Assessing What’s New From ICAST

Orlando, Florida in mid-July is known for two things: 100-degree daytime temperatures and ICAST.

Just so you all know, 100 degrees in central Florida is a different heat than for us in Western New York, but Orlando remains an annual destination for representatives of the world recreational fishing industry, because it allows them a chance to see the latest innovations in tackle, gear, accessories and apparel.

Produced by the American Sportfishing Association, the fishing industry’s trade association, ICAST celebrated its 61th year this year. One of my favorites from any show, especially ICAST and AMO, is what is called the New Product Showcase. The New Product Showcase, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, embodies the sportfishing industry’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and rewards that ingenuity through the New Product Showcase awards competition.

This year, 974 products, accessories and apparel were entered by 331 companies into 25 categories, all vying for the overall ICAST 2018 Best of Show award.

“My congratulations go to all of the winners and everyone who participated in the New Product Showcase,” shared ASA President Glenn Hughes. “Remember, there are also 949 products that also deserve recognition.”

“This year we are living up to our reputation as the world’s largest sportfishing trade show,” said Trade Show Director Blake Swango. “We had the most attendance and the largest number of exhibitors, ever.”

Swango also noted, “I also want to congratulate our New Product Showcase award winners and thank all our member companies who submitted products for judging. I also thank Fishing Tackle Retailer for their sponsorship of this important event.”

Here are a few of the new products that will be hitting the market this coming year: Best of Boating Accessories, Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. with Minn Kota Ultrex with MEGA Down Imaging; Best of Boats and Watercraft, Jackson Kayak’s 360 Angler; Best of Category Eyewear, Costa Sunglasses with their offering line Baffin; Best of Category Footwear, Rivers Edge Products with Fish Sandals; Best of Lifestyle Apparel, from AFTCO/American Fishing Tackle Company with their Hexatron Performance Fleece; Best of Technical Apparel, AFTCO/American Fishing Tackle Company with their Hydronaut Heavy-Duty Waterproof System; Best in Electronics, Garmin USA, Garmin Panoptix Live Scope; Best of Fishing Accessory with YETI, YETI Panga Backpack 28; Best of Fishing Line, PowerPro with PowerPro SuperSlick V2 Brand; Best of Tackle Management, Tak Logic Lure Lock with Lure Locker; Best of Terminal Tackle, Rapala; Best of Freshwater Hard Lure, Westin with Freddy the Frog; Best of Fly Reelm, SEiGLER Reels, Seigler MF Fly Reel; Best of Freshwater Reel, Shimano American Corporation with Curado DC Baitcasting Reel; Best of Fly Fishing Rod, St. Croix Rods with Mojo Trout; and Best of Freshwater Rod, St. Croix Rods, Legend Glass.

Garmin USA is continuing to really put the fishing world on notice with its Panoptix Live scope.

“We are overwhelmed and excited about winning the ICAST 2018 Best of Show award,” said David Dunn, Garmin USA’s director of Marine Sales. “Garmin is fighting for a place in the freshwater market. We are here to stay.”

Panoptix with Live Scope from Garmin is the best in detail with live scanning sonar images of structure, bait and fish swimming in real time up to 200 feet down and away. Built with Attitude Heading Reference System, Live scope ensures your sonar view stays stable even in rough water.

The first major improvement in transducer technology in years has made Live Scope viewing the new must-have in fishing electronics. With two modes in one transducer, you can easily adjust the transducer to get the info that is vital to you. Live Scope ensures you are getting the clearest images of fish and structure below and around your boat. With real time you can see the fish swimming and even see your lure as you retrieve it. The best part is you don’t even need to be moving. All of this can be done while the boat is stationary.

Live Scope Down provides images of structure and swimming fish up to 200 feet below your boat while the Live Scope Forward will assist you in scouting and locating fish that are swimming ahead of your cast up to 200 feet. Easily adjustable, the Live Scope can be set to the mode that works best for your fishing needs. With exceptional views and sonar capabilities you can not only see what’s going on in real time, but you may also, with just a bit of practice, even be able to differentiate between fish species.

Simple Plug and Play setup in the Garmin Marine network, the Panoptix Live Scope comes with the GLS10 sonar box and the Panoptix LVS32 transducer and includes both trolling motor barrel and shaft mounts as well as a transom mount. The idea behind Live Scope brings the technology as close to real time as it’s ever been, which leaves pros, amateurs, and even weekend anglers just looking for a little productive outdoor recreation commenting on the results.

Even down to the species level, Panoptix Live Scope is said to let you pinpoint what exactly is swimming beneath you and be able to make decisions quick enough to see an effect.

The Garmin Panoptix Live Scope scanning sonar system comes with a compact GLS 10 sonar black box with one LVS32 transducer, which allows for the dynamics of both Live Scope Down and Live Scope Forward Mode. With the plug-and-play Garmin Marine Network connector, it’s easy to install and seamlessly integrate with any compatible Garmin chartplotter.

The real-time scanning sonar utilizes an advanced Attitude Heading Reference System, which stabilizes the sonar view even if there’s rough conditions.

When you can actually see the fish swimming, and know what direction they’re going, you’ve got to assume that’s giving you an advantage over other systems. Bass fishing, for all of us, has been enhanced by the things like the trolling motor, the GPS map, and now the Garmin Panoptix Live Scope, which has taken fishing electronics to another level.