The Fred Hall Western Fishing Tackle and Boat Show, which runs Wednesday through March 8 at the Long Beach Convention Center, is the most popular fishing show in the Southland. More than 250,000 attended last year and at least as many are expected this year.
For many, the show, in its 53rd year, signals the end of winter and serves as a reminder that the spring and summer fishing seasons are close at hand.
There will be about 20 seminars daily--in casting ponds and at the popular Hawg Trough--by noted experts such as Mike Gardner (saltwater bay and near-shore fishing), Rich Tauber and Don Iovino (largemouth bass), and Nick Curcione, Terry and Wendy Gunn and Ned Long (fly fishing).
Loren Grey, son of author, sportsman and adventurer Zane Grey and an author himself of such works as "Zane Grey and the Great Blue Marlin" and "Fishing Before Business," will make an appearance on opening day.
In all, there will be 1,200 exhibits and booths--featuring everything from exotic fishing expeditions to a new organization called PESCA for surf and shore fishermen--and 200 makes of fishing boats; a trout pond for young anglers and Bongo Girl fashion shows for their vogue-minded parents.
Hours are: 2-10 p.m., Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday. Cost is $9 for adults. Children 12 and under are admitted free.
Fish and Game
Silverwood Lake in San Bernardino County will be getting trout plants from the Department of Fish and Game for the first time in nearly five years, beginning in early March. The planting of hatchery-raised rainbow trout was halted because of heavy predation by striped bass. A draw-down construction project, recently completed, was believed to have knocked the striper population down considerably. The trout plants will resume until a three-year creel census project is completed to determine how many trout are being caught by fishermen compared to stripers.
South of the border: The first swordfish of the season off Mazatlan, a 220-pounder, was caught last week by a Hawaii angler fishing aboard the yacht Salsa. Overall, however, fishing has been slow at the Mexican resort. Cabo San Lucas remains the destination of choice for striped marlin, with most boats scoring multiple catches. An influx of squid could be followed by an influx of swordfish. The best dorado fishing is up in the gulf off San Jose del Cabo and the East Cape. Sailfish are fairly plentiful off Zihuatanejo, but fishing is not great.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's annual dinner and benefit auction, the proceeds going to various wildlife and habitat projects, will be held Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at 21433 Strathern St., Canoga Park. Details: (818) 709-0577.
Conservation: Dick Conti, water-hole coordinator for the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep, is looking for volunteers to help on any of a series of projects planned this winter and spring. Most involve camping in the desert and fairly strenuous hiking, repairing "guzzlers" and counting majestic bighorn sheep. The first project is Saturday in the Whipple Mountains in southeast San Bernardino County. Details: (213) 256-0463.