Posted by: mikewochner | August 21, 2014

Wooden Boats on the Water

Annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show is this Saturday

Annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show is this Saturday

Antique Boat Show Set for Pine Knot Landing

Written by Kathy Portie of the Big Bear Grizzly.

It’s an annual retreat of wooden perfection. Every year, dozens of wooden and antique boat enthusiasts travel to Big Bear to participate in the annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show. The show is hosted by the Antique and Classic Boat Society, spearheaded by ACBS member Charlie Brewster.

The public can see the classic boats Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pine Knot Landing in Big Bear Lake. Admission is free.

“We have some really nice boats this year, some that you’ve never seen before,” says Brewster. “There will be a Meteor tugboat, a 25-foot Garwood, Chris Crafts, and perhaps the best one is the Cobra with the fin.”

Brewster expects about 25 to 30 classic and wooden boats at the 31st annual Big Bear show, with participants coming from as far away as Arizona and Northern California. Brewster says he will have his classic barrel back boat also on display.

Classic cars from the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club and model remote-control boats will also be on display at G Dock at Pine Knot Landing.

Hamburgers and hot dogs will be available for purchase. Parking is available in the nearby Village and near the marina, Brewster says.

On Aug. 22, there is an on-the-water poker run beginning at 10 a.m. While the run is open only to show participants, visitors can see the boats as they make their way around the lake.

The 31st annual Big Bear Antique and Wooden Boat Show is at Pine Knot Landing, 439 Pine Knot Ave., Big Bear Lake.

Ice Bucket

Ice Bucket

I read an article in the LA Times this morning (click here to view) about some sort of controversy regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in our drought-plagued state of California.  I don’t really see the controversy.  I’m sure many of you have participated in the challenge (including myself) and I think it has created tremendous awareness of ALS so in my mind, the benefits definitely outweigh the negative consequences of wasting a bucket of water.

Personally, I don’t think we’re wasting water any more than we normally do in our daily lives, but in an attempt to be politically correct, I’m going to post some water conservation tips that were mailed out by our local Department of Water and Power. Yes, the lake is down a little over 10′ (10′ 3” as of August 18th) and fire danger is high in the mountains of Southern California… it doesn’t hurt to be conscientious. :)


  • **No outdoor watering between 9:00am and 6:00pm, April 1st through November 1st.
  • **Follow an odd/even schedule.  If your address ends in an odd number, water on odd calendar dates and even addresses may water on even calendar dates.
  • **No hose washing of paved area or any other surface including patios, buildings and structures.
  • **Water shall not run off properties onto streets.
  • Automatic shut-off nozzles are required on all hand-held hoses.
  • **Washing of vehicles, trailers, or boats must be done with a bucket & hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.
  • All water leaks must be repaired once detected.
  • All irrigation systems must be shut off and winterized November 1st through April 1st.
  • Landscape plans are required to be submitted to the DWP (Department of Water and Power) for approval prior to installation of any turf or landscapes over 1,000 square feet.
  • Turf installations are limited to 1,000 square feet.  If you already have turf, you may install additional turf for a total of 1,000 square feet (existing and new).
  • **Water features must use re-circulating systems.

** These regulations are also part of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) emergency water conservation regulations that went into effect on July 29th, 2014.  For more information on indoor/outdoor conservation tips, please visit



Posted by: mikewochner | August 20, 2014

40002 Lakeview Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

40002 Lakeview Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

40002 Lakeview Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

40002 Lakeview Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

This full log lakefront home just came on the market for $1,700,000.  It covers approximately 4600 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 6 baths.  The property has been in the family for over 40 years.  In 1999, they decided to take down the old fishing lodge that used to be here and build a full log home on the property.  It took 2 years to build but it was well worth the wait.

As you walk through the front door, you are greeted with a massive entryway with vaulted ceilings.  The native rock on the fireplace in the living room was used from the previous home that their parents owned on this property.  There are multiple gathering areas in the living room for entertaining large groups.  Master retreat on the ground floor with vaulted ceilings and a custom rustic bathroom.  Entertainers kitchen with gorgeous custom cabinetry, granite slab counters and top of the line appointments.  Craft room.  Mud room off of the side of the home.  The second level of the home is accessed by two separate staircases, leading to 4 more bedrooms, each with their own bathroom and uniquely decorated.  Detached 3 car garage with guest quarters above the garage.  Beautifully landscaped sitting on .74 acres, this lakefront property offers a wonderful sense of privacy yet is just minutes to everything Big Bear has to offer.  Ideal for the extended or large family, or corporate use.  For more information, contact Mike Wochner at 909-633-2558 or

Photos of this Big Bear Lakefront

Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Living Room



Dining Area

Dining Area





Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom



Back Patio & Rear Exterior

Back Patio & Rear Exterior

Aerial View of this Lakefront Property

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Posted by: mikewochner | July 31, 2014

Pine Knot Landing Acquires Parasail

Pine Knot Marina

Quick little article by Kathy Portie of the Big Bear Grizzly regarding Parasailing in Big Bear Lake

Pine Knot Landing Acquires Parasail

When Wally Weber decided to sell his parasail and personal watercraft rental concession on Big Bear Lake, he didn’t have far to go to find a buyer.
Pine Knot Landing, where Weber’s concession is located, came forward quickly, at least to purchase part of the business. “We bought the parasail, Jet Skis and trailers,” says Leo McCarthy, general manager and harbor master for Pine Knot Landing. “We didn’t buy the jet boat. It was too high maintenance and didn’t hold up very well.”
So, this summer, Big Bear Parasail became Pine Knot Parasail with the same employees, the same location and the same level of fun on the lake. “It was our dock, our facilities,” McCarthy says. “Wally would contract with us.”
McCarthy knows a good thing when he sees it. “It’s been a good addition for us and is doing very well,” McCarthy says. “We’ve pretty much kept everything the same. We’ve got 10,000 brochures and as cheap as I am, I say they look good to me as they are.”
Not everything is quite the same. If you look hard enough you’ll see a little difference here and there. There’s a new parasail with the Pine Knot Landing colors of red, white and blue. There are a couple of new personal watercraft. And, of course, the absence of the speed boat.
Aside from maintenance issues with the fast boat ride, there were other things to consider, McCarthy says. The speed limit on Big Bear Lake is 35 mph, so the speed boat didn’t go speeds it was built for. “We have people who can swim faster than we could go,” McCarthy says with a laugh.
McCarthy says the plan is to rotate personal watercraft stock and replace a couple of them each year.
“Maintenance is a big part of it,” McCarthy says about the rotation plan. “We’re fortunate to have repair facilities on the grounds. We did all of Wally’s mechanical work anyway.”
McCarthy, who has a background that includes working with Jacques Cousteau, took over at Pine Knot Landing after retiring to Big Bear. “It was supposed to be for about one-and-a-half years,” McCarthy says. “That was eight years ago. But I have a beautiful office and can’t think of a better place to live.”
Under McCarthy’s guidance, Pine Knot Landing has continued to be one of the most successful marinas on the lake. McCarthy says part of the reason is the location. At the lake end of the Village area of Big Bear Lake, Pine Knot Landing is easy for visitors to find.
Pine Knot Parasail joins the rest of the offerings available at Pine Knot Landing including the Miss Liberty Paddlewheel Tours, boat rentals, marina services, boat slip rentals, boat sales, fishing, watersports, sailing and the Dock Club. The Dock Club opened in 1999 as a private ownership marina. Dock owners obtain deeded ownership to their slip.
For more information on Pine Knot Landing and Pine Knot Parasail, call 909-866-7766 or visit Pine Knot Landing is at 439 Pine Knot Ave., Big Bear Lake, across from the Big Bear Lake Post Office.

Posted by: mikewochner | May 25, 2014

Happy Memorial Weekend

Between the boating and the barbecues, please take time to pause and remember the meaning of Memorial Day by honoring those who have served and gave their all.

Posted by: mikewochner | May 23, 2014

Fish plants are good business for Big Bear

Madison fishing

Written by Casey Jones, Big Bear Grizzly.

Fish plants are good business for Big Bear

On the surface, it might seem like a silly thing for a city council to do, paying to plant a bunch of fish in a lake without even knowing if they’ll be caught by local voters.

But in Big Bear Lake, where fishing for rainbow trout is big business as well as a local passion, it makes sense as a public service. So it’s nice to see Big Bear Lake officials take seriously a request for help from the Big Bear Municipal Water District.

MWD board member Vince Smith asked the City Council April 28 to consider paying for a trout plant or two. He said the MWD has already stocked fish twice this year, and is planning four more plants. But the $45,000 per year that the MWD spends on trout is not enough to offset the loss of fish from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Until last year, the state consistently placed about 150,000 pounds of trout in the lake. Last year, that number fell to just 62,000 pounds, and MWD officials say they are not sure how many pounds will be planted this year. Big Bear Lake has a put-and-take fishery, so the fish population could founder.

Mayor Jay Obernolte said the next step would be to put the item on the agenda for a future council meeting. The council should.

City Manager Jeff Mathieu said fish plants could come up during budget discussions. Again, it should.

In fact, the council should consider making a permanent commitment to planting trout in Big Bear Lake for the sake of our economy and our quality of life. Trout tournaments attract more than 1,800 paying visitors to town each year. MWD surveys show that about 50 percent of the boaters who come to the lake come to fish. And local voters catch their share, too.


Posted by: mikewochner | May 8, 2014

Trout Classic is May 17th and 18th

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Register for May Trout Classic

Don’t miss the family fun and excitement of the grandfather of all fishing tournaments. The 32nd annual Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic is May 17 and 18 in Big Bear Lake.

The total payout for the largest rainbow trout is $2,500 based on 500 paid entrants. The total payout for all nine places is $8,000 based on the same entry numbers.

Entry fee is $65 and has remained the same for many years. Children of paid entrants between the ages of 5 and 15 are eligible to participate in two divisions at no cost.

Sponsors include Okuma, Pautzke, Big Bear Marina, Holloway’s Marina and Big Bear Sporting Goods.

Send in your application early and tell a friend. Applications are available at www.maytroutclassic.comor contact Jacque Hall at jacque@maytroutclassic.comor 909-585-4007 for more information.

Posted by: mikewochner | May 1, 2014

Thermostats Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

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White-Rodgers Recalls Home Heating and Cooling Thermostats Due to Fire Hazard

More than one million thermostats sold in the United States and Canada since 2006 are being recalled because the batteries can leak and cause a fire.

Product: The thermostats are made by White-Rodgers, but some have different brand names printed on the front, including ComfortSentry, DICO, Emerson, Frigidaire, Maytag, Nutone, Partners Choice, Rheem, Ruud, Unico, Water Furnace, Westinghouse and Zonefirst.

Hazard: The alkaline batteries used in the thermostat can leak onto the circuit board posing a fire hazard.

Remedy: Consumers should check thermostats for battery icon on the left side of the blue lighted screen, if the battery icon is not shown, contact White-Rodgers to receive a free repair or a replacement thermostat.

Consumer Contact: White-Rodgers toll-free at (888) 624-1901 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.  Or visit the Consumer Protection website here.

Posted by: mikewochner | April 24, 2014

MS Walk 2014 is May 3rd

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The 2014 MS Walk is scheduled for May 3rd this year.  Typically North Shore Elementary is the starting and finish line as you walk on the Alpine Pedal Path.  Individuals or teams can walk a 1k course or a 5k course that winds around the shoreline of Big Bear Lake.  If you would like to get involved you can sign up as a walker or a volunteer online (click here to view), or you can call (909) 949-1363.

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies are at 10 a.m. and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m


Posted by: mikewochner | April 6, 2014

Fishing Big Bear Lake

Dax Wood, aka "the fish whisperer", Fishing Big Bear Lake

Dax Wood, aka “the fish whisperer”, Fishing Big Bear Lake

Thought this was an interesting article published in the Big Bear Grizzly regarding trout fishing in Big Bear Lake.

Catch on to help with Big Bear fish plants

There’s a lot to be said for a day spent trout fishing on Big Bear Lake. There’s the camaraderie, a oneness with nature, the hope that springs eternal with every cast.

But last year, those hopes were dashed for many trout anglers, who experienced a lake of declining rewards. And make no mistake, for many if not most fishers, catching is the best part of fishing.

So what made the worm turn for the worse?

Trout plants by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2013 were roughly half of previous seasons, Mike Stephenson, lake operations manager for the Big Bear Municipal Water District, told The Grizzly in November. About 157,000 pounds of trout were stocked. Expect a similar number in 2014, as the Department’s fish plant program struggles with a fry-size budget and a costly new requirement that hatchery fish be infertile to avoid breeding with wild strains.

You didn’t need a solunar table to figure out what would happen: Big Bear is a put-and-take lake, and the size of the trout harvest is directly proportional to the size of the planting.

Dry, mild winters also may be a contributing factor, resulting in lower water levels and increased angling pressure, which reduces the number of holdover trout available in the spring.

Stephenson acknowledged to The Grizzly late last year that the lake used to be a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10 for trout fishing. Last season, he said, he’d give the lake a 7. The water district already spends about $45,000 on fish plants, Stephenson said, and can’t afford to pick up the slack lines left by the state.

In many places, poor fishing would be little cause for concern. But in Big Bear, when the fishing suffers, the local economy suffers.

Trout tournaments and trout fishing attract thousands to town, often in the shoulder seasons when area merchants and lodging providers need a boost. Marinas, bait and tackle shops, and guide services are important employers in Big Bear, and as the fishing goes, so goes business. Even the real estate industry hinges in part on a productive fishing lake, and the resulting word-of-mouth advertising. For many, tight lines are an important part of the Big Bear lifestyle.

So what’s a town to do?

Officials with at least one local tournament— the Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic—are taking a proactive approach to improving the fishing. Tournament officials are reducing prize money to plant more trophy rainbow trout in the lake in advance of the tournament May 17 and 18.

Similarly, organizers of the 2014 Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament Championship series are accepting donations from anglers to pay for a bass plant.

Other outdoors and business organizations should follow suit, and cast about for ways to put more fish in the lake.

Local residents could ask their state legislators to support Big Bear by increasing funding for fish plants.

And anglers can lend a hand by handling trout carefully, and practicing catch-and-release.

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