At 2016 Fred Hall Show, Passion For Fishing

By on March 18, 2016
Event-goers at the 2016 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach, California. (Credit: Marc Marcantonio)

If you are like me, fishing isn’t just something we do, it is who we are. Fishing is many things: a hobby, a sport, an escape, a spiritual moment, a family connection, recreation, and much more. Put simply, fishing may best be described as a passion.

The 70th Annual Fred Hall Show’s theme for 2016 was “Celebrate the Passion.” Having just participated in the Fred Hall Show at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California (from March 2-6), clearly the fishing passion is catching on!

The turnout of attendees was impressive and clearly earns this show’s reputation as the world’s largest fishing and boating show. Adding many family activities and entertainment from the Trout Pond to the Great American Duck Races, the show is more accurately described as a family recreation show.

A second Southern California Fred Hall show also occurs annually at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego (March 17-20). Anyone involved in any aspect of fishing, from product development to sales or service, owes it to themselves to learn more about these events. A great video produced by Angler Chronicles tells the story, and is front and center on the show’s website (

Many trends from fashion, to your passion, start on the West Coast. Opportunities abound out West and anglers compete for their fair share. Considering the number of anglers and the abundant clear waters including both fresh- and saltwater, it is no surprise that special baits and techniques have to be developed and utilized to turn fishing into catching. If your passion is to be on the leading edge of innovation, this is the show you want to attend.

Event-goers at the 2016 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach, California view the freshwater demo tanks. (Credit: Marc Marcantonio)

Event-goers at the 2016 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach, California view the freshwater demo tanks. (Credit: Marc Marcantonio)

The popularity rise of kayaks for serious fishing was evident throughout the show. Both salt- and freshwater fishing with kayaks is the rage, and hot new products were everywhere from specialty tackle to electronics.

I had the opportunity to work at the factory Navico Booth, which featured Lowrance and Simrad electronics. Like many manufacturers, the show is utilized to demonstrate products to help anglers learn how to better enjoy their recreation. For instance, the free Lowrance Learning Center class offered at the Fred Hall Shows allows anglers to sit in front of a Lowrance HDS Gen3 fishfinder/chartplotter, and receive hands-on tutored training on how to operate their electronics to catch more fish. The training equally applies to freshwater anglers who tend to favor Lowrance products and to the saltwater anglers who more often prefer the sister Simrad product line.

Another interesting feature of the Fred Hall Shows is participation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. As a former fisheries biologist myself, the value of having attendance by those who conserve our valuable outdoor opportunities cannot be underestimated. They are there to answer your questions and listen to your concerns. It is our opportunity to provide input how our passion is regulated. And they even sell fishing licenses to the entire family on the spot.

If your passion includes Calico or Largemouth Bass, Sailfish or Salmon, Tuna or Trout, and everything related from boats to tackle or destination trips, this is a show you don’t want to miss.

Top image: Event-goers at the 2016 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach, California. (Credit: Marc Marcantonio)

About Marc Marcantonio

Marc Marcantonio is a professional bass angler who has competed in tournaments for 40 years, and won numerous Championships and AOY awards in 6 states. He fishes all species (both freshwater and saltwater) and holds many records including former State Records and an IGFA World Record. Marc is also a veteran outdoor writer and fisheries biologist.

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