Bill and Tammy Finch of Apple Valley only caught three fish between them at the annual Western Outdoor News Big Bear Lake TroutfesT Oct. 5 and 6. But they still ended the weekend as the big winners.
Bill won the Suzuki motor in an opportunity drawing. His wife, Tammy, won the big prize of the day — Klamath boat package. Combined, Bill and Tammy’s prize package is worth more than $20,000.
Big Bear Lake was the other big winner at the tournament. Participation was up and more fish were caught than the past two years combined. There were 404 teams signed up for the 2019 two-day event, with 235 teams reeling in the trout. On the first day Oct. 5, anglers caught 358 fish weighing in at a total of 468.55 pounds. Oct. 6 was even better. Sunday’s catch included 380 trout weighing a total of 518.49 pounds.
Western Outdoor News will donate $6,000 to the Big Bear Municipal Water District from entry fees to stock the lake next year prior to the tournament.
Andrew Mack won the adult male division with his catch weighing 26.39 pounds. In second place was Joseph Donato at 19.39 pounds. Third went to Carl R. Vanberger (16.23), Kyle Miamoto took fourth place (13.70) and Robert Zavale was fifth with 11.05 pounds. Miamoto won the big fish contest, reeling in a 7.27-pounder.
Linda Hunter was the adult female champion, catching 10 fish weighing a total of 13.71 pounds. Second place went to Sabrina Inklefev (13.07), Linda Yokum was third (12.82); Christina Breseno was fourth (10.98) and Leslie Reno was fifth at 10.66 pounds.
Junior male winners are, from first through fifth, Marcos Cortez (15.25), Roman Duanes (14.73), Jaeger Finch (12.83), Diego Gomez (9.59) and Chris Robinson Jr. (8.75). Junior female winners are, from first through fifth, Samantha Henzer (11.14), Adrena Chavez (9.36), Candace Hoffman (6.31), Rayven Harris (5.70) and Charley Pierce (1.31).
Ten anglers pocketed $201 each in the blind bogey contest. Nedra Crouse of Big Bear won the Sea Eagle boat package worth more than $2,400.