Coming off the most recent edition of ICAST, the world’s largest sportfishing trade event, American Sportfishing Association president Glenn Hughes reflected on the show. Hughes also spoke about what lies ahead for the sportfishing industry.
This year’s ICAST, said Hughes, had more exhibitors and attendees than ever before. “We had one exhibitor who has been at the show for 44 years. He told us it was the best show he has ever had,” said Hughes in the video. “There was a tremendous amount of energy on the show floor. I just wish it was another day so I could’ve spent more time there. Four days isn’t enough time.”
A partnership with RBFF resulted in the “60 in 60” booth at ICAST. “The idea behind the booth was to help increase participation for fishing,” said Hughes. “We want to bring sportfishing groups together to increase recruiting participation for fishermen. That goal was met.”
Hughes said his association will be producing more promotional materials to help manufacturers, retailers and media in outreach efforts to increase fishing participation. “The entire industry needs to get engaged and take advantage of the tools available to them,” said Hughes. “Most companies just need a little nudge to help their business and do what makes sense for them.”
“We’ve recently hired an R3 expert,” added Hughes. “She will develop programs to help our industry do everything it can to recruit, retain and reactivate anglers.”