As in years past, this weekend’s Troutfest, hosted by the Big Bear Municipal Water District and sponsored by Western Outdoor News, was a sell-out, with an estimated 200 anglers being turned away for the October 3 and 4 event. Of the 1,000 participants who did sign up on time to drop a line into Big Bear Lake, Western Outdoor News tells KBHR that about 95% of those fishermen were from off the mountain. That said, top spots in the Troutfest, for overall fish reeled in, did not go to locals. In the men’s division, top anglers won merchandise and trophies with overall winner Frank Avila taking home about $1,700 in merchandise; second and third place winners were Pat Carillo and Donald Rose. In the adult female division, top anglers Rachel Dunn, Cherie Gutierrez and Brandy Finch took home trophies and a combined $3,000 or so in merchandise. Podium places in the juniors division, ages 16 and under, went to boys Nico Geyer, Jarren Aguirre and Richard Jara, Jr. and girls Carly Aguilera, Justine Zehmer and Cassidy Roberts. Thomas Thompson reeled in a 5.06 pound trout, winning him a fishing trip to Alaska. But the big news from Troutfest is that a number of those tagged fish were caught: Lynn Harris of Los Angeles won a Lucky Bear Charters guide trip and equipment; nine-year-old Cheyenne Arroyo of Burbank won the Northwoods package including equipment, and Brett Downing of Huntington Beach reeled in the biggie, a tagged fish worth a brand new Ford F150 Super Crew truck! Big Bear’s own didn’t go home empty-handed, however—Jeri Peacock-Licht of Sugarloaf also reeled in a tag fish, scoring her a Lowe boat, motor and trailer valued at $8,000. Oh, and an added bonus for local fishermen: Troutfest resulted in the addition of nearly $15,000 worth of trout to Big Bear Lake!
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