BIG BEAR LAKE – Due to unforeseen circumstances created by the coronavirus, TroutfesT 2020 at Big Bear Lake has been delayed a year. The 16th annual Troutfest will now take place Oct. 2-3, 2021 and WON is very much looking forward to the resumption of this longstanding family tradition.
It is our hope that trout fans won’t have to wait long to celebrate the upcoming fall fishing season. Plans are underway to stage a similar family event in Southern California in 2020. We’ll bring you more details the moment they are available. Anglers who signed up for the 2020 TroutfesT will have the option of rolling over their entry fees to the new event, which will bring the popular TroutfesT format and sponsor prizes to new water. Stay tuned, more info is coming as soon as next week!
Big Bear Lake TroutfesT
October 3rd – 4th, 2020
YES…. Even COVID-19 can’t keep us away! There will be tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes at stake, trophies and prizes for adult big fish winners (men and women’s division), Big 5 Kids Division ( both boys and girls ), and the Big Bear community will as always roll out the red carpet for all the WON anglers!
We have held the entry fee to $75 for adults and $50 for juniors (14 and under), and the first 600 entries will receive a goodie bag with a selection of items from event sponsors.
Here is just some of what you get when you sign up for the WON Big Bear TroutfesT:
1) Each person that signs up for the 2020 Big Bear TroutfesT will have their angler number added to the raffle bin for a chance to win the grand raffle prize boat and motor package. On Sunday, October 4th at the end of the awards program, one lucky angler will win that prize. In addition to the grand raffle prize, there are tons of other raffle prize awards dished out.
2) Trophies and merchandise will be awarded to the top five winners in each of the following categories: Adult Male, Adult Female, Big 5 Kids Division Male (14 and under) and Big 5 Kids Division Female (14 and under). This event is perfect for the entire family, and we have prizes and levels so that anyone can win!
3) A Blind Bogey Contest in which participants can win cash. 10 random weights will be chosen for each days combined weight. If your daily weighs is closest to, but not over the pre-determined Blind Bogey weight, you win your share of the money pooled for that day. All anglers that have signed up will be eligible for the cash that will be awarded as part of the Blind Bogey Contest.
4) Of course, the fishing should be great at Big Bear Lake, and as always, WON stocks thousands of dollars worth of trout in the lake prior to the event, with the help and cooperation of the Big Bear Municipal Water District.
This year, as in the past, this event will be limited to only 1,000 entries and it does fill up fast, so don’t delay on getting in on this one.For more information on the 16th annual Western Outdoor News Big Bear Lake TroutfesT, or call TD Billy Egan (949) 366-0248.
Friday October 2nd – Anglers check-in at the Big Bear Municipal Water District parking lot from 5 pm to 9 pm. (40524 Lakeview Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315; TEL: 1-909-866-5796). Anglers will receive their wristband with raffle number on it, goodie bag, copy of rules and itinerary, and most importantly, have their raffle number placed into a raffle bin which makes them eligible to win prizes, including the Klamath boat with 20 hp Suzuki tiller motor and EZ Loader trailer package courtesy of Klamath Boats and Suzuki Motors valued at $13,000. Late sign-ups, if any are available, will also be taken at this time with a $15 late fee assessed.
Saturday October 3rd – Late angler check-in at the Big Bear Municipal Water District (40524 Lake View Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 909-866-5796) from 5 am to 6 am. It is strongly recommended however that you use the Friday evening check-in.
Fishing will begin on Saturday morning, October 3rd at 7:00 am and continue until 4 pm. The official tournament scales, located at the Big Bear Municipal Water District parking lot, (40524 Lakeview Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA) will be open from 12 pm until 4 pm. Anglers not in line by 4 pm will not have their fish weighed and their catch will not count towards that day’s competition. Once you weigh fish, you are done for the day and cannot weigh additional fish or continue to fish.
Sunday October 4th – Fishing will begin on Sunday morning, October 4th at 7:00 am and continue until 2 pm. Scales will be open at the Big Bear Municipal Water District parking lot from 11 am to 2 pm. Anglers not in line by 2 pm will not have their fish weighed and their catch will not count towards that day’s competition. Once you weigh fish, you are done for the day and cannot weigh additional fish. Each angler may weigh only 5 fish per day.
The raffle prize drawing and awards ceremonies will commence around 3:30 pm in the Big Bear Municipal Water District parking lot.
We will be awarding 1st through 5th place trophies and prizes for the top adult male, top adult female, top junior male (under 14 years of age), top junior female (under 14 years of age) and overall big fish. Thousands of dollars in raffle prizes will be raffled off to those in attendance. You must be present to win. The Blind Bogie cash prizes will also be awarded on Sunday. The awards ceremony will end with the grand prize raffle of the $13,000 Klamath boat and 20 hp Suzuki motor package with EZ Loader trailer. Awards should be over no later than 5-5:30 pm to allow everyone the chance to get down the hill before dark.
Since there is no seating in the Big Bear Marina parking lot, it is strongly recommended that you bring folding lawn/beach chairs.
Additionally, due to the crowd size, no dogs will be allowed on BBMWD property during the TroutfesT award ceremonies.
- Contestants may fish from shore, float tube, canoe, kayak, boat, or any other legally permissible vessel provided they meet all local, state, and federal regulations.
- All boats, including float tubes, canoes, and kayaks used during the TroutfesT must be properly outfitted with the USCG mandated equipment for their vessel, which may include but is not limited to, anchors, running lights, throw cushions, life vests, signal devices, oars, and bailing devices. All vessels must also possess current state registration stickers if required.
- Contestants using their own vessels must obtain a special permit, which is obtained through the Big Bear Municipal Water District office prior to the contest. Vessels are also subject to a Quagga Mussel inspection prior to launch on Big Bear Lake.
- All participants under 13 years of age fishing from a vessel 26 feet or less are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest (PFD) during on the water tournament hours. See dbw.ca.gov for details concerning life vests.
- At the time of check-in, all TroutfesT contestants will be issued a wristband with their raffle number on it. These wristbands must be worn for the duration of the event and should not be removed until the close of the contest at 6:00 pm on October 4th, 2020.
- Pre-fishing with a licensed guide is permitted up until 5 pm on October 2nd, 2020. Other than providing emergency assistance, no fishing guides licensed on Big Bear Lake may participate, or in any way assist other TroutfesT participants during the contest period.
- All California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations will apply to the TroutfesT. All contestants 16 years of age or older will be required to possess and carry a valid California Fishing license. Any angler cited as being in violation of California or Federal Fish and Game laws will be disqualified from the TroutfesT.
- All fish submitted for weight during the TroutfesT must be taken from the waters of Big Bear Lake during the official contest hours. Fish brought in from outside of Big Bear Lake as judged by the tournament staff will result in angler disqualification. All fish must be caught live, with rod and reel, fair game hooked, per California Department of Fish & Wildlife regulations. No snagged fish will be accepted. CA Fish and Wildlife regulations may be viewed on line at wildlife.ca.gov.
- All California Department of Boating & Waterways and all local Big Bear Lake Municipal Water District boating regulations must be observed during the tournament. Any boat operator cited by local, state, or federal agencies for violating boating laws during the tournament will be disqualified.
- Lake Closures – Big Bear Lake will be closed to TroutfesT contestant fishing from 5 pm on October 2nd to 7:00 am on October 3rd. The lake will again close to TroutfesT contestant fishing on October 3rd at 4 pm and reopen on October 4th at 7:00 am. It will close again on October 4th at 2 pm. Contestants may be on the water during off-limits times but are not allowed to have lines in the water. Anglers found fishing during the off-limits period will be disqualified from the TroutfesT.
- Official Contest Hours – The TroutfesT will start at 7:00 am on Saturday, October 3rd and cease at 4 pm on October 3rd. To facilitate vessel launching, anglers may be on the water earlier than this, but MAY NOT have any lines in the water. Scales will open Saturday at 12:00 pm in the parking lot of the Big Bear Municipal Water District parking lot and close at 4:00 pm. All anglers who are in line prior to 4:00 pm will have their fish weighed. On Sunday, October 4th, the contest will start at 7:00 am and cease at 2:00 pm. Scales will open at 11:00 am and close at 2:00 pm. Again, all anglers in line prior to 2:00 pm will have their fish weighed. The tournament director is the keeper of the official event time.
- Limits/Size – Trout submitted for weight during the TroutfesT must be a minimum of 10 inches in overall length (from tip of nose to tip of tail). All fish under 10 inches as determined by our weigh staff will not be included in the total weight. Each angler in the TroutfesT may weigh 5 trout per day. Once you weigh your fish, you are done for the day and may not submit any additional fish for inclusion to your daily weight. You may not go back out fishing once you have weighed your fish.
- Unless cooperating jointly, all boats must maintain a distance of 50 feet between them when anchored or drift fishing. Boats which are trolling are exempt from this rule. There is no minimum distance for shoreline anglers.
- The Tournament Director has the sole discretion to disqualify any catch for any reason deemed to violate any tournament rules or the spirit of the competition. Decisions of the Tournament Director are final and may not be appealed. All anglers are responsible for weighing in their OWN fish and may not pass or hand off any fish to anyone else. Handing off fish to junior anglers will not be accepted, and if you are caught handing off a fish, both anglers are subject to immediate disqualification. Protests must be filed in writing with the Tournament Director no later than 2:30 pm on Sunday, October 4th to be considered.
- Divisional Prizes ─ Merchandise prizes will be awarded to the top 5 finishers in each of the Adult Male, Adult Female, and Junior’s divisions based upon total weight at the close of the competition. The largest trout of the tournament will also receive a trophy and merchandise. Junior divisions consist of anglers under the age of 14. All divisional winners must be present to receive their prizes, or the merchandise portion of their prizes will be donated to the general raffle.
- Ties ─ In case of a tie based upon weight, the greater number of fishes caught over the course of the two-day event will determine the winner. In case the anglers each caught the same number of fishes, the winner will be determined by their entry date. The earliest entry date will win the tie breaker, so sign up early!
- Raffle Prizes – All anglers as a part of their entry will have their raffle number (from their wristband) placed into a raffle bin. Raffle numbers will be drawn, and raffles will be awarded to those persons who are present. Contestants who are not present will forfeit their prize. All raffle numbers will be placed back into the raffle bin prior to the Grand Prize drawing of the Klamath boat/Suzuki Motor and EZ Loader trailer package.
- Blind Bogey Contest ─ Each person entered in the TroutfesT is a part of the Blind Bogey contest. $20 of each entry fee is allocated for this contest. 75% of all blind bogey monies will go to the Big Bear Municipal Water District and will be used solely for restocking Big Bear Lake with trout. The remaining 25% will be distributed to participating anglers in the form of cash prizes. Blind Bogey prize drawings will be held Sunday during the awards ceremonies.
- All anglers and family members attending the 2020 Big Bear Lake TroutFest will adhere to county social distancing guidelines and wear a face buff or mask during all tournament activities. We will be utilizing the large BBMWD parking lot for our weigh-ins and awards, and it is recommended that all participants space out accordingly.
- No parking will be permitted in the BBMWD parking lot from Friday October 2nd through Sunday October 4th, 2020. No truck and trailer parking will be permitted in the Big Bear Marina parking lot.
- It is our understanding that the BBMWD “EAST” ramp is the best place for boat inspection and permit applications. All anglers that are bringing and launching their personal boats are strongly advised to get there early Friday morning at minimum, to get your boat inspected and permitted for the weekends event. Most marinas are at full capacity now, and slips may be hard to attain for the event. Please contact your favorite marina for specifics.