55th annual Fred Hall Show

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FRED HALL SHOW

Jim Matthews column

6mar02

Fred Hall show ongoing through this weekend.

The 55th annual Fred Hall Fishing Tackle and Boat Show is ongoing today through Sunday at the Long Beach Convention Center. This event has always been the unofficial kickoff to the Southern California fishing season, and it remains one of the largest sportsman shows in the nation with literally hundreds of displays and booths featuring the latest fishing and boating products, destinations, and sportfishing charter boats. Speakers are giving presentation and seminars are conducted almost continuously.

But the show has two new wrinkles this year. First, its going retro. For the first time in 40 years, the classic lumberjack show has returned. Think of it as a large slice of the ESPN Outdoor Games on stage -- log rolling, speed chopping, artistic axe sculptures, and all of it live. Second, a major press conference has been planned for today (Thursday) that will reveal the results of an American Sportfishing Association (ASA) study detailing the economic impacts of marine closures along the coastline. The ASA, which has partnered up with the Hall family to run this annual show, and the entire sportfishing community was alarmed by the proposal to close many of the best nearshore and offshore fishing areas along the coast to all fishing, including sportfishing. The study was commissioned to gauge the economic impact of these proposals. A spokesman for the ASA, without revealing details, simply said the results were "dramatic."

Sportfishermen throughout California have lined up against blanket sportfishing closures, and United Anglers is making its biggest membership push ever at the Hall Show this year. With a booth just outside the show entrance, anyone who signs up for membership ($35) gets into the show free and they receive a coupon booklet with rebates and discounts worth over $500.

"If a guy signs up for United Anglers at the show and uses just one of the coupons over the course of the year, he'll get all of his money back," said Mike Lum, who's working with Hall and the ASA. "But there's a lot bigger issue involved -- and that is helping to protect sportfishing."

The show is open 2 to 10 p.m. today through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, with kids 15 and under free. For more information or directions, call (562) 436-3636.

End article

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Fred Hall to feature lumberjack show

March 5, 2002

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register

They will try to knock each other off a log into the water. They will cut through logs with a chainsaw. They will toss axes at targets.

These aren't things you expect to see at the Fred Hall Fishing Tackle and Boat Show, but only because you don't remember the shows from the early to mid-1950's.

In an effort to bring more family entertainment to the show, Bart Hall decided to add the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show to this year's event.

So the 55th annual Fred Hall Show, from Wednesday through Sunday at the Long Beach Convention Center, will feature a lumberjack show for the first time in 46 years.

Lee LeCaptain of St. Cloud, Fla., has been producing the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show for 30 years. He will be joined by Darren Hudson of Nova Scotia.

In a 35-minute show, the two world champions will compete in wood chopping, dragster chainsaws, ax toss and log rolling, the crowd favorite.

"People go crazy over that because if you fall, you get soaking wet," LeCaptain said. "There's no mistake (who wins)."

Hall came up with the idea of adding the lumberjack show while searching for something that would interest kids.

Perusing old show scrapbooks, he saw photos of competing lumberjacks and remembered seeing them at his dad's show as a kid.

"I'll bet children of this town never saw a lumberjack before," Hall said.

They'll get a chance this week.

Also new at the show will be the "Just For Kids" seminars at the saltwater tank.

The Kids Fish Free Trout Tank, an old show favorite, again will be available.

Other features include Labrador retrieving demonstrations from Feather Ranch Kennels, kayak demonstrations, outdoor cooking shows, boat displays, many booths for tackle and travel, and the usual number of fishing seminars.

Renowned TV fishing personalities Jimmy Houston and Hank Parker are among the guest speakers.

Show hours are 2-10 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Adults are $10, 15 and under free. Call (562) 436-3636.
 

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