Our biggest sportfishing/hunting consumer show in Southern California, the Fred Hall Show, opened Wednesday at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center and runs through Sunday. Should you miss that show or just can’t get enough, you can make a longer drive later this month to catch the Fred Hall Show March 22-25 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
These shows are exciting because they signal the beginning of our fishing seasons (rockfish/lingcod season opened March 1), which means our hunting seasons are not far away. Even after enjoying an exceptionally mild winter, sportsmen and women are more than ready for the season to begin.
Adventuring into the wilds to take our own fresh dinner, rather than always relying on the grocery store, is important and it’s healthy. Now we can experience a huge consumer outdoors show and get psyched up for the season.
The gigantic show fills up the vast rooms in the Long Beach Convention Center. Big brand names are all there — Penn, Berkley, Daiwa, Seeker rods, Rapala lures, Shimano, Luhr Jensen, Braid Products and myriad other great names.
Walking through the aisles gives me a sense of tradition as I recall some of the great old products, advertisements and iconic images these venerable old companies have put out over the decades.
Our fishing rights advocacy groups will have booths there, giving us a chance to sign up for memberships and thereby giving them the money and the people to fight for our rights to fish and hunt at local, state and national levels. All of these groups need help, so give them each your membership dues.
Some of the retail chain stores open retail operations within the show and sell closeout items at surprising discounts. They sometimes 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, but our own local retail tackle shops and hunting/shooting shops need our continued business in order for them to stay in business. Shop locally!
Tackle manufacturers have booths to show their latest wares. This is where lots of fun can be had by talking with the fishing experts in the booths to learn about product concepts, fishing techniques and new industry trends. Fishing and boating publications will have booths there, too, to show their products and in some cases to sell subscriptions.
— 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.