Friday, May 25 , 2018, 10:52 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 

Captain’s Log: Fishing Season Is Here ... and Now the Real Show Begins

The Fred Hall sportfishing industry trade show is an angler's onshore paradise.

Capt. David Bacon reels in his audience during a fishing seminar in the Berkley booth at last year's Fred Hall Show in Long Beach.
Capt. David Bacon reels in his audience during a fishing seminar in the Berkley booth at last year’s Fred Hall Show in Long Beach. (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

So the season begins ... Sunday marks the beginning of our fishing seasons south of Point Conception. Some seasons open later in the year, but the big thing about March 1 is the groundfish season opener. We have a strong population of tasty groundfish including rockfish (rock cod), sheephead, ocean whitefish, cabezon and others.

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Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)
March is also when the big sportfishing industry trade shows come to life, such as the Fred Hall Show, at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center from Wednesday through Sunday. Later this month, the same show producers put on a show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, March 25-29.

This week’s huge show pretty much fills up the vast rooms in the Long Beach complex, with every imaginable gadget and service and information source. Big brand names are all there — Berkley, Penn, Seeker Rods, Rapala lures, Shimano, Daiwa, Luhr Jensen, Braid Products, and a myriad of other great names. Walking through the aisles instills a sense of tradition and excitement.

Some of the retail chain stores open up retail operations within the show, and sell closeout items at surprising discounts. This is where they dump things on the market at lower prices than most tackle shops can buy merchandise at wholesale. It is nice to do some shopping there, however, our own local retail tackle shops need our continued business in order for them to stay in business. Shop locally!

Tackle manufacturers have booths to show their latest wares. It is great fun to chat with 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, The Log and others.

Some of the best parts of these shows are the many informative seminars, hosted by experts in various aspects of sportfishing. I serve as one of the featured seminar speakers at both the Long Beach and Del Mar shows. Click here for more information on the Fred Hall Shows and seminar schedules.

Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a new nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need.

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