BRIDGEPORT — “Challenging” best describes conditions facing Saturday anglers working Northern Mono County waters with winds up to 30 mph at the Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation annual tournament. Monies raised through the event are earmarked for their private trout-rearing project that has been instrumental in filing stringers for anglers hitting local waters
Even with the blustery conditions, there were an impressive number of respectable catches. Bridgeport Reservoir produced larger rainbows with Virginia and Twin Lakes coming in with the numbers, mainly DFG stockers in the ½ to 1½-pound range.
Every registered tournament angler had a shot at the grand prize, a lifetime angling license. This year’s winner was Bridgeport local Donna McMaster who came out on top with the luck of the draw.
On the heavyweight scene, the Paul Benson family from Victorville, once they were able to get the anchors to hold, located a “honey hole” on Bridgeport Reservoir. Inflated nightcrawlers and Power Bait down about 15 feet was the right combination.
Young April Benson nailed down a 3-pound rainbow as a part of her limit, the heaviest catch for the tournament. April’s put her in the top spot for the youth division. Not to be outdone, her brother Paul Jr. nailed down the youth division heaviest stringer title.
And the mother of the young anglers, Sabrina Benson took the heavyweight honors for the ladies division with a 2-pound, 8-ounce catch. Taking the heavyweight stringer honors for the ladies was Sunnyvale angler Terri Rodriguez weighing in a 3-pound, 4-ounce catch taken from Lower Twin Lake.
For the men, local angler Paul McMaster took the top spot for the third consecutive year with a 2-pound, 8-ounce rainbow. He was fishing in heavy weed growth at the East Walker River channel inlet at Bridgeport Reservoir. Bakersfield angler Richard Mott Jr. captured the heavy stringer title with a 5-pound, 6-ounce stringer.
“We don’t have the final figures yet, but it looks like we cleared several thousand dollars for our project,” said Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation President Mike Morrison. “The tournament has been a major funding source for our program the past eight years making it able for us to stock thousands of trout. Our many sponsors continue to make the event a success.”
BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR “honey hole” produced limits for the Paul Benson family from Victorville who were soaking nightcrawlers and Power Bait. April, Paul Jr. and Sabrina Benson all scored as winners in the Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation 8th annual tournament. WON PHOTO BY MARTIN STRELNECK