July Fourth and ICAST – 2019 is half gone

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James Overstreet

Where has the year gone?

It seems like the year has flown by already. Two very important events to me will happen in the coming days, July the Fourth and the ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. 

The first is the Fourth of July. When I see this day on the calendar I instantly think about spending time with family and friends, great food and fireworks. With my busy schedule it's a day spent enjoying the simple pleasures of home. Candy and I will spend some time with my son Josh and his wife Erin and my little wild child granddaughter Emerson, and my other son Jacob and his fiancé Ashley and their new baby girl Avery.

The second event that has snuck up on me is ICAST. Next week kicks off the 2020 tackle year and the whole fishing industry and anything and everyone involved in the industry and sport will be in Orlando for the show.

ICAST is the largest trade show in the industry, and it is a business show. The Bassmaster Classic Expo is attended more than ICAST, but that is a consumer show. ICAST is all for the companies to show off their new products, the buyers to see what they are going to be carrying in 2020 and the media to cover it all.

The three days of ICAST will be busy yet exciting as I get to visit with many old friends and meet many new ones. My favorite part of ICAST is getting to see all the new products before they hit the market.

This year there will be many manufacturers come to market with new innovative products and there will be many who simply make their own versions of popular existing products in an attempt to stay competitive in the marketplace.

It has never ceased to amaze me how a small independent bait manufacturer has the forethought to design a bait and everyone in the soft plastic business copies it. Or other companies revolutionize the industry with a product or a feature, and within two years we see – or hear we are going to see – several “new” products that will have the exact same features.

Whatever happened to creativity or thinking outside the box? Who will come to ICAST this year with the "new" original game-changing design or technology? I certainly hope we see something that is actually new. 

All the professional anglers and tournament trails will be there as well. Typically, some of the tour schedules and format changes for the following season are announced there, but we’ll see. It should be an interesting week to say the least.

Hope everyone has a great Fourth of July, and stay tuned to Bassmaster.com for ICAST Details.