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Isabella Derby Update

From our man George Stahl with the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce:

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10-year-old Joseph Gutierrez of Bakersfield with the first “tagged” trout of the Derby; his $100 Bobber Bowl winnings are sponsored by
Royal Oaks Mobile Home Park.

 

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Martin Lang of Granada Hills, CA brought in a 19-inch trout he caught taking the No. 1 spot for the longest fish award as of 11:45am.

A few of the others who are in the running as of noon were: Lynne Sandlin of Kernville, 17 1/2 inches; Bakersfield’s Martin Giuntoli at 17 3/4 inches; James Jones of Palmdale, 18 1/2 inches; and Harry Smith of Lake Isabella weighing in at 17 3/4 inches.

There is still plenty of time however, for someone to come in with a longer trout! Lang was the third fisherman to claim the coveted spot this morning!
Any one of the 1,732 entrants is in play for this year’s Longest Trout Contest!

The Lake Isabella Fishing Derby continues through Monday.

Sac River Striper Update

Our friend at MSJ Guide Service, Marysville Capt. Manuel Saldana Jr., had this update on the Sacramento River action:

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(Friday) I fished out of the Tisdale area.
Carolyn and Ron, both of Sacramento and Rob from Canada had a blast hooking and landing their limits of stripers by 10:40 am!!
Carolyn had big fish honors with a 33-inch,  10.2-pound male and her husband came close with his 29-inch, 9-pound male. Rob hooked a good striper earlier in the day that could have gave a run for her money for big fish of the day but it popped off, That’s the way it goes some times. Overall, good job on the water today everyone.

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I still have some open dates, so give me a call (530) 301-7455 if you want to get in on this great striper action.

Capt. Manuel

MSJGuideService

 

Collins Lake Catches

 

Some pics courtesy of Collins Lake:

Jim Hunskaer, Antelope, with a 10-pound-plus rainbow.

Jim Hunskaer, Antelope, with a 10-pound-plus rainbow.

 

John and Kim with their little girls Kylah and Hailey, with four limits of trout.

John and Kim with their little girls Kylah and Hailey, with four limits of trout.

 

 

"Miles Hansard from Brownsville had a very successful fishing trip with his dad, it was Miles' first fishing Trip and together they hooked eight trout!"

“Miles Hansard from Brownsville had a very successful fishing trip with his dad, it was Miles’ first fishing Trip and together they hooked eight trout!”

Gabe and Tai from Alameda with their 14-pound, 12-ounce catfish caught from shore in front of their campsite on PowerBait.

Gabe and Tai from Alameda with their 14-pound, 12-ounce catfish caught from shore in front of their campsite on PowerBait.

For more on Collins Lake, go to collinslake.com or call 1 (800) 286-0576

More On Abalone

 

Photo by James Kasper

Photo by James Kasper

Following up on an abalone season opener post from earlier in the week, here’s this report from NOAA on what abalone diving used to be like:

The era of abalone-rich waters, retired fishermen recalls collecting daily limit with one dive

Spring 2015

Ken Nielson, a retired commercial fisherman and conservationist, grew up in southern California at a time when marine resources were plentiful and coastal development was minimal. One of his first childhood memories was skindiving and hunting for abalone with Bob Lorhman, a dear childhood friend who would later become his business partner. These formative experiences led both young men to become commercial fishermen and avid abalone sport divers. Their passion for abalone began in the 1950s and lasted until 1997, when overfishing and disease caused the commercial and sport fisheries to close in southern California.

Nielsen remembers what it was like when abalone numbers were so large that one breath was all it took to get the daily limit of 10. “Abalone were such a big part of our lives. We started diving for them when we were 13 years old and we knew the best places to find them along the coast, from Newport Beach to Oceanside,” Nielsen recalls. The absence of abalone from tidal habitats today is a stark reminder of how prevalent this resource once was. Now, historical insights like Nielsen’s are informing the work of scientists working to restore abalone populations coast-wide.

Prior to a commercial fishery, abalone sustained native people along coastal California and the islands for thousands of years. Large “middens,” deposits of abalone shells indicating human settlement, date back 7,400 years and dot the landscape of coastal California. Abalone shells were also highly prized and traded along routes originating in southern California and Baja California and extending east of the Mississippi River.

In more recent times, abalone attracted commercial and sport fishermen and were a delicacy for beachgoers. The first commercial fisheries originated with Chinese immigrants, who collected abalone from intertidal zones, and then later with Japanese immigrants, who dove for abalone in coastal waters. The Chinese dried and canned abalone for export to Asia; and by 1879, their landings reached over 4.1 million pounds, which prompted overfishing concerns by the State of California. However, it wasn’t until 1900 that legislation made it illegal to fish for abalone in shallow water. With the closure of the intertidal fishery, Chinese participation essentially stopped and local Japanese divers took the lead in the abalone industry for several decades before other fishermen entered the commercial fishery.

By the 1950s, the commercial abalone fishery, managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), consisted of 500 permitted fishermen and approximately 60 boats. At its peak in the 1980s, the commercial abalone fishery was worth approximately $10 million, or roughly $28 million in today’s dollars. At this same time, the popularity of skindiving rose, which supported a thriving abalone sport fishery. The red abalone sport fishery that still exists in northern California today was recently valued at $23 million, providing a significant boost for the local economy.

“Abalone were very valuable to the coastal communities in California and beyond. We had so many abalone all the time that we actually traded them for meat at the market,” claimed Nielsen.  “There was this sense that abalone were never going to disappear and we could just keep diving for them.”

Despite its abundance, commercial landing data for red abalone started to show signs of the population’s decline in the 1960s. Fishermen shifted from one abalone species to the next—pink, green, white, and black—and they all declined sequentially. Landings were only at 4 percent of their historical peak in 1996—the last year of the commercial abalone fishery before it was closed by CDFW.

At this same time, abalone were experiencing large die-offs from Withering Syndrome, a disease that causes the abalone’s characteristic muscular “foot” to wither and atrophy. “After the commercial abalone fishery closed we were out in the water and saw large numbers of abalone on the ocean bottom tumbling back and forth in the surge. It was heartbreaking,” said Nielsen. “We thought the abalone may possibly bounce back after a few years, but when we saw what this disease was doing, we had the sense that it was going to be much more difficult for them to recover—though still possible, of course.”

To make recovery a reality, NOAA Fisheries and partners are taking a multi-faceted approach to abalone restoration that incorporates current knowledge of disease patterns and accounts for genetic diversity. The approach involves spawning and rearing of surrogate abalone species such as pinks, greens, pintos, and reds to refine outplanting methods that will then be transferred to recovering white and black abalone—two federally endangered species. Once these methods are refined and implemented, we will begin rebuild abalone populations coast-wide.

NOAA Fisheries is also using historical commercial fishery landing data, collected by CDFW, to locate suitable outplanting sites for white abalone in the future. Scientists are conducting dive surveys and employing remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, to further explore areas where insights, like Nielsen’s, suggest white abalone were landed historically along the southern California mainland and the Channel Islands.

It was not so long ago that beachgoers could pluck abalone from any tidepool in southern California. The return of abalone to coastal habitats is possible through the dedication of many partners who are working toward a unified vision of recovery. With this in mind, Nielsen is hopeful that his great grandchildren will someday enjoy diving for abalone just as he once did as a young boy.

LEARN MORE about abalone conservation…

KEEP UP TO SPEED on abalone research, conservation, and protection…

 

 

 

Girls, Guns And Dangerous Game

Red Bluff-based clothing mavens Jenifer Adams and Norissa Harman of Girls With Guns go international in new TV series, Universal Huntress

By Chris Cocoles

They’ve come a long ways, metaphorically at least, from designing outdoor fashion clothes for women out of a home garage in Northern California. Jenifer Adams and Norissa Harman had a vision that spawned a successful company, Girls With Guns Clothing.

But while the gals remain small-town at heart, choosing to continue their work out of Red Bluff, a quiet hamlet of 14,000 off Interstate 5, 130 miles north of Sacramento, even for these ambitious entrepreneurs, traveling across a continent, an ocean and hunting the wild lands of Africa in front of a TV camera was something altogether different.

The girls with guide Yvan Nieuwoudt and a South African white rhino that was darted and examined to check on its health progress.  (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

The girls with guide Yvan Nieuwoudt and a South African white rhino that was darted and examined to check on its health. (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Just as the Girls With Guns brand has taken off, Adams and Harman just seem to have found a niche on Universal Huntress TV, a Sportsman Channel series that premiered in December.

We see Adams and Harman crisscrossing the African continent (and New Zealand), not only hunting exotic species but also experiencing new cultures and engaging in adventures like skydiving, hot air ballooning and bungee jumping.

“We are definitely outside the box,” says Adams, the more adrenaline-charged half of the team. “You’re going to see about 75 percent hunting and 25 percent will be something exciting, something fun. And the main part is Norissa and I are best friends who started in our garage to design a clothing line. We’ve grown the company so much, we have opportunities to talk a little bit about who we are and where we came from.”

The idea for their show came from a world away. Adams and Harman were on their way to the Sacramento International Sportsman Exposition when we caught up with them in January. Ironic, since that was where they met South African Emaneul “Kappie” Kapp. Sort of.

A YEAR AGO, Kapp, a publisher and outdoor film producer, was walking the aisles at the massive outdoors show and saw the Girls With Guns booth. He had an idea to discuss a possible television show opportunity. Unfortunately, the ladies weren’t there at that time.

“I’d played around with the idea of a women hunting show for a while and they sounded like the perfect fit,” Kapp says. “I left my business card at their booth and requested they call me.”

With their professional hunting guide Yvan Nieuwoudt giving instruction, Jenifer Adams prepares to take a shot at a black wildebeest and Norissa Harman shoots footage during an episode of Universal Huntress TV. The duo own and operate Red Bluff-based clothing company Girls With Guns.  (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

With their professional hunting guide Yvan Nieuwoudt giving instruction, Jenifer Adams prepares to take a shot at a black wildebeest and Norissa Harman shoots footage during an episode of Universal Huntress TV. The duo own and operate Red Bluff-based clothing company Girls With Guns.
(UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Kapp thought Adams’ go-for-it attitude was reminiscent of himself. Harman, admittedly the “chicken one” of these two BFFs, seemed more like Kapp’s wife, Chantelle, also a member of the production team.

“One of the things Kappie told us is he was looking for something a little different,” Adams says.

But even Kapp wasn’t sure what to expect when “I got a call from two girly girls from Northern California.”

“We spoke on the phone a couple of times and I eventually got them on a plane to South Africa,” Kapp says. “I met them for the first time in person at O.R. Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg (South Africa).”

They hadn’t known each other besides some conversations done over Skype, but the chemistry among those behind and in front of the camera made for a great match.

Harman says during production her and Kapp’s relationship is more like a brother and sister who may bicker while shooting in some of the most remote and wild lands on earth, but are indeed like family at the end of the day.

Adams, here with a wildebeest, says, “I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Adams, here with a wildebeest, says, “I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

“Since we’ve met each other, it’s been for the better. He’s taken us out of our world, where we grew up, to his world, to show his perspective,” Harman says. “For that, I’m very grateful for him. I think there have been a lot of special moments that we’ve all done together and he’s been there to see us grow. To capture that together, it’s been fun.”

Over the course of filming, Kapp found the stars of his show learning from their mistakes, both on the actual hunts and the process of producing episodes of a TV show in the African bush. They went through hours upon hours of footage, narrowing them down to fit into the 22 minutes of running time.

Adams and Harman even found themselves operating a second camera as B-roll footage. (Among the guests on the first season was aspiring country music singer Morgan Mills, who wrote and produced the show’s theme song, Let’s Ride, sung by Mills and featuring established country music performer Colt Ford.) 

Adams says the relatively small crew on-hand during production simplifies the process.

“When you’re hunting you already have your guide or PH (professional hunter), your cameraman, and Norissa and I always hunt together. Through Kappie, he’s taught us some limited camera skills,” Adams says.

“They had to learn how to be comfortable in front of the camera, and it took some guidance to get them to relax and not feel uncomfortable,” Kapp says. “I still provide them with guidance, but they’ve come a long way from our first hunt.”

ON THE FIRST episode, Harman and Adams joined guide Marius Kotze of Rhinoland Safaris (rhinoland.co.za) in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. They were greeted on a dirt road by roaming elephants and rhinos and their land cruiser became temporarily stuck in the middle of a rising river – just a typical day of mayhem on an African safari.

“I think I learned a lot about myself on that trip,” Adams says. “Just getting out of the country, seeing some amazing people and being in some awesome hunting territory. It was just surreal. I fell in love with Africa on that trip.”

Harman (here with a bull gemsbok she harvested in South Africa) is the less adventurous of the duo, but she conquered some fears by engaging in both skydiving and bungee jumping. “I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

Harman (here with a bull gemsbok she harvested in South Africa) is the less adventurous of the duo, but she conquered some fears by engaging in both skydiving and bungee jumping. “I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.” (UNIVERSAL HUNTRESS TV)

The girls harvested their first African continent plains game animals on the first show. Adams successfully hunted an impala, zebra and kudu on that initial two-week trip; Harman got an impala and kudu.

Adams also hunted two of Africa’s “Dangerous 7 Game” animals, lion and hippopotamus.

“That lion hunt, it was the first time I had ever hunted an animal where it wanted to hunt me back,” she says.

On the pilot episode, when the women both made successful shots, they became overcome with emotion, particularly Harman.

“(Viewers) didn’t get to see the whole story. I actually missed (the shot) a couple times on that trip,” she says. “The animals are different there. They are really fast moving and I think my nerves got the best of me – having a camera on you, that whole factoring into making a good shot. So, of course, when I did shoot my kudu, I’m such an emotional person and wear my heart on my sleeve, I can’t help it. I cry a lot and this whole season you’ll see lots of tears.”

Adams is not one who shows her emotions so quickly – there’s that yin-yang trait between them again – but also had a moment during the time between the shot and the confirmation that the animal was down. Adams thinks the anticipation of where they were and the stalking process created so much tension it felt natural to let loose a few joyous tears. 

“One thing is certain – they truly love what they do and they are emotional when it comes to the beautiful trophy they have harvested. Sometimes it’s laughter and at other times it’s tears, but there is always a lot of emotion involved,” Kapp says. “Our TV show is in real time and with no reenactment, and therefore the real emotional scenes on camera are (compelling).”

The pitch of two hunters with such different personalities would be an easy one for a producer to have interest in. On one side of the table a risk taker willing to push her entire stack of chips into the pot at any time; on the opposite side, a risk avoider who raises an eyebrow at even the slightest of all-in moves.

Guess which Girls With Guns business partner did not have parachuting out of a plane over Africa on her bucket list?

“We are a good balance,” Harman says. “I think a lot of it is just the unknown. We’d never done anything like that. When I got there I had no intention of doing that. I mean, why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good plane? But just the energy and meeting the people, the moment convinced me to try it. So I’m proud that I did it. Would I want to do it again? Probably not.”

There was also the cultural experience of visiting countries such as the Congo, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, which was priceless (an episode was also filmed in the south island of New Zealand).

Learning a few phrases of one of South Africa’s and Namibia’s official languages, Afrikaans, has inspired further studying of that dialect for future trips to that part of the world.

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“I think it’s a little bit humbling and life-changing and a little bit in our face,” Harman says. “Just because here in the U.S., we have the luxury of grabbing a glass of water, checking the Internet and going to the movies. And these people don’t have that luxury. Kids can’t just go to a faucet and grab a glass of water like we do. They’re going to watering holes or digging a hole in the middle of a dried-up creekbed to drink water with sand in it. Jen and I will probably keep those moments forever and never take for granted what we do have.”

Adams was floored by the diversity, both in the people of the various countries visited and the constantly changing topography. She didn’t expect to see mountains not unlike those located a short distance from her Northern California home (“I don’t think a lot of people realize that,” Adams says). It wasn’t long until they’d go from mountains to a sandy desert and then a rainforest.

“We were just so grateful for the opportunity (to be there) and to hunt in a situation we’ve never been in before,” Adams says. “To know where Norissa and I came from, we were able to see things that most of my family and people back home will never have the opportunity to see. I felt very lucky and blessed to be there.”    

AS WE’VE SEEN frequently in this social media-obsessed world, when you hunt, you’re likely to be frowned upon by the Twitter and Facebook crowd. If you’re a woman who hunts, it’s chaos on the keyboards. Vile online attacks of female hunters have gone viral with a sinister tone.

Most hunters understand and accept that the anti-hunting sentiment won’t be going away anytime soon, and a show like Universal Huntress TV will surely be considered taboo from day one with some refusing to find a common ground.

“One of the things that we’re learning as we go, and we hope the audience will learn with us; we try to ask questions and then ask more questions,” Adams says.

“We need to understand the importance of conservation. It is something that’s a little bit different here than in South Africa. But honestly, there isn’t that much of a difference – taking a mature animal and making sure that we don’t overhunt them. Norissa and I are trying to learn as we go and pass it onto our audience. I hope they’re able to see that.” Universal Huntress TV hopes the stories it tells – about hunting, about friendship, about culture and about conquering your fears can send a positive message. 

“It’s really for people to just be themselves. We have a lot of young girls who look up to us now, and we really never expected to be role models,” Harman says of her role as clothing designer but also messenger about the sport their line sells to. “So we just hope that they can see what hunting has done for Jen and I. It’s been a bonding experience, kind of like a sisterhood. So if there are girls out there doing this together, it’s something they’ll be able to share like we’ve shared. It’s important for us that they see that.”  CS

Editor’s note: New episodes of Universal Huntress TV can be seen on Mondays on the Sportsman Channel. More information can be found at thesportsmanchannel.com/shows/universal-huntress.com, Twitter (@univhuntress) and Facebook (facebook.com/universalhuntress). Check out Girls With Guns clothing apparel at gwgclothing.com, Twitter (@GirlswithGuns), and Facebook (facebook.com/girlswithgunsclothing).

Recreational Abalone Season to Open Along Northern California Coast

 

Photo courtesy of James Kasper

Photo courtesy of James Kasper

abalone diver
CDFW photo by Capt. Patrick Foy

California’s popular red abalone sport fishery season will open April 1 in most waters north of San Francisco Bay. However, new regulations effective last year closed parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online athttp://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=42101&inline=true.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) also enacted regulations last year that changed the start time from one-half hour before sunrise to 8 a.m. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The limit on abalone cards was also reduced from 24 to 18, but only a total of nine can be taken from Sonoma and Marin counties.

The changes were made because abalone abundance at eight index sites monitored by CDFW has declined over the years and the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan required a reduction in take. The 8 a.m. start time was proposed by CDFW wildlife officers who were witnessing large numbers of fishermen every low tide, and because it was becoming more difficult to find legal sized abalone (seven inches or greater measured along the longest shell diameter). During the search for legal sized abalone, increasing numbers of undersized abalone were being removed for measurement. It is likely that many abalone do not survive handling. The later start reduces the number of low tide days available for taking abalone, as well as the numbers of abalone taken and the number of undersized abalone killed during the search for legal sized abalone.

A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2015 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or atwww.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2014.asp.

Abalone licenses and report cards may be purchased online atwww.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing .

Cards should be returned to CDFW’s Fort Bragg office, 32330 North Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554. The return deadline is Jan. 31, 2016 but cards can be submitted early. The licensing webpage linked above also has a tab for reporting abalone catch online which may be done in place of returning the card by mail.

Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone were taken or no attempt was made to take abalone.

Abalone cling to rocks, from wave-swept intertidal ledges to deep ocean reefs, where they feed on kelp and other algae. It can take 12 years or more for abalone on the north coast to grow to legal size for harvest and biologists have concerns about the ability of the fishery to sustain current catch rates. Similar to rockfish, abalone are a long-lived species but have generally low rates of reproduction. The last major recruitment event for red abalone occurred more than 25 years ago and recent dive surveys have recorded lower densities of abalone at eight index sites.

Currently, the only ongoing abalone fishery in California is in the northern region of the state, which has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2013, the last year numbers are available, the catch estimated from abalone cards and telephone surveys was 230,000. The average catch has been about 254,000 annually for the past 12 years.

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open April 4

From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

California’s recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 4, 2015, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S.-Mexico border.Chinook2

The daily bag limit is two Chinook per day and no more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude), the minimum size limit is 20 inches total length. For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length.

For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used, and no more than one rod shall be used per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling.

Additional ocean salmon fishing regulations for the 2015 fishing season will be decided next month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during its April 11-16 meeting in Rohnert Park, and by the Fish and Game Commission at its April 17 teleconference. Final sport regulations will be published in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) 2015 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be posted online in May at wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

Three alternatives are currently being considered for California’s 2015 commercial and recreational ocean salmon regulations, including season dates, size limits, bag limits and quotas. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives, which can be found at the PFMC website at http://goo.gl/OEmIuR.

CDFW reminds anglers that retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

Registration Open For CDFW Hosted Muzzleloader Clinic In Merced Co.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program and the Safety First Shooting Association will jointly offer a black powder (muzzleloader) hunting clinic on Saturday, May 30.

The clinic will be held at the River Oaks Range in Merced County.

(photo by CDFW)

(photo by CDFW)

Designed for all skill levels, the clinic will include both lecture and live-fire exercises. The lecture portion will include a short history of black powder shooting, different styles of black powder rifles used today, how to safely load and shoot a black powder rifle, laws and regulations pertaining to black powder hunting and strategies for hunting with black powder firearms. The live-fire exercise will include target shooting with firearms.

(THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE)

 

The clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45. Youths 17 years and younger are free, but must be accompanied by adult.

Space is limited and participants must register in advance online. After registering, participants will receive an email with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring. CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.

An additional $5 range fee must be paid to the Safety First Shooting Association on the day of the clinic.

The River Oaks Range is located in Winton, seven miles north of Atwater.

 

Friends And Family Plan – Literally – For The Big Fred Hall Shows

How does the Hall family pull off the giant Long Beach and Del Mar sportsmen’s shows? It takes a small, but close-knit staff, reveals organizer Bart Hall

Story and Photos By Bart Hall

CAMARILLO—As we head into the 69th edition of the Fred Hall Shows in March, events of this scope and magnitude don’t just happen by accident. It takes careful coordination and detailed planning.

General manager Mike Lum heads a small Fred Hall Show staff. Lum has spent his entire life in the fishing and hunting industries. As a young man, he began working retail in local Southern California gun stores. Eventually, Lum was associated with Andrew’s Sporting Goods and helped to turn that company into the regional powerhouse that it eventually became. Those stores are now called Turner’s Outdoorsman, but it was Mike Lum who got them off the ground and laid the foundation for their eventual extreme success.

Bart Hall (left, with wife) Ginny, has taken over the lead for his late father,  whose Southern California outdoors shows turn 69 with Fred Hall Show events in Long Beach and San Diego. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Bart Hall (left, with wife) Ginny, has taken over the lead for his late father, whose Southern California outdoors shows turn 69 with Fred Hall Show events in Long Beach and San Diego. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Back in the days when the Fred Hall Shows were in the final stage of exhibiting at the now defunct Great Western Exhibit Center, it was Lum and I who convinced my father, Fred Hall, to allow retail selling at the shows. Before then the shows were truly just a place to “show” products. Selling was not allowed.

While Lum remained at Turner’s they had an exclusive on retail selling at the Fred Hall Shows. That ended when Lum moved on to a local sporting goods distribution company and eventually became an executive for an online sporting goods enterprise. He joined the Fred Hall Shows about 16 years ago and has become the person responsible for the detailed planning of these enormous events. His intimate knowledge of the retail business related to fishing and hunting is unmatched by any other person in the sports show business.

Morgan Hall (left) is Bart and Ginny Hall’s oldest son. His wife Katie has guided the shows’ transition into the electronic age. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Morgan Hall (left) is Bart and Ginny Hall’s oldest son. His wife Katie has guided the shows’ transition into the electronic age. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Complementing Lum is Tim Baker. He also came out of the Turner’s group, and at one time held the same title as Lum did at the local retail giant. Baker eventually went on to become the marketing manager of the Okuma Fishing Tackle Company. He has an intimate knowledge of the fishing business from both the perspective of retail sales and the manufacturing of fishing tackle. Baker is an avid hunter and has a wealth of knowledge about anything having to do with firearms and accessories. Tim is married to Lynne Baker and they have two lovely daughters, Teal and Brooke (yes,  he is an avid waterfowl hunter and angler). Lynne is obviously a patient and understanding woman. Their 2014 email Christmas card showed the family on an elk hunt.

Baker doesn’t allow the office to become too somber. Laughter is part of his aura. He and his family are welcome additions to the Fred Hall Show staff and we are lucky to have them.

A FAMILY BUSINESS

Katie Hall is married to Morgan Hall, the oldest son of me and my wife, Ginny. Katie is the smartest person in the room – any room – and she guides us through the maze of electronic gadgets and social media of the modern era. She is the operations director and keeps track of everything that goes on with the shows. Katie is part advertising agency, part graphic designer, part computer technician and part show analyst. Despite having two young children at home (Aidan and Samantha), she is always on top of her work and often works late into the night to stay ahead of the curve.

Ginny has been here for over 46 years. Once she married me, she married the Fred Hall Shows. Ginny also spent 20 years teaching around Los Angeles, and her many exploits into unchartered ground set her apart from the regular teaching community. Ginny spent 20 years pioneering the teaching industry and setting standards in challenged academic communities that will be hard to duplicate. Throughout all of that, she always worked for the Fred Hall Shows.

Sammy and Katie Hall participate in the kids’ trout, which will again feature several family-friendly events at the Fred Hall Shows. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

Sammy and Katie Hall participate in the kids’ trout, which will again feature several family-friendly events at the Fred Hall Shows. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

As my parents got older it was Ginny and I who did all of the “real” work of putting the shows together. Ginny remembers everything! Tell her your birthday and she’ll know it forever. I am cantankerous and often short with people. Ginny is funny, charming, pretty and extremely likeable. Many late nights and many long days spent working by us eventually lead to the greatest consumer sports shows on the planet. Today, Ginny is an owner and the associate producer of the Fred Hall Shows.

UNSUNG HEROES

Most Fred Hall Show attendees don’t get to see the people who make these shows possible. Dave Mandagie has been with us for most of his adult life. His beautiful wife Barbie and three special children, Amber, Ashley and Brooke, have all been a part of the Fred Hall Shows for decades.

Mandagie is a unique individual. He actually is the definition of unique individual. Dave is intelligent and extremely capable. He works hard and is quiet; he is sophisticated; he is also the funniest SOB on the planet. If we had only started writing down his soft-spoken, spur-of–the-moment improvised comments on things that have happened over the last 20 years, we would have a book that would make us all rich. Mandagie makes me laugh so hard I cannot breath. He is not just a great husband, father and worker, he is my friend – and that is a very short list.

Mandagie has put together a quality that staff includes Eric McCully, who is the guy you want next to you in the foxhole. In the dictionary under the word dependable they have McCully’s picture. He is husband to Chante and father to Dillon and Reese. McCully also brings us his cousin Jonathan Carlton from the same great gene pool.

Rick Gaskins and his wife Janet are also part of our group. Gaskins brings sanity and normality to this group of unique individuals around here and is a breath of fresh air.

Robbie Mandagie is Dave’s brother and the only person around giving Dave a run for the “unique individual” award (another outstanding gene pool, though Robbie may have hit his head on the bottom of that one!).

Billy Treviranus, his wife Terri and their sons Hunter and Colton give us some height at power forward. Just because Billy is tall and handsome doesn’t mean he can’t work. He can and he does. Terri has the brains in that outfit.

At one time, before Danny Mandagie went to work for the U.S. Border Patrol, he was part of the crew. Dave brought us Lyall Belquist when he was 13 years old. I had to call his mother to get permission for him to work with us. She assured us that fishing and hunting was his passion and she would appreciate it if we let him work with us. Lyall expects to get his doctorate in marine biology soon. The work he has done over the past several years on behalf of aquatic species and local anglers has been nothing short of miraculous. We are very proud of him.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FAMILY

Some of Ginny’s family help with the shows as well. Occasionally, Ginny’s brother Mike helps us. His beautiful daughter Crystal is married to one of our key exhibitors and works us at the front desk at the shows. My nephew, Ginny’s sister’s son, is also a great help. Jay Settle is big, energetic and always smiling and helpful. I like that guy. And, of course, there are Lindsey and Lindsey at the front desk. They are no relation to anyone, just friends of Crystal.

My sons, Morgan and Travis, grew up around the shows and their “papa” Fred, just as I did as a child. They love these events and help out every year when they can.

Now my grandchildren love them as well. Hannah is 13 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, beautiful like her mother, but she also looks like her “papa.” She’s a great student and a fantastic athlete and can play any sport she tries.

Aidan, 13 years, is also tall and handsome, a great student and aspring filmmaker. He shares Morgan’s passion for fast, powerful cars, and they race RC cars together. Ten-year-old Hunter is, naturally, a hunter. He passed his hunter’s safety course when he was 8. He loves hunting, fishing and sports. I think he’ll be my future golfing buddy; he’s granny’s cuddle bug.

And then there is Samantha. Sammy is 10, dark-haired and beautiful, and one of the most fantastic artists I have ever seen. We’ll be seeing her work in galleries some day. She is also an outstanding athlete. Hannah, Hunter and Aidan all have passed their hunter safety courses and have valid California hunting licenses. It was a great day for me this year when they all joined us in Blythe for the opening of dove season.

Our scuba and free-dive section is helped along by my “brother from another mother,” Jonathan Hall. His experiences as an LAPD diver and FBI CSI diver have been invaluable to our fledgling dive efforts.

Our publicists Craig Pobst, formerly an executive with the J. Walter Thompson group, and his partner Craig Nichols give us excellent advice and keep our advertising focused. Publicist Amy Foley keeps us smiling and keeps us on our toes. Her contacts and insight into local media are amazing.

The next generation in the Hall family: (from left) Sammy, Aidan, Hunter and Hannah Hall are grandchildren to Fred and Lois Hall. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

The next generation in the Hall family: (from left) Sammy, Aidan, Hunter and Hannah Hall are grandchildren to Fred and Lois Hall. (FRED HALL SHOWS)

I also want to acknowledge Russ Luke from Global Experience Specialists. His team of expert decorators, teamsters and electricians keep everything moving smoothly. Wes keeps the boats moving and the forks rolling. Last but not least, our old friend Barry Greenberg keeps us in touch with the automotive industry.

The Fred Hall Shows exist because of this extended family. Of course, the Fred Hall Shows are a business. However, for this show-production family, the yearly evolution of the events transcends business. The fact that we can all work together toward a common goal makes these shows more than just a business – they are a way of life.

And now with the re-acquisition of the Fred Hall Shows to the Hall family and the addition of Duncan McIntosh as a partner, the Fred Hall Shows are getting ready to be bigger and badder than ever. CS

Editor’s note: Bart Hall is the show producer for the Fred Hall Shows, which will be in Long Beach from March 4-8 and San Diego from March 26-29. For more information, go to fredhall.com.