The biggest sportfishing trade show in the world announced this past week it will cancel its physical event and go digital-only for the first time in 2020 as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.


ICAST, which stands for the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, will cancel its physical event that was slated for July 14-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., instead looking to produce its version of a "virtual trade show" in ICAST 2020 Online to provide anglers the experience of going to the show from the safety of their laptops and mobile devices.


"Two weeks ago, we asked for your patience as we strived to make the best business decisions we could on behalf of our exhibitors, members, staff and all our show attendees," said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association, in a public statement released the evening of Friday, April 17. "Canceling this year’s show was the only decision that could be made when considering everyone’s well-being and the impact the pandemic is having on the sportfishing industry and our economy."


Hughes added in his statement that a full refund would be an option for exhibitors if desired.


The week of ICAST is a favorite time of the year for anglers, who are able to see a sneak peak of what fishing gear and lures are coming down the pipeline in the coming year.