The Fred Hall Show 2012

After a one year hiatus, I was finally able to return to the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach. Boy, was I glad I could!
Touted as “The Ultimate Outdoor Experience”, it is one of those outdoor expos that truly lives up to it’s billing. Whether you’re into fishing, hunting, boating, camping, or any combination thereof, this is the show for you. Or if you’re just looking for some fun, outdoors-related entertainment, you can find it there, too. From the Speed Shooting Show, to the Dock Dogs, free kid’s Trout fishing pond, the Great American Duck races, cooking classes with Scott “The Sporting Chef” Leysath, the archery Range, the air-gun ranges, the laser shot ranges, the hunting dog seminars, the Mammoth Lakes Fly Fishing Pavilion, the Trout fishing seminars, the saltwater seminars, the Lowrance electronics seminars, the Bass seminars in the Fred Hall Bass Tank, or even learning to SCUBA dive right there on the show floor, you will see why it could easily take more than one day to take in all the show has to offer.
Don Iovino & Mark "Caveman" AveryAfter having worked at the show for several years, and having attended many more, it is always great to run into old fishing friends. And, the very first I encountered upon entering the Long Beach Convention Center was the legendary Godfather of finesse fishing, Hall Of Famer Don Iovino. He was just sitting in his booth preparing for the onslaught that would be descending upon him shortly, when he looked up with a big smile and exclaimed, “Caveman!”. After catching up for a bit, securing several things from his collection of wares (including the hot new color “Honeycomb” for his 6″ finesse worm), and finding out when his first session on the Bass tank would be, I wished him a good show and assured him I would see him at his seminar.
As I headed down the aisle, I didn’t get 30 feet before another smile and warm salutation greeted me. “Mark!!!”, this time coming from one of the truly nicest people in fishing, Jarrett Edwards, host of the fishing show bearing his name which airs on both WFN and the Sportsman Channel.Jarrett Edwards & Mark "Caveman" Avery I quickly learned that not only was my friend feeling fit and fine after his brave battle with cancer, but that his wife, Rebecca, and he were expecting their first child in early May. We walked over to his spot in the show and he introduced me to his wife. Even though I’ve know Jarrett as long as I’ve known my daughter, I had never met his better half before. After all the wonderful pleasantries, and congratulations on his great showing (both, on TV and in his wife’s belly), we talked about the incredible program they have launched: Operation Outdoors USA. Last year it was a boat, this year it’s a truck that the Edwards are taking around the country for veterans to sign and then donating to the Lone Survivor Foundation, which focuses on the healing aspect of wounded and affected soldiers and their families through outdoor activities like fishing, shooting and horseback riding.Kevin & Danny Johnson
Just as I was about to bid them adieu, who walks up to say “Hi” to Jarrett and sign the boat? None other than FLW Tour Professional Kevin Johnson (who nearly took home the US Open title in 2010) and his son Danny. It was my first time meeting Kevin, who was very cordial and willing to not only talk fishing but to also lament our common ailment: Fisherman’s elbow. After comparing remedies, and watching him sign the truck, I hit the show floor full bore checking out the offerings from the likes of Daiwa, Berkley/Abu Garcia, Yo-Zuri, the Angler’s Marine Ranger Boats and the Last Chance Tackle Phoenix Boats on display, just to name a few.
I then made it back in time to catch most of the informative and entertaining seminar from Bobby “Frog King” Barrack on the Bass tank, and then saw all of Don Iovino’s session filled with world-class finesse tips. I also got reacquainted with west coast fishing legend and TV host Ronnie Kovach, ocean pro Mike Gardner, saltwater rock star Jimmy Decker and also got to meet 2008 US Open Champ Justin Kerr. Plus, I got to take advantage of a few of the great tackle deals that are offered at the show.
Before I knew it, my day was done … and I hadn’t even done or seen everything I had hoped to. See what I mean about needing more than one day for this show?!? If you are in So Cal between now and Sunday, don’t walk, RUN to the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach. It truly is “The Ultimate Outdoor Experience”.

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