Fishing Tournaments in Big Bear Lake for 2017

Fishing Tournaments in Big Bear Lake for 2017

April 1- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier  800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

May 6- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166  www.bigbearbassfishing.com

May 20-21- Hall Family May Trout Classic 909-866-5796           www.bbmwd.org

June 3-4- Fishin’ for $50k Trout Derby, Big Bear Visitors Bureau 800-424-4232 www.bigbear.com

June 10- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

June 17-18- 14th Annual Carp Round-Up, Big Bear Municipal Water District 909-866-5796 www.bbmwd.org

July 15- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

Aug 12- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament qualifier 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com

Sept 9-10- Aaron’s Big Bear Lake Bass Tournament of Champions 800-475-3166 www.bigbearbassfishing.com, Western Outdoor News Troutfest, 949-366-0248, www.wonews.com

 

Return of Big Bear Fishing Tradition

Return of Big Bear Fishing Tradition by Big Bear Grizzly

Aaron Armstrong saw a need in 2016 and Big Bear anglers answered the call.  The Big Bear Lake Fishing Association was reborn and after a lengthy hiatus to help promote and revive fishing in Big Bear Lake.

“We feel it’s pretty important to bring the fishery back tot he way it was,” says John Cantrell, Big Bear Lake Fishing Association president.

The Big Bear Lake Fishing Association is focused on improving, maintaining and growing the sport of fishing on Big Bear Lake.  The organization is seeking interested members.  The next meeting of the association is 5:30pm Wednesday, March 15, at Denny’s Restaurant, 41196 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake.

Cantrell says the group will also bring back the Shoreline Cleanup event firmly run by Alan Sharp.  The Shoreline Cleanup is set for May 6 and 7.

“We have 40 members right now,” Cantrell says.  There is also a membership option called Tagged Fish Members Program.  So far there are 19 individual and business Tagged Fish members.  Prizes and tag fish numbers and winners will be posted on the association’s website throughout the season.

Membership fees and donations help make an impact on the lake with fish plants of fertile fish, which will reproduce and provide fish for years to come, Cantrell says.

For more information, visit www.bigbearfishingassocation.org

Big Bear Municipal Water District hatches plan for Fish

Big Bear Municipal Water District hatches plan for Fish

by Natalie Williams of Big Bear Grizzly

The Big Bear Municipal Water District is considering opening it’s own fish hatchery.

The MWD purchases it’s trout from hatcheries, many of which are in Northern California and have been affected by the drought.  This altered the availability and price of the trout, board president John Eminger said.

After visiting the William Jack Hernandez Fish Hatchery in Anchorage, Alaska, January 30 with four board members and two staff members, the Municipal Water District is considering moving forward with it’s own fish hatchery.

“We haven’t had a plan yet,” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the MWD.  “We learned a lot.  We saw an identical facility to what we’re considering.  Again, it’s information only so we’re now trying to sit back down and hash out some ideas.”

The MWD developed an ad-hoc committee specific for the hatchery consisting of board members Bob Ludecke and Vince Smith.  The committee members will soon discuss their thoughts on the hatchery and then recommend how the district should proceed.  A date for that committee meeting has yet to be determined, though Stephenson expects it to be within the next month.

One potential location for the hatchery could be the former mobile home park next to the MWD office, Eminger said.

A timeline for completion is uncertain at this time, Stephenson said.  The MWD could receive the parts in-house within six months.  “It’s pretty preliminary to even get there yet,” he said.

Planning and environment work would need to be completed as well.  Stephenson said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not require them to complete California Environmental Quality Act paperwork, but the MWD will go through with the process anyway.

Good News for Trout Anglers in Big Bear

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Good News for Trout Anglers

The summer of 2015 went down in Big Bear Lake history as one that was lacking if you enjoyed competively fishing for trout. Two tournaments—the Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic and the Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby—went on hiatus for a variety of reasons.

Here’s a little advance notice to all you anglers out there. Check out your fishing gear and get ready. Two trout tournaments are on the schedule for May and June in the summer of 2016.

The Big Bear Visitors Bureau recently applied for and received a permit to bring back the Fishin’ for $50K Trout Derby in June. Dates for the two-day fishing tournament are set for June 11 and 12. More information will soon be available online at www.bigbear.com.

The other tournament is considered a new derby hosted by the Big Bear Municipal Water District, but there will be a familiar face at the helm. The MWD presents the Hall Family May Trout Classic tournament with Jason Hall as the volunteer executive director. Hall told The Grizzly that registration forms will soon be available at the MWD office. The event is scheduled for May 14-15 with the weigh-in station at the MWD parking lot.

The event is also co-sponsored by the Big Bear Visitors Bureau. There will be an awards ceremony at The Convention Center at Big Bear Lake.

More details will soon be available, according to Hall. Meetings are being held to finalize all the details.

This is great news, not only for anglers, but for the spring economy of Big Bear Lake. Fishing tournaments attract large numbers of eager anglers, providing local lodges, marinas and restaurants with a much-appreciated boost during what is usually considered the shoulder season.

If El Niño comes through with a stellar rain and snow season in February, March and April, the lake level will rise. And with Fishin’ for $50K and the Hall Family May Trout Classic, along with Aaron’s Bass Tournament series, the Carp Round-Up and the World Outdoor News October TroutfesT, Big Bear Lake’s sport fishing season is shaping up to make 2016 a very good year.

Kathy Portie writes about sports and recreation for The Grizzly. Follow her on Twitter @BBGrizzlyKathy.

Fish

Trout Derbies on Hiatus

Madison fishing

Trout Derbies on Hiatus

Written by Kathie Portie of the Big Bear Grizzly

Big Bear’s spring outdoor sports calendar was lightened considerably this past week. Two of the Valley’s largest trout tournaments—the May Trout Classic and Fishin’ for 50K—will not take place in 2015.

The Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic is the oldest and most successful of the two tournaments, having enjoyed 32 years of existence. The 2015 tourney was slated for May 16-17 until event organizers decided to pull the plug, at least for this year.

In a letter from event organizers, Jason Hall explained the factors that led to the decision. “… we find ourselves in litigation over an incident that occurred in the 2013 May Trout Classic,” Hall wrote. “Our current insurance company, Scottsdale, has still not made a decision as to whether or not they will defend us. They have allowed many deadlines to pass to respond to the court, and we have had to retain our own attorney at the expense of the Trout Classic. This may eventually deplete our startup funds irreparably.”

Hall went on to say that they have been unable to secure new insurance at an affordable price in time for the 2015 event. “The mission of the May Trout Classic has been to maintain Big Bear Lake as a premier trout fishery by planting trophy sized fish each year,” Hall wrote. “We are making every effort to resume this event for 2016.”

“This is not a goodbye, but just so long for a while,” Hall concluded.

According to the Big Bear Events Resource Office, the May Trout Classic contributed between $85,000 and $100,000 to the local economy in 2012 and 2013. According to Rick Bates, Events Resource Office director, Fishin’ for 50K primarily attracted visiting anglers who contributed an estimated $210,000 into the local economy in 2014.

Fishin’ for 50K was scheduled for early June, sponsored by the Big Bear Visitor’s Bureau, formerly known as the Big Bear Lake Resort Association. According to Visitors Bureau spokesman Dan McKernan, the organization is heavily involved with the Amgen Tour of California Big Bear Time Trial in May and the Outdoor Writers Association of California Conference in June. Adding the trout derby responsibilities was proving difficult to manage. But it’s not the only reason the trout derby is going on hiatus, McKernan said.

“We need to take a rest,” McKernan said. “We’re going to freshen it up for 2016. We want to give a fresh new look and new focus for next year.” The plan is to bring it back in 2016, he said.

Local marinas are expected to feel the pinch. Bait, gear, licenses and boat rentals are items visiting anglers often purchase from the local marinas. Leo McCarthy, manager of Pine Knot Landing, said the bulk of his business comes during the boating season rather than from fishing tournaments, but could see that it would affect others such as Big Bear Marina. Attempts to contact other marinas by The Grizzly were unsuccessful as most offices are closed until April.

Anglers may feel the pinch as well. The Big Bear Municipal Water District depends on tournament entry fees to help with fish plants. MWD General Manager Mike Stephenson said it’s probably too late to get anything organized to replace the two lost tourneys for the spring. When asked if the MWD could perhaps host a tourney, Stephenson said it’s something he hopes the MWD board will consider, or at least discuss the options.

Several other tournaments are still on the 2015 calendar including Aaron’s Bass Tournament, the Carp RoundUp and the TroutfesT.

“We still have the October TroutfesT holding on,” Stephenson said.“They are working on their paperwork right now.”

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.

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.

Weeds in Big Bear Lake

Informative article by Judi Bowers of the Big Bear Grizzly.

Weeds. There are good ones and bad ones. There are required weeds and ones that you want to get rid of in hopes they never come back. And if you are the Big Bear Municipal Water District, weeds are on your to-do list every day.

Also called aquatic plants, weeds were the subject of a recent MWD workshop. And apparently weeds gain the attention of more than Mike Stephenson, lake manager. The board workshop drew seven people and a reporter to the audience, the largest attendance at a MWD meeting in some time.

The MWD began harvesting weeds in the 1960s, introducing the use of the Aquamog from 1984 to 2004. No one knows when Eurasian milfoil found its way to Big Bear Lake, Stevenson said. Milfoil is not native to the lake and is highly invasive. Native aquatic plants include coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, common elodea, widgeon grass, water smartweed, sago pondweed and chara, which is macro algae.

Coontail is also considered invasive, and the curly-leaf pondweed can be invasive, but isn’t here, Stephenson said. “It rears its little head and waves at me a little bit then poof—it’s gone,” Stephenson said about the pondweed’s occasional appearance in Big Bear Lake.

Current weed management efforts
• Treat milfoil with systemic herbicide

• Harvest natives for navigation purposes only

• Treat natives with contact herbicide for navigation when appropriate

• Treat all blue-green algae blooms

Current lake conditions
• 134 acres of milfoil

• 300 acres of coontail

• 100 acres of macro algae

• Fair variety of other natives

• Very high dissolved oxygen

• No planktonic algal blooms

• Very good water clarity

Managing the aquatic plant life in Big Bear Lake is a scientific balancing act. A certain percentage of lake weeds are required to meet state agency requirements for fisheries and total daily maximum load levels for sediments. The macro algae is ugly, but it’s good for the fishery.

The littoral zone is the area in which weeds can photosynthesize and grow, Stephenson explained. Right now the littoral zone is at about 1,104 acres, he said.

In 2008, the entire surface of the lake was covered with a blue-green algae. Some forms of the blue-green algae are toxic and were recently blamed for the death of 100 elk in New Mexico. Commonly referred to as pond scum, Anabaeja flosaquae, a form of blue-green algae, produces a neurotoxin that is lethal to wildlife.

The 2008 bloom in Big Bear Lake did not cause wildlife death, but Stephenson said “it was brutal,” and posed a health issue. Blue-green algae blooms are treated as they are seen, he said.

Harvesting milfoil is a bad idea, Stephenson said. That’s how Big Bear Lake ended up with 1,090 acres of milfoil in 2000. Herbicides are a better approach, Stephenson said. But removing milfoil allows coontail to increase, but Stephenson said he would rather deal with coontail than milfoil any day.

Paul Beaty, who recently retired as the owner of an aquatic management firm in the Imperial Valley area, suggested the MWD research the use of sterile fish, which will eat milfoil. It was successful in Imperial Valley and could be another tool to battle milfoil, he said.

A narrow window for treating weeds exists: June 15 to Sept. 15. Due to the dry winter in 2012-13, the streams quit running early and the temperatures in May were similar to mid to late summer, said board member Vince Smith. That put the MWD behind in its weed battle. Milfoil can grow up to a foot per day, Stephenson said.

Bob Amezquita, of Big Bear Lake, said he is concerned because the number of people coming to Big Bear to fish is decreasing. He said the decline is due to the increase of weeds.

Stephenson said based on boat permits issued by the MWD, visitor numbers don’t show a decline. Fishing may have declined for other reasons, but that’s the subject of another workshop, he said.

It’s not just fishing that is impacted by weeds, according to Jim Dooley, of Fawnskin. Dooley owns North Shore Trading Company and is the organizer of the annual PaddleFest. While not a fisherman, Dooley said it is hard to get to the beach by kayak, and he sees the problems fishermen are having due to the weeds.

The Nov. 22 workshop was a first look at the possible ways to treat weeds in the future. A full-scale harvesting program would include purchasing a second harvester, semi-tractor, conveyor and other associated equipment, to the tune of $625,000. Annually, that would cost the district about $263,000. In addition to pesticide treatments of about $106,000, the annual proposed costs sit at $370,270.

Stephenson will begin researching availability of equipment. The board asked for recommendations as soon as possible for consideration so equipment and staffing will be in place by June 15.

 

Boating/Fishing Season Slowing Down in Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake (November 2, 2013)

Boating/Fishing Season Slowing Down in Big Bear Lake

I saw one boat on the lake this weekend as I was out driving around showing property.

The public launch ramps along North Shore Drive are closing down for the Winter. The Duane Boyer Public Launch , also called the West Ramp, closed for the season on October 7th. The Carol Morrison Public Launch, or the East Ramp, is still open from 7am to 3pm through the end of the month (November 30th).

Big Bear Lake never officially closes, but we’re at a point in the season where boating and fishing will be uncommon occurrences.  The Municipal Water District, who oversees the recreational aspects of the lake, will start cutting back on Summer staff with respect to the Lake Patrol and staff at the launch ramps.

Make sure you check back later in the week to view an update on lakefront sales in Big Bear for 2013.

Top Stories You Might Have Missed This Week in Big Bear

1). The Old Fire – A Decade Later

By Judy Bowers, Reporter BIG BEAR GRIZZLY

(Photo courtesy of the Big Bear Grizzly)

Residents of Big Bear Valley who have called the mountaintop home for more than 10 years know where they were and what they were doing Oct. 28, 2003. It’s when they were told to pack up and leave home.

The Old Fire was rapidly approaching Big Bear, having advanced up the mountain and causing devastation and destruction in the Lake Arrowhead area. It was time to take a stand, and to do that, emergency officials felt the best thing was to evacuate Big Bear.

Many residents of the Lake Arrowhead area communities had sought shelter in Big Bear after having been evacuated from their homes to the west. They climbed back in their vehicles and with the residents of Big Bear inched their way off the mountain toward the desert. There was only one route open—Highway 18 toward Lucerne Valley. The fire was ravaging the front way and Highway 38 was being kept closed in case flames traveled through the canyon from the west, and for emergency vehicle access.

The exodus was slow and painstaking, and residents left homes and businesses behind for close to a week as fire crews from Big Bear aided by additional crews from around the country made a stand. The fire stopped before it reached Big Bear.

Big Bear resident Sharon Gytri recalls the approach of the Old Fire and being asked to evacuate. “When the wind changed direction early in the morning and smoke was pouring into Big Bear, I drove down the hill to work with our family photo albums and other valuables,” Gytri says. “Ashes were dropping in Apple Valley even, where I taught. I drove to Las Vegas, and it was even smoky there.”

Gytri eventually evacuated to Montana where she stayed with her daughter in the Montana State University-Bozeman dorm. “On the plane I started crying thinking that if we lost our town, it would be an end of a community of people and never the same,” Gytri says. She took her daughter to a spa, and the masseuse had word of Big Bear because her boyfriend was a firefighter sent to the community. Gytri learned the smoke was blowing in the other direction and the Valley was safe.

More than anything in the past 10 years, the community has recognized that we live in a fire-prone environment and taken steps to prevent disaster, says Jeff Willis, Big Bear fire chief. There has been a great deal of work done on fuels management, transportation corridors and tons of pre-planning with various agencies, Willis says.

The Mountain Area Safety Task Force as it operates today was launched in response to the bark beetle infestation that hit a critical point just before the Old Fire, which burned 91,000 acres. The work by MAST prior to the October 2003 fire saved thousands of homes, Willis says.

Work is complete or near complete on the absolutely critical areas regarding fire suppression such as creating the shaded fuel breaks. Just because a great deal has been completed, it’s never really finished forever, Willis says. The areas that have been treated, on public and private lands, will need re-treatment and maintenance, he says.

Since the Old Fire, the Healthy Urban Forest Initiative was put in place. The Community Wildfire Protection Plan was completed, the curbside chipping and wood shake/shingle roof replacement programs operational, along with work done by Forest Care and the Fire Safe Council. But funding for those programs has dwindled. The curbside chipping program was terminated this year due to lack of grant funding.

A lot of good work has taken place, but now it’s up to the community to decide what it wants from the fire service. “I’m not comfortable doing nothing because I ran out of money,” Willis says.

The Old Fire, which started Oct. 25, 2003, was deemed to have been intentional. Rickie Lee Fowler was convicted of arson and murder, and sentenced to death earlier this year. The case is automatically appealed to the California Supreme Court because of the death penalty sentence. Don Jordan of Sugarloaf represented Fowler at trial but retired after the sentencing.

We are surrounded by National Forest so the treat of fire is always a concern here in the valley.  When there’s a mandatory evacuation from your home, the exercise of determining “what’s important” in your life is a real eye-opener.  

2). Final Line On Trout Fishing In 2013

By KATHY PORTIE, Reporter BIG BEAR GRIZZLY

Talk around the Big Bear Lake fishing community this year has all been about the lack of fish, particularly trout. There may be some truth to the rumor, but perhaps not as much as some would might expect.

Fred Valko of Moonridge said he experienced the worst year of fishing in the 14 years he’s lived here. “The bad part is that word has spread down below, and fishermen are not coming up the mountain,” Valko said. “Bad for all businesses.”

Mike Stephenson, the lake operations manager for the Big Bear Municipal Water District, reported to the district’s board of directors Oct. 3 that there were fewer fish planted in the lake this year by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. According to Stephenson, several hatcheries in Northern California yielded fewer fish this season, which resulted in fewer fish available for plants. “The (MWD) just augmented stockings with a big purchase and released all the cage-raised fish we had,” Stephenson said.

The last time the state conducted a fish plant in Big Bear Lake was Sept. 22. Trout were also planted in the lake Oct. 3 in time for the annual Western Outdoor News Troutfest, Stephenson said. “We stocked 3,500 pounds of sub-trophy fish,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson said the numbers he’s received from the Department of Fish and Wildlife show that stocking of Big Bear Lake from that agency was down 50 percent. “That’s worse than I thought it was,” Stephenson said. “We used to get about $500,000 worth of fish from them, about 157,000 pounds.”

The MWD fish budget is about $45,000 and $10,000 of that goes to the Kool Kids program. To supplement the state’s stocking program, the MWD would need about $250,000. “I’ll do what I can, but we just don’t have the money,” Stephenson said.

The shortage will continue into next season, Stephenson said he was told by Fish and Wildlife. Funding has been slashed for the DFW’s fish plants. From now on, Stephenson said, trout from the state’s hatcheries must be triple A, which means sterile. That decision came after a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity claimed the hatchery trout were breeding with steelheads and diluting the breed.

The dry winter in California could also factor in the decline in trout numbers. Trout are deep water fish, and when the lake level is low, there isn’t much deep water for them. The Santa Ana River flow is the least it’s been in 26 years, Stephenson said. “The flow into our lake last spring was zero, absolutely nothing. It tells you how dry the summer and fall is, all the way back to last winter,” he said.

Former Big Bear Marina owner Alan Sharp doesn’t have scientific numbers, but he thinks there’s more than fewer fish plants behind the decline. With a warm Big Bear winter in 2013, there were more anglers fishing from the shore last winter, Sharp said. He believes that resulted in the lake virtually being fished out.

Others, like Sue McManus of Sugarloaf, said the abundance of weeds near the shore made it difficult for fishermen this season. “The few times we went out it was bad,” McManus said. “I remember at least in the past someone with us would always catch something, but this year none of us did.”

Stephenson has heard that story before, but disagrees. Native weeds benefit the ecosystem, he points out.

“We had a large decrease in non-native weeds and an increase in native weeds, which benefit warm water species,” Stephenson said. The weeds also increase the lake’s dissolved oxygen levels, which benefits cold-water trout, he adds. “The only contributions the weeds had were positive,” he said.

Stephenson, whose job is to keep track of fishing in Big Bear Lake, admits fishing this past spring was slower than usual. “But mid summer was better than usual,” Stephenson said. “And we had a lot of nice fish caught at Troutfest.”

And it was a good year for warm-water fishing. The warm-water fish in Big Bear Lake are multiplying.

As for trout, this is a put and take lake, Stephenson said. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, Stephenson said it was about a 7 for trout. “Big Bear has been a 10 for years, which makes it feel slow this year, but it was still the best place to fish for trout in Southern California,” he said. “That’s why they call it fishing, not catching.”  

The last quote is classic!

3). Run the Race before you Stuff your Face!

Turkey Trot Course Map (courtesy of www.bigbearturkeytrot.com)

The first-ever Big Bear Turkey Trot is on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, at Meadow Park. It will be a 3-mile, 6-mile or 9-mile road run in Big Bear Lake.

First prize is an actual turkey.  There will also be prizes for the best costume, and for the fastest turkey and fastest bear of the day.

Online registration is open through Nov. 20 at 10 p.m.  Visit www.bigbearturkeytrot.com and register for the 9-mile ($45), 6-mile ($40) or 3-mile ($35) race.

Registration is also available on the day of the event.  Packet pickup and site registration is Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 28 from 7 to 9 a.m. The 9-mile race starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 6-mile at

9 a.m. and the 3-mile at 9:30 a.m. Awards, costume contest and opportunity drawings are at 10:30 a.m.  Meadow Park is at 41220 Park Ave., Big Bear Lake.

The entire family plans on running this Thanksgiving!  Looking forward to it.