Big Bear Lake, CA — The 28th annual Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic took place over the weekend and drew a record 401 entrants for the ever-popular fishing tournament run by the Hall family and local volunteers. The overall winner in the two-day event was Carl Van Burger of Apple Valley, who reeled in an 8.55 pound trout, which also netted him the top cash prize of $2025. Second place honors went to Neal Stueve of Monrovia for his 6.08 pound trout, and Big Bear’s Danny Marshall rounded out the top three with his 5.55 pound catch. Other anglers to collect cash prizes for their catches include Justin McKinley of Romoland, James Rafferty of Big Bear, Jose Martinez of Azusa, Stan Hayes of Poway, Jack Greenleaf of Big Bear, and Steve Rzepka of Running Springs.
In the juniors category, for anglers ages 12 to 15, a trophy, rod and reel were won by 14-year-old Joseph Knapp of La Quinta, given his 2.35 pound catch. Other junior winners include 14-year-old Eugene Kessler of Norwalk and 15-year-old Robert Ash of Bellflower. Trophies, rods and reels also went to the top three in the pee-wee division, for those ages 5 to 11. The top catch among the pee-wees was a 4.37 pound trout, reeled in by Luke Bianchi of Northridge; five-year-old Tyler Palhegyi of Upland and eight-year-old Cheyenne Arroyo of Burbank also won in the pee-wee bracket. And, all told, all anglers on Big Bear Lake win with the Jim Hall Memorial, as the entry fees from the event go toward stocking the lake with $10,000 worth of trophy-sized trout!