Anglers compete for a whopping $8,000 cash purse plus equipment prizes with a full field of 500. First place alone nets $2,500 for the entrant who weighs the largest rainbow trout of the weekend at Big Bear Marina…and trophy-sized trout are planted in advance of the event to make the task easier.
Top nine trout are worth cash plus there’s tons of great prizes, like two new kayaks from Bass Pro Shops. Other sponsors include Pautzke, Big Bear Sporting Goods, Coleman, Holloway’s Marina, Big Bear Marina, Flambeau, Rapala and Okuma. Weigh-ins are at Big Bear Marina.
Registration is $75 and includes May Trout Classic hat, free jar of Pautzke Fire Bait, and admission into the 3 p.m. Sunday awards party with entertainment and drawings for thousands of dollars worth of fishing gear, bait and tackle. That’s also when winners are awarded their checks. Kids under 16 are free with a paid adult.
Sign up through May 19 at bbmwd.com or call (909) 866-5796. A great way to pay homage to the late Jim Hall, who founded the event in 1983 with Jerry Eden. It’s since become a favorite with generations of anglers and continues with MWD sponsorship and Jason Hall serving as tournament director.
May Trout Classic has been a major reason Big Bear Lake has become a premium trout fishery with a focus on large fish, since approximately 30% of the proceeds go right back to stocking trophy fish into the water.
Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby is back for 2017 on June 3-4, with a total of 80 tagged fish waiting to be caught, all worth cash prizes. Five grand prize tagged trout net the lucky angler an incredible $10,000 each while another 25 are worth two hundred bucks each. Plus 50 bonus tagged trout bring in $50 each. Last year was the first with the new format and while grand prize trout remained elusive, lots of $200 fish were reeled in.
If that’s not enough, someone will win a Hobie fishing kayak courtesy of Big Bear Sporting Goods at the Sunday awards ceremony at 3 p.m. at The Cave, where there’s a general raffle for thousands of dollars in fishing gear, bait and tackle from national manufacturers. Fishing is from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. each day.
The $70 entry includes free Pautzke Fire Bait and a wristband that provides discounts at local restaurants, shops and services. $20 from each entry goes to the lake trout fishery program to help feed and grow fish. Get half-price entry by booking a one or two night stay at participating Big Bear lodging on June 3-4, or by renting a boat from a participating marina for the event. The event is limited to the first 750 anglers. Call (800) 424-4232.