Fred Hall Shows…73 Years and Counting

Usually, after 73 years, some things begin to diminish.  Age has that effect on evolution.  But not on the Fred Hall Shows.  Often the Fred Hall Shows are described as being “better than ever”.  That seems like hyperbole until you look closely at the shows and what they represent.  The Fred Hall Shows celebrate a recreation lifestyle that many of us cherish and that lifestyle is flourishing in our region.  Fishing is great, boating is back to historic levels, people have money to travel again and outdoor recreation is more important than ever.  The Fred Hall Shows expect to have an historic year and if early sign ups are any indication they will certainly be “bigger and better than ever”.

The anchor of the three-show Fred Hall circuit is the 73-year-old Fred Hall Show at the Long Beach Convention Center March 6th to the 10th.  It is the world’s largest sportfishing show; one of the nation’s premiere boat shows and Southern California’s largest fishing and hunting travel show..  Since the close of the 2018 Fred Hall Shows the activity surrounding the Long Beach show has been intense.  In the 73-year-old history of this event, we have never seen pre-show activity and bookings like this.  The Long Beach Show has been, basically, sold-out for months.  We keep trying to re-work the limited space to come up with enough good locations to still handle the volume of potential exhibitors.  However, it’s not just the volume of exhibitors it’s the quality of exhibitors.  Many of our older customers are putting up large volume booths.  Long Beach already has more fishing tackle factory displays than any other sportfishing consumer show in the world and now it will have even more.

One of the expanding areas of the show is the Marine electronics section.  This section has been large for years but now it is going “over the top” and will be the largest marine electronics section at any show in the Western United States.  Basically if something exists in marine electronics it will be shown at the Fred Hall Show.  This is a great opportunity to see what’s new and what is coming in the marine electronics field.

The Long Beach Show will have more boats on display than ever before.  This has always been the best fishing boat show in the West but now it is simply the best boat show in the West.  The recently revamped Long Beach Sports Arena provides a spectacular visual backdrop for: high performance boats; wake boats; ski boats; pontoon boats; cruisers; aluminum boats; bass boats; center console and offshore fishing boats.  We also have a huge kayak display and you can test drive Hobie Mirage Drive kayaks on the Hyatt lagoon.

Over 400 seminars will be held in five days at venues like the Mammoth Lakes Seminar Area; The Daiwa Saltwater Tank; the 805/Okuma Bass Tank; The Hobie Kayak Seminar Room;The Accurate Fishing Main Seminar Stage and the new Johnson-Hicks Marine-Electronics Seminar Room. And if you want a break from the seminars, stop by the Costa Sporting Chef Café where celebrity Chef Scott Leysath and his musician sidekick Gary Shiebler will entertain and feed you.  There might even be an 805 beer nearby.

There will be two pre-show seminars one on Thursday with Marlon Meade called Trout Fishing the Eastern Sierras sponsored by Berkley and one on Friday entitled Surf Fishing from California to Cabo with Bill Varney, Corey Sanden and Wesley Brough sponsored by Daiwa.  Each seminar will last for 2 hours.  You have to sign up for these seminars on-line.  The cost of the seminars is $30.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids.  The seminar cost includes light refreshments, gifts from Berkley and Daiwa and admission to the show by a special entrance.

You can test ride Hobie Mirage Drive kayaks on the Hyatt Lagoon.  This is one of the most popular parts of the show.  Many Hobie kayaks will be in the water for patrons to test drive.  The lagoon is also a popular place to try out new fishing tackle.  Casting from Daiwa, Shimano and Avet is possible all day long.  It’s a great place to see how far and how accurately you can cast the new equipment.

The Deep Blue Dive Pool is a place to learn to SCUBA Dive.  Step into a “dry suit” over your clothes and step into the pool.  When you are done step out of the suit and you are dry and ready to see more of the show.  Next to the Learn to Dive Pool is a new Off-Road section with some very cool off-road products and equipment.

The Fred Hall Long Beach Show has always been a great boat show, but for 2019 there will be more boats displayed than ever before.  It used to be just a great fishing boat show but now there is everything: high performance boats; cruisers, pontoon boats; tow-boats; bass boats; and every kind and size of offshore fishing boat used in Southern California.  If you want to find the perfect kayak…this is the show.

Or course family fun activities are always a part of a Fred Hall Show.  For 2019 they include:  The Ultimate Air Dogs; The SoarDist Great American Duck Races; The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show; Casting in the City Kids Casting Contest; The Mammoth Lakes/Shakespeare Kids Fish Free Trout Pond; Archery; Air Gun Range; the CDFW Laser Shot Game; Evike Soft Air Range; the Daiwa Kids Touch Tank and The Costa Sporting Chef Café.

Next in the lineup of shows is the Fred Hall Central Valley Sports Show March 15-17 at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield.  This is a 42-year old show but it has taken on a new twist over the last two years as the Fred Hall crew has put a new “spin “ on it.  The “Bakersfield Show” as it is called, is one of the largest RV Shows in the Western United States.  Over 400 RV’s will be on display at this 3-day show.

There are 3 main buildings at the Bakersfield Show.  One of them is entirely devoted to fishing and fishing related businesses.  This is a new edition by the Fred Hall Show crew.  Anchored by Cope’s Tackle, this is a wonderful fishing tackle part of the show.  The 805/Okuma Bass Bin will also be making an appearance just outside this building with dozens of seminars each day.

The Fred Hall Central Valley Sports Show is Kern Counties largest boat show with acres of boats on display.  Bass boats, pontoon boats, towboats, offshore fishing boats and kayaks.  The boats are both inside and outside of the buildings.

The Super Cruise car show takes center stage on Saturday with over 500 antique cars on display.  In addition to all of this there is a full array of family fun activities including the SoarDist Great American Duck Races, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, the Dock Dogs Regional Challenge, the Bako Sand Drags , the Super TT motorcycle races, field dog training, agility dogs, great food and music.  This show is, truly, a full day of family fun.

And then the Fred Hall Circuit comes to a glorious close with, what many consider to be their favorite Fred Hall Show, the Fred Hall Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  This 43-year-old event is the fifth largest show in the nation and a jewel for the people of San Diego County.  Nestled along the coast in beautiful Del Mar California, this iconic show has everything you’d want in a show of this kind but without the craziness of it’s big brother “the Long Beach show”.

This is San Diego’s oldest and largest boat show, San Diego’s only fishing show and a world-class fishing and sportsman’s travel show.  Acres of boats, over 500 booths and a full day of family fun, just like all the other Fred Hall Shows.  There is the Daiwa Saltwater Tank , the Daiwa Kids Touch Tank, the 805/Okuma Bass Bin, the Accurate Fishing Tackle Main Seminar Stage, The Hobie Kayak Fishing Theater, The Mammoth Lakes Seminar Stage, the Costa Sporting Chef Café, the Mammoth Lakes/Shakespeare Kids Fish Free Trout Pond, the SoarDist Great American Duck Races, the San Diego County Ford Dealers Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, the Ultimate Air Dogs, Kids Casting Contest from Casting in the City, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Recruitment Trailer with a laser shot game, air gun range, fly casting, archery and new for this year Super TT motorcycle racing with riding schools and kids instruction on a oval or dirt track.

The Fred Hall Shows truly are the Ultimate Outdoor Experience.  There is nothing else like them in our part of the world.  Stop by all or any one of the Fred Hall Shows in 2019…you’ll have a great time and you’ll want to come again.