Fishing Industry News: ICAST Winners; Plano Edge giveaway; Rapala Invests in 13 Fishing

The annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show — better known as the ICAST show — is where fishing companies reveal new products, make sales and celebrate freshwater and saltwater sportfishing. Here is some of the latest news from ICAST and in the fishing industry.

Fishing Industry News: ICAST Winners; Plano Edge giveaway; Rapala Invests in 13 Fishing

The annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show is where fishing companies reveal new products, make sales and celebrate freshwater and saltwater sportfishing. Here is some of the latest news from ICAST, held annually in July in Orlando, and in the fishing industry.

Win a New Plano Edge Box

Plano pros Kevin VanDam, Mark Rose and Brent Chapman have been using the new Plano Edge tacklebox, which Plano claims "is the most revolutionary and comprehensive tackle storage solution since the invention of the tackle box."

We'll see about that, but anytime someone has a better way to store lures and keep out moisture and dirt, we're glad to take a look. The Edge boxes are making their debut at ICAST but are not available for purchase just yet in stores or online.

During July, anglers can win an Edge box loaded with select lures from one these veteran pro anglers. Enter the Edge giveaway via Plano’s Facebook page throughout July. The contest will conclude July 31st. 

To enter, visit Plano’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/PlanoFish.

ICAST Breaks Records Again

Between the record number of booths and the thousands of products on display, 14,500 buyers, media and exhibitors from the global sportfishing industry brought ICAST 2019 to life from July 8-12, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

“Across the board, this was a record-breaking year for ICAST, proving, once again, that ICAST is the cornerstone for the entire sportfishing industry,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “This was the largest year yet for ICAST in both the number of exhibitors and the number of registrants.

"The total number of registered buyers was up six percent over last year. We made a commitment to our board of directors and our Trade Show Committee to ensure buyers know that there is nowhere else to be than ICAST this week in July and those efforts are paying off.”

ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association, a national, non-profit trade association of more than 800 members who share a stake in promoting sportfishing for the well-being of our businesses and as part of our national heritage.

“There is no place like ICAST where you can see friends you’ve known for 20 years or more as well as meet the new people who are just making their way in the industry,” said Chris Megan, publisher of On The Water and ASA’s board of directors chairman. “ICAST is the melting pot for both the tried and true blue-chip businesses and the up-and-coming companies who are both working to see that recreational fishing continues to prosper and grow.”

ICAST 2020 will be held July 14-17, 2020, in the North/South Building at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Rapala VMC Becomes Minority Investor in 13 Fishing

Rapala/VMC has become a minority investor in DQC International, Corp., manufacturer of the 13 Fishing brand of rods and reels.

Founded in 2012, 13 Fishing generates more than $25 million in annual sales. Rapala's investment is 49 percent, and it will distribute 13 Fishing’s existing and new products outside the U.S., while 13 Fishing will continue to operate independently within the U.S.

“Rapala is widely regarded as the largest distribution company in our industry,” said James Coble, DQC International owner and President. “Where we excel in branding, product development and innovation, they excel in driving operational growth and revenue. Joining forces with a truly global distribution network and leveraging their vast knowledge will allow the team at 13 Fishing to rapidly accelerate the growth. At our core we will remain agile and innovative while seeking to stretch our global brand presence.”

The minority-interest shares are being acquired from Coble, the majority shareholder, along with two minority owners. Coble retains majority ownership with 51 percent interest and simultaneously becomes one of the 10 largest shareholders in Rapala VMC Corporation. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of the third quarter.

Rapala VMC Corporation President and CEO Jussi Ristimäki said 13 Fishing’s dynamic brand, leading-edge products and rapid growth make it the best partner in moving into the global rod and reel market.

“13 Fishing has managed to become successful in the world’s most competitive fishing tackle market in only a few years,” Ristimäki said.

Dudley Claims Fourth FLW AoY Title

Ranger Boats pro angler David Dudley made history by winning his fourth FLW Angler of the Year title at the last regular-season stop for the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain.

Coming into the 2019 season, Dudley was tied with Andy Morgan and Clark Wendlandt at three AOY titles. Dudley’s seventh-place finish at the Lake Champlain event vaulted him to the top of the AOY rankings.

“I’m still making the championship and still doing well, but in my mind I thought I had peaked,” said Dudley. “To win my fourth makes this one very special and satisfying.”

Dudley began the season with a 13th-place finish at Sam Rayburn and continued to finish in the top 25 all season. His one exception was at Lake Seminole where he failed to make the cut. Coming into the Lake Champlain event, Dudley trailed John Cox by one point in the standings. Buddy Gross, Joseph Webster and Scott Martin were all within reach of the title as well.

“I knew I had a very good chance at winning after day one at Lake Champlain,” Dudley said. “I had an 18-point lead, but what was more encouraging was that I had almost a 2-pound lead over John. I had the confidence that with a 2-pound cushion, I had a good shot at winning.”

Dudley has been fishing from the deck of a Ranger boat throughout his pro career.

Bubica Promoted at Pelican Products

Michael Bubica has been promoted to Director of Supply Chain and Inventory Performance for Pelican Products.
 
Bubica has worked at Pelican for more than 10 years and has been an invaluable member of the Operations and Supply Chain team. His most recent role as Demand, Supply and Distribution Planning Manager has allowed him the opportunity to implement new processes to improve on-time delivery and increase satisfaction for Pelican customers globally. 

In his new role as Director of Supply Chain and Inventory Performance, he will work closely with Sales, Product Management and Customer Service teams to better understand demand and better align supply and distribution planning to meet customer needs and Pelican’s business objectives.

Lowrance Ghost Tapped MLF

The Lowrance Ghost trolling motor will be incorporated as standard equipment in the 2020 and 2021 Major League Fishing Cup tournament series and MLF World Championship, which airs on CBS Network.

The Lowrance Ghost has a specially designed brushless motor. Other benefits including integrated Lowrance sonar options, waypoint anchoring and a three-year warranty.

“We are proud to enhance our sponsorship of the MLF Cups in the trolling motor category,” said Knut Frostad, CEO, Navico. “With its unique format, Major League Fishing has set a new standard for audience engagement with competitive bass fishing. Along with HDS LIVE and C-MAP charts, the addition of the Ghost freshwater trolling motor will give competing anglers the Ultimate Fishing System, allowing them to make the most of their time on the water during these made-for-TV events.”

MLF Cup participants are determined by angler performances in the Bass Pro Tour Stages, where its 80-angler roster includes the top and best-known professionals in the sport of bass fishing. MLF’s unique catch, weigh and immediate-release format, in which all scorable bass (typically a one-pound minimum) count, has proven to be appealing to the wide and diverse television audience watching MLF programming.

Muskies Stocked in Susquehanna River

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently stocked approximately 2,400 muskies into the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg in or near Fort Hunter, Susquehanna Township and Dauphin County.

These year-old fish measuring 12-14 inches in length were grown at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery in Crawford County. They were transported to Harrisburg as part of several dozen musky stockings currently happening on waterways across the state. This year, the PFBC will stock approximately 27,000 muskies into rivers and lakes.

The stocking of fewer but larger yearling muskies represents a change in the way the PFBC manages muskies, whereas previously, a larger number of smaller fingerling muskies were stocked. Biologist research indicates that the new approach of introducing larger fish will greatly increase the survival rate of these fish.

ICAST 'Best of Category' Winners for 2019

The 2019 ICAST “Best of Category” winners were announced during the annual trade show's awards reception July 10, with "Best of Show" selected from 29 category winners. 

The “Best of Category” awards were presented during the Wednesday night New Product Showcase Awards Reception, sponsored by SiOnyx. Winners were selected by credentialed buyers and media from around the world who vote for the best of the new product entries.

The "Best of Show" overall category was announced Thursday afternoon. This year's winner was Garmin, and its Force trolling motor.

ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). ASA is a national, non-profit trade association made up of more than 800 members who share a stake in promoting sportfishing for the well-being of our businesses and as part of our national heritage. The ICAST show is held in July in Orlando, Fla.
 
For ICAST 2019, ­­­­­­1,004 new products were entered by 303 companies. Reflecting trends in sportfishing retail, four new categories were added this year: Ice Fishing; Technical Apparel – Warm Weather, Technical Apparel – Cold Weather; Coolers and Bait/Storage; and Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools.

ICAST 2019 New Product Showcase Best of Category Award Winners
 
Best of Category – Boating Accessories – Garmin USA
Product: Force™ Trolling Motor

Best of Category – Boats and Watercraft – Hobie
Product: Mirage ProAngler 14 with 360 Drive Technology

Best of Category – Eyewear – Costa Del Mar, Inc.
Product: WaterWoman

Best of Category – Footwear – Frogg Toggs
Product: Skipper

Best of Category – Giftware – 13 Fishing 
Product: Fillet Table Beverage Management System

Best of Category – Lifestyle Apparel – AFTCO/American Fishing Tackle Company
Product: Yurei Air-O-Mesh Performance Shirt

Best of Category – Technical Apparel – Cold Weather - Simms Fishing Products
Product: M's G4Z® Stockingfoot Wader
 
Best of Category – Technical Apparel – Warm Weather – AFTCO/American Fishing Tackle Company
Product: Overboard Submersible Shorts

Best of Category – Ice Fishing – Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc.
Product: Ice Helix 7 Chirp GPS G3N All-Season
 
Best of Category – Cooler and Bait/Storage – Plano Synergy
Product: Frabill Magnum Bait Station 30
 
Best of Category – Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools – Bubba
Product: 110V Electric Fillet Knife

Best of Category – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc.
Product: MEGA 360 Imaging
 
Best of Category – Fly Fishing Accessory – Simms Fishing Products
Product: Dry Creek® Z Sling Pack

Best of Category – Fishing Accessory – American Tackle Company
Product: MW20 Finesse Set

Best of Category – Fishing Line – PowerPro
Product: Moon Shine Braid

Best of Category – Kids’ Tackle – Anything Possible Brands
Product: The Bumblebee by ProFISHiency

Best of Category – Tackle Management – Plano Synergy
Product: Plano EDGE

Best of Category – Terminal Tackle – Rapala
Product: VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Short

Best of Category – Freshwater Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt
Product: Phantom Spider 

Best of Category – Saltwater Soft Lure – LiveTarget
Product: Slow-Roll Shiner
 
Best of Category – Freshwater Hard Lure – LiveTarget
Product: Erratic Shiner

Best of Category – Saltwater Hard Lure – LiveTarget
Product: Flutter Sardine

Best of Category – Freshwater Reel – Shimano
Product: SLX DC Baitcasting Reels

Best of Category – Saltwater Reel – Shimano
Product: Stradic FL Spinning Reel
 
Best of Category – Fly Reel – SEiGLER Reels
Product: SF (Small Fly)

Best of Category – Freshwater Rod – St. Croix of Park Falls
Product: Mojo Bass Glass MGC72HM Rip N' Chatter Rod

Best of Category – Saltwater Rod – St. Croix of Park Falls
Product: Avid Surf VSS80MMF
 
Best of Category – Fly Fishing Rod – St. Croix of Park Falls
Product: Imperial Salt IS908.4
 
Best of Category – Rod & Reel Combo – Lew’s Fishing 
Product: Lew's Mach Smash Baitcast Combo

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