping to drive sportfishing companies’ product sales year round,” and inviting media that strives to deliver the latest and greatest gear is a large part of that.
The New Product Showcase can be the first and only time old acquaintances get to visit during the week.
Fishing legend Bill Dance made his way through the aisles at his 44th such event. He said he just finished shooting eight shows of “Bill Dance Saltwater,” which airs on Outdoor Channel.
Doug Olander, outdoor writer, conservation advocate and editor-in-chief of Sport Fishing magazine, was presented the Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award by the ASA and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) on Tuesday.
“I believe our sport is facing unprecedented challenges,” Olander said, “with the opportunity to fish and quality of fishing threatened, sometimes intentionally, but more often as collateral damage in a rapidly changing world.
“Whether the sport is our livelihood or something we live to enjoy, it’s worth fighting for. That doctrine has guided my efforts and opportunities to influence public policy and perception throughout my career. I’m flattered that those efforts have been judged worthy of this tremendous recognition.”
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