Every industry has its trade shows, and for the sportfishing industry, our best western consumer shows are in March. The best of all is the Fred Hall Show, March 6-10 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Then a couple of weeks later, March 21-24, the same show producers put on a show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near San Diego.
The huge show pretty much fills up the vast rooms in the Long Beach Convention Center, with every imaginable gadget and service and information source. Big brand names are all there — Penn, Berkley, Seeker Rods, Rapala, Shimano, Daiwa, Luhr Jensen and myriad other great names.
Walking through the aisles gives me a sense of tradition, and I tend to recall some of the great old products and advertisements these venerable old companies have put out over the decades.
Tackle manufacturers have booths to show their latest wares. This is where lots of fun can be had, because it is fun to talk with the fishing experts in the booths and learn about product concepts, fishing techniques and new industry trends.
I’ve been known to spend way too many hours admiring gadget after gadget, and figuring out just when and where each one could be put to the best use.
Outfitters from all over North America come to the show and set up booths. It is easy to visit the many booths, make an informed destination decision, and reserve a trip-of-a-lifetime to Canada, Alaska, Montana or even California.
Fishing and boating publications will have booths there, to show their products, and in some cases to sell subscriptions. Your intrepid columnist writes for a variety of fishing and boating publications, including Pacific Coast Sportfishing and Western Outdoor News.
Some of the best parts of these shows are the many informative seminars, hosted by experts in various aspects of sportfishing. I will be putting on seminars on halibut, white seabass and surf fishing.
My daughter, Capt. Tiffany Vague, will be putting on seminars on thresher shark fishing, plus working with me on the surf fishing charters. Come on down to the show and sit in on some of our seminars.
While you are there, stick your nose up to the glass at the saltwater tank and enjoy a good long look at some of our favorite local gamefish. It’s fun!
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.