“Manzanar Fishing Club” director Cory Shiozaki


Joining with so many others, “The Manzanar Fishing Club” will return to The Bart Hall Show this year when the perennial favorite resumes operations following a two-year state-imposed hiatus to help fight the COVID pandemic.

Originally dubbed the Fred Hall Show in honor of its founder, it has been recognized as the largest, most popular fishing and outdoor sports gathering in the western U.S. over more than 70 years.

Returning to its accustomed home at the Long Beach Convention Center from March 29 to April 2 under Fred’s son Bart (who has actually helmed the event for many years), the show will again offer hundreds of exhibitors representing all facets of California’s bustling fishing, boating and outdoor sports sectors. The Long Beach Show alone habitually attracts more than 300,000 guests to its weeklong run, making it THE must-attend event for the sprawling outdoors community in Southern California.

“The show holds a special place in our hearts,” said “The Manzanar Fishing Club” director Cory Shiozaki. “We were first invited by Bart Hall back in 2009, which turned out to be our debut event before the general fishing and outdoors sports community. Over the course of that first show, we went from a small community-supported project scratching ahead on a near-daily basis to a serious historical documentary film eventually completed with both state- and federally-funded grants.”

“It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to give Bart [Hall] a whole load of credit for our finished film,” Shiozaki added.

The documentary follows life in the Manzanar “Relocation Center,” located roughly 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles and the high desert along Highway 395 between Lone Pine and Independence in the Eastern Sierra. More than 10,000 Japanese Americans, mainly from greater Los Angeles, were uprooted from their homes and stashed away at Manzanar from 1942-45 as enemy “aliens” and “non-aliens” (citizens).

But Manzanar also had its hidden secret — it was prime trout fishing country, nestled comfortably in the shadow the eastern slope of the mighty Sierra Nevada, and for the next 3+ years, the inmates who already fished or were willing to try had the area to themselves… as long as they were willing to sneak out through the camp’s barbed-wire fences and evade Army patrols once free.

The documentary was completed in 2012, and the official premiere was held in conjunction with that year’s Hall Show. “Manzanar Fishing Club” DVDs were sold at subsequent booths, as well as various official caps, T-shirts and jerseys.

However, this year, due to the obsolescence of the physical format,“The Manzanar Fishing Club” will no longer sell the DVD, but instead will announce the upcoming switch to a streaming platform. Breaking ground once again for the project, the official streaming launch will be announced prior to the show. 

Only official “Manzanar Fishing Club” caps will be sold from the booth, located on “Highway 395” on the main convention floor with other familiar vendors and friends from over the years.

“Anyone who may be interested in working in the booth as a volunteer, meeting our

supporters, explaining the new streaming service or promoting newer activities like our semi-annual Adopt-A-Highway clean-up project or screening/walking tour at Manzanar itself, please get in touch with us,” Shiozaki adds.

“As a volunteer at the booth, you’ll be able to enjoy the show during any down time. If you’re interested in volunteering, please reply with hours, days and anticipated times you can help. As in the past, we can be flexible.

“Help us celebrate a long and fruitful journey with the show.”

The Bart Hall Show will be from Wednesday, March 29, through Sunday, April 2, at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 90802. “The Manzanar Fishing Club” will be at Booth 111. Two Manzanar fishermen will be there to sign autographs: Sets Tomita on Thursday and Saturday, Mas Okui on Sunday.

For more information, visit www.fearnotrout.com.

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