The Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby in Big Bear Lake June 8 and 9 was Erin Bougie’s first time to participate in a fishing tournament. It won’t be her last.

Bougie was a big winner in the trout tournament, reeling in the largest trout in the women’s adult division to take first place. But her lucky day didn’t end there. Bougie also had the winning ticket for the fully-equipped fishing kayak given away by the Big Bear Visitors Bureau during the awards ceremony on June 9.

The Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby attracted 419 anglers to test their mettle in competitive fishing. That’s an increase of 100 entries from the previous year. Darien Schaefer, CEO of the Big Bear Visitors Bureau, was pleased with the turnout. “We had a lot of positive word-of-mouth from last year,” Schaefer said. “We definitely feel good about it. You’re on the lake, enjoying the weather. We’d love to have over 500 at the next one.”

Steve Raphael, store manager of Big Bear Sporting Goods and one of the tournament hosts, said there was a great turnout by families, something he likes to see. “We had a lot of repeat entries, too,” Raphael said. “The weather yesterday was great. A little windy (Sunday). Everyone’s spirit was great and families got to do things together. And Bynette Mote did a great job organizing the event.”

Mote was hired by the Big Bear Visitors Bureau to oversee its special events, including the trout derby, the barbecue event in June, the Spartan race and the annual chili cook-off.

While no one caught any of the five tagged fish worth $10,000 each, two anglers caught tagged fish. They were each given checks for $100. If any of the participants in this year’s trout derby catches a derby tagged fish through the end of the year, take it to Big Bear Sporting Goods where it could be worth $50.

Winners in each adult and child division were determined by weigh-ins. Caleb Lee won the boy’s division with a 3.60-pound rainbow. Second place went to Bridger Concho (3.58 pounds) and third place went to Kayden Metz with a 2.98-pounder.

Audrina Chavez won the girl’s division with a 3.26-pound trout. Second place went to Michelle Beltran for her 2.70-pound fish. Bailey Turner was third at 2.18 pounds.

Bougie’s winning trout in the women’s division weighed in at 4.22 pounds. Second place went to Christina Bersimo at 3.26 pounds. Marcella LaFavre was third with a 3.14-pound rainbow.

Jeremy Paris’ winner in the men’s division was 5.80 pounds followed by William Roth at 5.44 pounds and Joe Rios at 4.92 pounds.

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