Fred Hall Show 2018

Tessa Granieri, 9, with the fish she caught at the Long Beach Convention Center for the 2018 The Fred Hall Show. 

"Some kids catch their first fish at the Fred Hall Show, and that's something they can maybe remember for the rest of their lives," Bart Hall, son of founder Fred Hall, said.

Seventy-four years ago, the Fred Hall Show made its debut in Los Angeles.

It was the first sportsman show of its kind, and today, it is the the world's largest fishing and outdoor convention.

"My dad went to his boss and said, 'We should do a sportsman show," Bart Hall, son of founder Fred Hall, told the Grunion last year. "Of course back then those didn't exist, so his boss's reply was something like 'Well, what the hell is a sportsman show anyway?'"

Since then, the show has continued to grow and move locations, with the biggest show happening in Long Beach.

And with more sporting good features, including demonstrations and professional seminars, it's popping up in three locations throughout the month of March, kicking off on Wednesday, March 4, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The following week, operations are moved to the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield and then rounds out the month at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego.

This year, there's going to be more than 400 seminars and exhibits spanning the four days of the show. Many of the exhibits will feature old favorites, but there's going to be plenty of new things to see, too.

"Because Long Beach is so popular, a lot of companies wait until the show to introduce some of their new stuff," Hall said. "So people who want to be in the know about the latest technology will get in the know while here."

This year, new brands include Opkix, a camera small enough to mount on glasses, which Hall said could change the game for people who like to record their adventures.

"It's smaller than a GoPro and requires less equipment and it's incredibly light," he said. "I think it's going to revolutionize outdoor recreation, especially for people who enjoy recording their outings for Youtube and all that."

A 30-foot-long trailer will be on site for all guests to demo the Opkix camera.

The Olympic dive pool will return. Guests can show up, borrow a wet suit and learn the diving basics from a professional diving instructor. 

"You don't need to bring anything with you, you just have to show up," Hall said. "You do have to be okay with getting your hair wet, though. But we have the towels and as long as you're okay with walking around with your hair wet, you're good to go."

Fred Hall Show 2017

There's plenty of workshops offered for interests of all types during the Fred Hall Show.

Another bonus to having the show in Long Beach is the lagoon right next to the convention center. There will be casting and rowing demonstrations, with a new boat or two to check out.

"We've had the show here for so many years, that some people's first memory of casting a line is from the Fred Hall Show," Hall said. "Memories like that stick with you, and might even inspire you."

But, the best part about the show is that there's something for all outdoor lovers to enjoy, from fly fishers to rock climbers to mountain bikers, Hall said.

"I love working on this show every year," he said. "A lot of hard work and love goes into it."

The 74th annual Fred Hall Show is taking place from 1 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, through Friday, March 6, and from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7. The last day of the show takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. It's all happening at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 62 and older and $15 for active and veteran military (tickets must be purchased at the ticket window with military i.d). Children 15 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult.

For more information and a full list of events, go to fredhall.com.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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