Fred Hall Show: 2018 Edition

I went to the show on Opening Day (Wednesday) on a quest to find some new and interesting things to write about, setup a trip or two, restock on consumable stuff (jigs, plastic, hooks, line etc.) and just soak it all in.

Over the years, my perspective on the show has changed.  The first year I went, I went fanboy on Brandon Hayward and had him sign my copy of The Southern California Angler (right – out-of-print but pick it up if you can find it).  I was a little more product-deal focused back then.  Still, it was thrilling to see the people that I’d read about, heard on the radio, or seen on tv.

Today, I’m lucky to play a role in the industry.  I still like a deal as much as the next guy (here’s what went in my bag), but it isn’t a driving factor behind why I go.

I am shopping for a few specific tools, so it’s great to go to one place, pull on rods from different manufacturers (or hold the reel, feel the line etc.) and talk directly to the factory reps.  I definitely gained some perspective that I think will ultimately lead to more satisfying buying decisions.

When it was all said and done, my favorite part of the show is seeing all my friends.  A bunch of us went to dinner after closing out Day 1.  I was kicking around ideas about what to write about for this article.  My buddy Nick Lam (Seeker pro staffer who I did the SF Rockfish & Crab trip with) made a great point.  “We’re all ‘the fishing guy’ at our real job.  It’s just nice to be surrounded by like minded people.”

100% Agree

Top Tips For The Show

1. Have A Plan – write down what you are looking for and what manufacturers’ products you have an interest in checking out for that product category.  If there are seminars you want to see, set an alarm/alert at the time it’s on.  Be flexible, but jotting down a few things will help you make the most of your time at the show.
2. Take A Seat – aside from the seminars you may want to see, drop in and check out one you didn’t set an alarm for.
Juvenile black seabass in Daiwa saltwater tank

Sometimes, a totally different perspective can spark an idea for something else.  If all else fails, it gives you time to sit with a friend and chat (sit away from the folks intent on the seminar).  I’m game to go sit by the saltwater tank and observe anytime.

I loved sitting in on the Sporting Chef, Scott Leyseth.  Something he did with opah, I will definitely use (hopefully on an opah, but with other fish too).  Don’t be so intent on walking the floor that you miss out on these opportunities to connect with people.
In Other News
You’ll remember that I wrote back in September about Bo Scanlon, a commercial fisherman out of Oceanside catching what was thought to be a new California state record yellowfin tuna.
Well it is now official.  Congrats to Bo for having his catch certified by the DFW for his 265 lb., rod and reel caught, yellowfin tuna as the new state record!
All for now.  Good luck if you get out there!
Joe Sarmiento
Joe Sarmiento is the founder and primary writer of the So Cal Salty blog. The blog covers saltwater fishing, primarily aboard the many sportfishing b...