Kayak fishing is not a fad, a trend or a gimmick. It is here to stay. It is a legitimate segment of sport fishing that continues with extraordinary growth each year. Fishing kayak manufacturers continue to improve, expand and modify their models relying heavily on input from kayak fishermen. Almost every ancillary fishing product has taken notice by either designing kayak-related products or directing a portion of their marketing to kayak fishermen.
Nowhere is this more evident than at the annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST). The huge fishing convention is held each July in Orlando, Fla. Anything and everything that is related to the sportfishing industry is on display for the restricted attendees representing retail buyers and media. Many manufacturers use the show as a launchpad for their new products.
Ten years ago, you would be lucky to see a canoe at the show, much less a kayak. However, it’s now hard to walk down any aisle and not see a kayak, kayak gear or a fishing tackle manufacturer with kayak-related gear or photos of someone using their gear while kayak fishing.
The New Products Showcase highlights the latest in clothing, lures, rods, reels, nets and just about anything one might use in pursuit of catching a fish. Products in various categories are voted on by the buyer and media attendees as Best of Show in their particular assigned category and then one product is voted as overall Best of Show. For six of the last six years, the overall Best of Show was awarded to a fishing kayak or directly related kayak/paddle fishing product. That’s a pretty strong statement as to how kayak fishing is viewed within the industry.
In keeping with the growth and interest in the sport, over the next few months Louisiana Sportsman is expanding its coverage of everything kayak fishing related, including information on the best monthly fishing locations for both fresh and saltwater, techniques, reviews of the latest kayaks and gear, tournament successes and more. All with the goal of being the go-to place for kayak anglers across the state and Gulf Coast. If you have a particular kayak or gear item you’d like to see covered, please let us know.
Speaking of ICAST, we’ve put together a brief description of a few of the many new kayak fishing products that caught our eye. Some are not in full production or available at this time, but have caused a buzz in the kayak fishing industry and anglers are itching to get their hands on them. Many new kayaks have or will shortly be introduced, and we’ll do our best to provide information on all the new models and exciting features.