Search This Blog

The American Sportfishing Association ICAST Convention

By Mark Romanack

The show floor of the iCAST convention allows professional
anglers and outdoor media to see the latest products offered
to the fishing industry.
Every year in the middle of July the American Sportfishing Association puts on a business convention aimed at industry insiders. Called the ICAST convention, this year the event was in Orlando, Florida and attracted the largest group of tackle manufacturers, tackle buyers, retail outlets, professional fishermen and outdoor media on record. It seems the state of the “Fishing Industry” is better than it has been in recent years and the future looks bright for America’s favorite pastime.

Historically this convention was mostly about hooking up manufacturers with tackle buyers from the nation’s most prominent retail outlets and chains. These days, most of the major buying of fishing tackle takes place months before the ICAST convention. Instead, ICAST has become a “marketing show” that focuses more on new products and getting the word out to the media. 

The Deep Weed Pike Bite

By Mark Romanack

The author loves to throw big buck tails like this Bait Rigs model shown here.
Double bladed bucktail baits designed for musky fishing are just as deadly on
trophy class northern pike.
Most of the information focusing on pike fishing zeros in on the post-spawn period when pike are in shallow weedy bays, readily spotted and aggressively feeding. Spoken as a person who has caught hundreds of trophy sized pike in shallow water, I can say the experience of sight fishing for these monsters is amazing. The problem is, this bite is short lived.

Ice out plays a major role in the post-spawn pike bite and there is literally no way to predict when ice out is going to occur from year to year. The only way to deal with this issue is to remain flexible in your fishing schedule and hit the water when the conditions are ideal.

Marrying Braid to Leader Material

By Mark Romanack

Toothy critters like this trophy class northern pike scream out for heavy
fluorocarbon line as leader material. The author normally casts 50-65
 pound test braid and terminates to a 80# test fluorocarbon leader for
 pike and musky fishing.
These days a growing number of anglers are choosing
 super braids as their line of choice. The low stretch and super sensitivity braid
 offers makes sense for a lot of fishing presentations like vertical jigging,
 casting jigs, live bait rigging and structure trolling.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome when fishing braid is figuring out what kind of leader material to use. While a few anglers recommend tying their lures directly to braided line, I typically recommend either a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. The advantage of using a leader is braid tends to be hard to break should you snag bottom and when braid does break it frays at the end, making it tricky to retie quickly.

What leader material makes the most sense depends on the species being targeted, the specific fishing conditions and also water clarity.