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ICAST ever-present rues cancellation of trip to Orlando

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Bill Humphreys (right), founder of H&H Lures, is an ever-present at ICAST, while his son Billy (left) hasn’t missed a show since 1977.
↑ Bill Humphreys, founder of H&H Lures, has been in the fishing business since 1959, starting out working from a bread truck.

Bill Humphreys, founder of H&H Lures, and his son, Billy, have more reason than most to rue the cancellation of this year’s ICAST. Billy has been attending the show since 1977, while dad Bill has never missed one – and he’s 84.

“That’s what this show means to us,” said Billy on the eve of ICAST Online. “It’ll certainly be different for me and my dad.”

Although the pair won’t be writing business as normal in Orlando this year, H&H looks well set for a good year. “We made the right move and stocked up on product very early in the year,” said H&H President Billy, who joined the business in 1980. 

“Then came the explosion in fishing and our business took off,” he told theadvocate.com. “You go into places like Academy and the shelves are wiped out. It looks like stores are having liquidation sales. So business has been good and we’re working long hours to fill orders.”

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana company, which celebrated 60 years in business last year, has followed ICAST through host cities including New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Las Vegas and most recently Orlando.

And the family confesses to missing the personal contact, the meeting of old friends and the making of new ones that the physical show offers.

Humphreys Snr. started the business in 1959 working out of a second hand bread truck. The Original H&H Spinner is said to be America’s first spinning lure. Today the brand is 60% saltwater and 40% freshwater tackle

The latest H&H product is the Sac-a-Lait Slayer, a crappie bait internally weighted with a Gold Aberdeen hook. The lure went on the backburner following the floods in 2016, but after further development work it is ready for market, said Billy.

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