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Paul Lebowitz – IT'S JUST FISHING

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010
The Silly Season
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Bait the Hard Way

Catching Kayak fishing’s ‘Show within the Show’

Just for a moment, forget about rods and reels, the special deals, the many seminar stages, and the fresh baits and tackle that make up most of the Fred Hall Show. Let’s focus on the Quantum Kayak Fishing Center, the show within the show, what I think of as the reigning kayak fishing extravaganza.

Do you think I’m laying it on too thick? I don’t. Where else are you going to find every one of the fishiest West Coast ‘yaks all in one place? That includes the newest of the new, and quite possibly a couple of product introductions. See it here first, folks.

Add on a stacked kayak-specific seminar schedule covering everything from how to hook that tournament winning bass, to catching a sleigh ride behind a trophy of a lifetime, or hooping up a motherlode of red gold (lobsters of course). At press time the seminar schedule was still mostly under wraps, but there will be plenty of familiar names and decades worth of hard-won kayak fishing wisdom on hand.

Everything’s here, even kayak savvy travel exhibitors from those dream destinations. Baja’s East Cape is affordable and fishy, with either John Ireland’s pioneering Rancho Leonero or rustic and comfortable Hotel Punta Colorada (roosterfish anyone?). Stop by the Cardon Resort booth and find out how you can be the next kayaker to crack that legendary largemouth stronghold Lake El Salto.

EVERYTHING THAT IS ABOUT KAKAKING will be at Long Beach, even kayak savvy travel exhibitors from those dream destinations. WON PHOTO BY PAT MCDONELL

Or check out Pesca Panama, a tropical paddle-fisher’s paradise as seen on Jim Sammons’ superb new WFN show. You might even catch a glimpse of this writer in a video clip (I’d avert my eyes if I were you!). That TV personality, the sport’s first to fight his way onto cable, will be booking trips and have the award-winning Kayak Fishing: Game On movies for sale in his own booth.

Put all of this together into the Hall Show’s Quantum Kayak Fishing Center and you’ve got the biggest kayak fishing showroom and gathering place going. It’s truly one stop shopping. Let’s take a quick look at the show floor.

Kayak fishing central should be right back where it’s been for years, in the main hall near the far wall. Only this time a Hall Show representative says Quantum’s seminar center will be located in the same area. There will be no reason to wander.

As of press time and sticking to alphabetical order, the first kayak and accessory shop to cover is Dana Pt Jetski and Kayak Center. This returning Hobie heaven has all of the brand’s winners, including the ICAST topping Mirage Pro Angler. Three words: fish catching battlewagon. There’s also something new to show off. Purists take note, this one’s gas-powered, a fully rigged Jetski complete with bait tank, fish finder and GPS. I suppose we can forgive them.

The OEX Dive and Kayak booth is too big to miss. They’ll have two of the freshest rides going. Malibu’s tidy Sierra 10 is a sit-inside with a difference. There’s a tankwell in the back. This baby’s DVL and Skinner approved too. Kayak prices rarely come any lower. See it here first!

Also at OEX, catch Ocean Kayak’s electrifying latest. The Torque takes the proven Trident heritage and adds a slick integrated electric motor. The motor-less predecessors aren’t half bad either; the fishing-friendly decks are simply superb. The Hobie line will be available in all its hands-free glory, along with Wilderness Systems’ sweet-paddling Tarpon family with those unbelievably comfortable seats. Give ‘em a sit. On the accessories front, this is the place for several OEX exclusives quite possibly including a new custom bait tank. This crew always goes all-out on their show boats; they’re sure to cook up something good. Tournament Trail bass battle sign-ups too.

Southwind Kayak Center is an Orange County paddling powerhouse. This is the place to see Native Watercraft’s pedal-drive offering, the Mariner Propel, as well as others in this top-quality line. There are more Hobies here too, plus Wilderness Systems, as well as something that takes the sport full circle back to its Southern California roots. That’s the Liquid Logic Versa Board, a stand-up / sit-down paddle board and kayak hybrid that should turn some heads. Acres of ‘standable’ deck, and possibly a longboard’s surf sensibility. There’s more. Reports indicate Mad Frog Gear is cooking up some brand new aftermarket accessories to enhance any ride’s fishiness. Stop by and see for yourself.

This show offers more kayak fishing in one place than you’ll ever see off the water. It’s enough to fill an entire day. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a tough time tearing yourself away to see the rest of the Fred Hall Show’s tremendous offerings.  

WITH SO MUCH KAYAK FISHING TO SEE it could be a show in its own right, Fred Hall’s Quantum Kayak Fishing Center has something for any paddle-powered angler. Several brand new fishing rides are slated to debut. You could even say there’s a travel section, with kayak-savvy options at Rancho Leonero, Hotel Punta Colorada, Pesca Panama, and Cardon Resort (pictured). 

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