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The inaugural ICASTCup: Dave East, CodyDetweiller, and the Legendary Bill Dance Win.

Held each July, ICAST is the largest fishing industry trade show in the world. Once again this year, Orlando served as the host city, but in a departure from the norm, the American Sportfishing Association put on a fishing tournament the morning before ICAST's traditional opening day.

The event took place on Lake Toho which has contributed greatly to the history of tournament angling. It was won by a team that featured a man who has done much for the sport.

Yours truly fished with StarTron Pro Staffer Matt Fair. We ran down to the south end of the big lake and tried to connect with schooling fish Fair had found during practice. No dice. We returned fishless and looked to our left as we idled back into Big Toho Marina to see a couple of boats working a shallow grass line. "We probably should have stayed right here by the ramp all morning," quipped Fair.

Pros ranging from B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year Aaron Martens to FLW Angler of the Year Scott Martin competed. At the morning launch, boats fanned out across the lake, jumping each others' wakes, racing over Toho's 22,000 acres in search of the 5 biggest bass. Many came in with light sacks. Meanwhile, Bill Dance, fishing with Cody Detweiller and Dave East, who is this magazine's boating editor, went a mere 100 yards from the boat ramp and threw buzzbaits to catch the tournament-winning 17-plus-pound bag in the first hour.

As Dance, East and Detweiller weighed their fish the bass tournament legend and TV star said, "We started out real good. I've got two good partners right here. They knew where to go and we just started chunking buzzbaits early and they produced. We had a great time."

A great time indeed, according to East. "Fishing with Bill, Cody and I laughed so much that tears ran down our legs. We had a lot of fun."

Dance was quick to give credit where it was due. "I've said many times that you're only as good as the people you fish with and I was very fortunate today. I fished with two great guys. Cody knew what to do. We never left sight of the boat dock."

I spoke with Detweiller over a pulled pork sandwich at the Big Toho Marina lunch counter. Fie said, "I found those fish in practice yesterday. This morning they were still there and they were eating."

It seems fitting that a pioneer of professional tournament bass fishing would help his team win the first-ever international exhibition of the sport--the ICAST Cup.

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Title Annotation:Freshwater Scene
Author:McCullough, Vance
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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