Li'l local Kaelee caught a 5.56 pound trout, earning her a rod and reel, plus a trophy; grownups win cash prizes for top catches in the Jim Hall Memorial.

Big Bear Lake, CA — The ever-popular Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic returns to Big Bear Lake in May’s third weekend—which also means that anglers can look forward to plenty more trout. “There is still space available for the 28th annual Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic,” Jacque Hall tells KBHR, “because this year we are increasing to 500 entrants. The entry fee is $60, and those fees go toward stocking Big Bear Lake with $10,000 worth of trophy-sized trout.” Last year’s event resulted in a $2,025 top prize for George Burruss of San Diego, who reeled in a 13.83 pound catch—the second largest trout ever in the long-running event, named for Jacque’s husband Jim Hall, a Big Bear City resident who formed the tournament back in 1983 with fellow fisherman Jerry Eden. As Jacque explains, “The Jim Hall Memorial is run by volunteers. It really is a family-oriented event, because we also have two categories for the children, who can win rods and reels and trophies—last year, seven-year-old Kaelee Haggerty, winner in the Pee Wee Division, outfished a lot of more experienced anglers!” This year’s prize pool is even bigger as, based on 500 entrants, the total cash purse is now up to $7,700, with cash awards to the top nine participants. The 28th annual Jim Hall Memorial Trout Classic is May 15 and 16, and entry applications are currently available at Big Bear Sporting Goods, Big Bear Marina, Holloways Marina, and the offices of the Big Bear Municipal Water District; registration forms should be mailed in, though Friday, May 14 sign-ups will also be available, in person, at the MWD offices, provided the event doesn’t sell out prior to that date, as it has in the past. For more information on the tournament, which will include a Sunday afternoon awards ceremony at the Big Bear Convention Center, call Jacque Hall at 585-4007.