Byline: The Log Staff
The 67-year-old Fred Hall Show … the Ultimate Outdoor Experience, March 6-10 at the Long Beach Convention Center; and the 38-year-old Fred Hall Show … the Ultimate Outdoor Experience March 21-24 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds; are about to take centerstage once again.
For outdoor recreation enthusiasts, this is Christmas, New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July and your birthday, all rolled into one. There is nothing like these shows anywhere in the world.
The 2013 editions of these giant events will feature fishing, boating, international travel, hunting, scuba diving, free diving and all forms of outdoor fun. The shows will both be slightly larger than the 2012 versions, with more fishing boats, more fishing tackle, more hunting and more international travel.
The free-dive section of the events has nearly doubled in size. The new craze of fishing and free diving from stand-up paddleboards will be taking centerstage at both events.
There will be more kayaks and boats of all kinds, but particularly fishing boats. The Fred Hall Shows are now California’s largest boat shows.
Traditionally, there have been between 600 and 650 seminars over the nine days of the Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and Del Mar. But for 2013, the seminar venues and the seminar topics have all been revamped. They will be separated into several different areas.
At the Ultimate Eastern Sierra Experience, sponsored by Mammoth Lakes, topics covered will include fishing, hunting, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and all the activities available to visitors of the Eastern Sierra in both summer and winter.
The Ultimate Saltwater Experience, sponsored by Shimano, Seeker Rods, Accurate Fishing Products and “Let’s Talk Hook-Up,” will concentrate on nearshore fishing, offshore fishing and everything for the private boater.
The Ultimate Bass Fishing Experience, sponsored by Typhoon Optics, will bring all the knowledge of fishing the lakes in the Southwest.
All of these seminar areas will feature individual experts on all of the topics covered, plus multiple daily panel discussions, with audience participation encouraged. Pete Gray, host of “Let’s Talk Hook-Up,” will moderate many of the panel discussions.
There will also be a hunting seminar stage that will cover all of the shooting sports topics and will also serve as the stage for the “Revolver Speed Shooting Show,” where expert competition shooters will shoot wax bullets in a timed contest. That show will be moderated by Jack Dagger, the King of Fling, who will also do his amazing knife-throwing act several times a day on the same stage.
Fun for family members of all ages is a hallmark of the Fred Hall Shows. Besides the 400 seminars that will take place and the Revolver Speed Shooting challenge and the Jack Dagger Show, there are two laser shot games, the Big 5 air gun range, a soft air range, a much larger archery range, the Great American Duck Races, the Shakespeare, Mammoth Lakes and Big 5 Kids Fish Free Trout Pond and the Ram Dock Dogs. This year on the giant Hyatt Lagoon, there will be casting demonstrations and interactive water demonstrations by Avet, Shimano, Penn, Typhoon Optics and Jackson Kayaks. Patrons can also test drive a new Toyota vehicle, starting at the Hyatt Lagoon.
There will be a new dive and free-dive section anchored by Deep Blue Scuba and Swim Center. A special pool will allow customers to put on a drysuit, enter the pool and learn basic scuba techniques. Afterward, they can then exit the pool, take off the drysuit and walk around the show, completely dry.
There will be an opportunity to try many of the spear guns on the market, at the new underwater spear gun range. There will also be “Breath-Hold” seminars by Mark Lassano and special seminars on free diving from surfboards and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs).
Scott Leysath will orchestrate the daily activities at the Costa Sporting Chef Café. Multiple times each day, at both shows, Leysath and Gary Schiebler will entertain and feed you at the Costa Sporting Chef Café. Leysath prepares many different fish and game dishes for each show. Schiebler will entertain you with original songs from his albums. Leysath will cook fish supplied by Catalina Offshore Products.
Tommy Gomes, manager of Catalina Offshore Products and owner of the outstanding fish bait Uni Goop, will be joining Leysath on the Costa stage, giving fish filleting demonstrations. Gomes is also hoping to catch a giant squid before the shows, so that he can teach show-goers how to optimize the use of the giant squid meat. If the giant squid show up, Gomes will be assisted by Tim Baker.
This year, there will be a special booth in the Sports Arena at Long Beach where Fred Hall Show attendees can get a free two-for-one coupon for entrance into Aquarium of the Pacific. These coupons — a $25 value — will be available to the first 10,000 attendees. Aquarium of the Pacific is helping to sponsor the Fred Hall Shows, in order to highlight its new freshwater trout exhibit.
At this year’s Del Mar Show, there will be a special attraction: The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show will return to entertain Fred Hall Show attendees. The log-rolling, ax throwing and tree-sawing specialists put on a great show, and we are very happy to see them come back to the Fred Hall Shows.
On the saltwater front, there will be three new attractions. A mount of the largest yellowfin tuna ever caught — at 445 pounds — will be on display at the Excel booth. Dave Geis and Capt. Justin Fleck will be there to answer all your questions.
There will also be a mount of a 1,000-pound bluefin tuna, caught by the boys at Pelagic.
And, finally, there will be a presentation of a $1 million check by Mustad Hooks to lucky angler Guy Yocom, who followed all of the International Game Fish Association rules and is now the proud owner of the IGFA world record for a 427-pound yellowfin tuna.
Of course the long-range sportfishing fleet will be there, with pictures and tales of all of the great fishing in 2012 and the beginning of 2013. The sportboat Independence will again be anchored at the foot of the Hyatt Bridge that crosses the road in front of the Long Beach Convention Center. Just get your hand stamped, walk 50 yards across the bridge and take a look at one of the premier vessels in America’s outstanding long-range fleet — a fleet that is not duplicated anywhere else on the planet.
There is no other consumer show in the world that has as many fishing tackle factories represented than the Fred Hall Shows. Many major companies bring their “trade show” booths to these events. The level of factory participation cannot be matched anywhere.
Friends of Rollo will be on hand to accept donations to take kids in Southern California fishing. So far, they have taken more than 75,000 kids fishing. Let’s keep that streak going.
And, of course, proceeds from the Fred Hall Shows go to the American Sportfishing Association, to assure that we continue to have access to fishing in the United States.
The Fred Hall Shows are partially sponsored by KeepAmericaFishing. Go to KeepAmericaFishing.org, become a member now and protect our rights as anglers.
We’ll see you at the shows!