There’s wasn’t much hoopla. No whoops, hollers or jumping around excitedly as the ICAST Best of Category awards were announced online Wednesday evening.
There was only piped-in applause as ASA President Glenn Hughes, dressed in black tie, was handed the envelopes to name the winners in 30 categories during a web presentation. ICAST 2020 is a virtual show, done all online due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the awards carry any less weight.
“It’s not just about the trade show,” Hughes addressed viewers. “It’s about the fish and the water they live in. It’s about the anglers and the access to those fish. It’s about the sportfishing industry. It's about family and the great outdoors. It’s our way of life.”
The New Product Showcase speaks to the innovation of all the workers in the industry. The awards are a source of pride for companies, many of which experience a subsequent windfall. Exhibitors entered new products that were voted on by registered buyers and media.
“For 63 years, ICAST has been the venue for showcasing recreational fishing related products, and we were determined that this year was going to be no different,” said Blake Swango, ASA’s vice president for Trade Show and Membership.
“Kudos and congratulations to all our member exhibitors who stepped up this year, even during these crazy times, to develop and launch all these incredible new products that reflect the passion our industry has for making a day on the water even more exciting for anglers around the globe,” Hughes said.
The ICAST 2020 Online Best of Show award winner was announced Friday morning. Choosing among the 30 winners below, voters selected the Johnston Outdoors Watercraft Old Town Sportsman Autopilot, which won the Boats and Watercraft category.