Skip to main content

ICAST 2023 Highlights: Big Names, Big News and... Toby Keith?

Our editors were in for a treat this year, with ground-breaking innovations, exciting new startups & a series of unlikely events.

ICAST 2023 Highlights: Big Names, Big News and... Toby Keith?

In a completely unplanned turn of events, Keith jumps on stage before giving the OSG crew a private show, kicking off the set with a crowd favorite "Should've Been a Cowboy" before transitioning to "Red Solo Cup," which is when I nabbed this photo. He went on to play four more songs, even strumming an acoustic for a few. (Photo by Shelby Busenbark)

The 66th year of ICAST is sure to go down as one to remember in many event-goers' books. From game-changing innovations to unexpected celebrity appearances, ICAST 2023 had a lot in store for attendees, exhibitors and media alike. Personally, this was my fifth ICAST and has certainly claimed the top spot as the best yet.

What is ICAST?

ICAST is the world's largest sportfishing trade show that is exclusively for members of the fishing industry to attend. The general public is not permitted to attend the event. During the show, the biggest names in fishing, as well as up-and-comers, present the latest innovations, gear and garb for the media and attendees. Most of these new product drops won't be available to the masses for months to come, so we're here to share what we found the most exciting at the 2023 show.

Here are some of the highlights. See our full Editor's Choice article for the best gear drops and new inventions that caught my eye.

ICAST 2023 Highlights

ICAST 2023 On the Water Day

Dozens of new fishing products were tested out by ICAST attendees on "Super Tuesday" in Orlando. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

Bill Dance

A long line of fans waited to get a Bill Dance autograph Wednesday at ICAST 2023. (Photo by Scott Bernarde)

Bill Dance, Kevin VanDam and fishing fan

A lucky young fan got a face-to-face encounter with fishing legends Bill Dance (left) and Kevin VanDam (right) Wednesday at ICAST 2023 in Orlando. (Photo by Scott Bernarde)

Kevin VanDam party at ICAST

Outdoor Sportsman Group and Major League Fishing hosted a well-attended retirement reception for Kevin VanDam Thursday at ICAST 2023. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

fishing pro Kevin VanDam

Legendary professional bass angler Kevin VanDam addresses the attendees at his retirement reception Thursday at ICAST 2023 in Orlando. VanDam is retiring this season after 33 years of competitive fishing. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

KVD party

KVD posed for dozens of photos Thursday at his retirement reception at ICAST 2023. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

Auburn bass-fishing team

With a nod to the future, high school and college fishing teams were sprinkled into the crowd of attendees at the ICAST 2023 trade show in Orlando. Here, the renowned Auburn Tigers fishing team looks at new products in the Humminbird and Minn Kota booth. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

fly fishing at ICAST 2023

With a renewed focus on fly fishing at this year’s ICAST fishing trade show, the new ICAST Fly Shop was a big hit for those in attendance. Here, Fly Shop volunteer Jeff Ward shows off his fly-tying skills. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

ICAST Best of Show winners

With more than 1,000 new products to choose from, media members selected Florida-based American Tackle Company’s G2 Tsuka 2 Complete Carbon Handle as the “Best of Show” winner. In all, 37 category award winners were announced by the American Sportfishing Association, including six in the fly fishing sector. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

Recommended


Toby Keith and Jimmy Houston pose for a picture at Luck E Strike booth at ICAST 2023

Country music star Toby Keith and TV personality Jimmy Houston pose for a picture at the Luck E Strike booth, a lure company Keith recently purchased to turn his love of fishing into a new business venture.

Country music band LOCASH singing on stage at Tin Roof

Country music band LOCASH hit the stage at Tin Roof during the Outdoor Sportsman Group and Outdoor America VIP party Thursday evening with some unexpected tricks up their sleeve... (Photo by Shelby Busenbark)

Toby Keith

Meanwhile, Toby Keith chats up OSG Digital Director Darren Choate (pictured right) and Senior Digital Editor Lynn Burkhead in the crowd of the Tin Roof. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

Toby Keith gives two thumbs up while posing with Annie Nagel and Shelby Busenbark

It was so special to see Toby Keith performing in such an intimate setting. He was 100% in his element on stage and I was sure to let him know that when we ran into him later. "I was in my f****** element!" he chimed back and sighed, "Ahh, felt so good." We chatted for a few minutes before a passerby asked if we wanted a picture. Left to right: Annie Nagel, Toby Keith and Shelby Busenbark.

To see all the best gear we say at ICAST 2023, see our full ICAST 2023 Editor's Choice Roundup here.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

How to Buy and Rig a River Fishing Kayak

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Power or Paddle? Bonafide PWR129

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

It's a Skiff, It's a Kayak: Bonafide SKF117

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage Lynx to the Next Level

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight Packed with Features

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Extend Your Range in the Salt Marsh

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Florida's Capital Fishing

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 FULLY RIGGED Fishing Machine

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Mounting Forward-Facing Sonar on A Kayak: Mounts, Scanning Applications and More!

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

On The Water with Old Town: Bass Fishing at PRIVATE GEORGIA LAKE

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

DECKED-OUT Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 Complete WALK-THROUGH

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Dreambuild: Old Town ePDL Gets Rigged to the Hilt

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now