Feature Article: Troutfest Promo

Western Outdoor News Big Bear Lake TroutfesT celebrating 15 years ‘up the hill’

Popular annual event returns Oct. 5-6, 2019

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 11, 2019

BIG BEAR LAKE — As with anything in life, traditions and cherished pastimes only emerge with time, and the Western Outdoor News Big Bear Lake TroutfesT is one tradition that trout anglers from all over the Southland have come to embrace each and every early fall. The first weekend in October will mark the 15th annual TroutfesT at Big Bear Lake, with the promise of good early fall trouting and the usual smorgasbord of prizes to be dished out to anglers once the dust settles.

A 15-FOOT KLAMATH ADVANTAGE armed with a Suzuki 20hp tiller motor is the granddaddy raffle prize of them all, and you don’t even have to catch a single fish to win it. Bob Blaydes of Clovis missed on the trout but was all smiles after his number was called for the sleek aluminum prize boat at last October’s TroutfesT.

Big Bear is already into its prime trout season with very good fishing overall thus far, and with heavy stockings on tap throughout the season — including in the days and weeks just prior to TroutfesT — there ought to be no shortage of rainbow targets out there to fill anglers’ stringers come October. It’s the perfect family-friendly trout derby for fisherfolk of all ilks, from novices to long-seasoned trouters, always a blast of a weekend and lots of winners coming home with some cool new gear and sponsor swag.

The event format is simple: anglers compete in four different divisions — Adult Male, Adult Female and Junior Male and Junior Female — for trophies and prizes for the top 5 heaviest total overall weight of trout over two days in each division, with some sweet prizes also on the line for the biggest overall rainbow of the event. There will also be lots of gear doled out during the general raffle at Sunday’s awards ceremony, highlighted by the Grand Raffle Prize of a 15-foot Klamath Advantage aluminum boat armed with a Suzuki 20hp tiller motor — a $12,000 boat that you don’t even have to catch a single trout in order to win! Just simply signing up for the event puts you in the running for this trout-hunting machine.

Every angler landing in the top 5 of each division will cash in with trophies and top-shelf Lew’s rods and reels, with a bevy of other great prizes ranging from Rapala lure packages, Engel coolers, SKB tackle Tak-Pak tackle backpacks, Sierra Slammers lure packages, Frog Toggs hats and more. Some of those items will also be up for grabs at the general raffle as well for those anglers missing out on landing in the top 5, while the second big-ticket raffle prize will be a Suzuki 9.9hp motor.

familyfunFAMILY FUN IS the name of the game at the annual Big Bear Lake TroutfesT.

The big fish of TroutfesT will also bring the angler who lands it a tidy haul of goods: a Lowrance 5-inch Hook 2 electronics unit, a $250 Yo-Zuri lure assortment and a lifelike replica of the winning rainbow courtesy of Global Fish Mounts. Not bad at all for that one big bite for whoever happens to find it.

Along with all the goods up for grabs in the general raffle, there will also be a special Panther Martin / Sea Eagle raffle, which will yield one lucky angler a Sea Eagle SUPCat10 with a Suzuki 2.5hp motor, a unique “catamaran-style” individual fishing platform that’s highly portable, lightweight and gets you into those tight spots where big fish lurk. You control your odds for this raffle too: your raffle tickets for the SUPCat10/ Suzuki package will be as many empty Panther Martin lure packages as you want to bring to TroutfesT and throw in the hopper with your name and angler number written on the back. There’s no limit to the number of Panther Martin lure packages you can toss in, and they will be collected at both the event registration and at the weigh-ins both days of the derby.

There will also be Blind Bogey prizes awarded in the form of nice checks going out to the anglers who weigh in rainbows that hit closest to the randomly selected weights chosen prior to the event — any trout can be a big winner here this first weekend in October.

Along with all of the prizes set to be meted out at TroutfesT, each angler will also receive individual goodie bags at the event registration on Friday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Big Bear Visitor’s Bureau (630 Bartlett Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315). Included in those goodie bags that come with a TroutfesT entry fee will be lures from Thomas Buoyant and Rooster Tail, Hi-Seas monofilament line, Frogg Toggs ponchos, Techron Marine fuel treatment for boaters and official TroutfesT 2019 hats.

That is quite a bit up for grabs for anglers at just a modest entry fee of $75 for adults and $50 for children under 16 — which includes each angler’s Blind Bogey ante, $15 toward trout stocking at the lake and a free barbecue that will be held prior to Sunday’s awards ceremony at Big Bear Marina — especially when you’ve got a plethora of ways to win whether or not you even get a bite. Though the cooling conditions of early October often lend themselves to a cooperating contingent of biting Big Bear rainbows and a resurgent bite from the dog days of summer.

Locking up your spot for the 15th annual Big Bear Lake TroutfesT couldn’t be easier. Simply visit WONews.com and click on the ‘WON EVENTS’ tab and then click on the TroutfesT link. You can also call Western Outdoor News Tournament Director Billy Egan at (949) 366-0248 to secure your 2019 entry.

TroutfesT anglers will kick off the festivities by coming to the check-in registration at the Big Bear Visitor’s Bureau from 6 to 9 p.m. when goodie bags will be dished out, and the trout-catching bonanza will then get underway in the gray light of dawn early Saturday morning, with the event-culminating awards ceremony capping the weekend after the scales close early Sunday afternoon.

Who will be 2019’s big winners “up the hill” is yet to be revealed. But you can’t win unless you’re in, so be sure to hop on board for the 15th annual installment of the highlight of Big Bear’s fall season at TroutfesT 2019.

See you in October!


THIS YEAR’S GENERAL raffle will also feature a Suzuki 9.9hp outboard among the many other great prizes.

TROUTFEST 2019: The ins and outs of the event

WHAT: The 15th annual Western Outdoor News / Big Bear Lake TroutfesT.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6. Check-in registration on Friday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Big Bear Visitor’s Bureau.

WHERE: Big Bear Marina – 500 Paine Ct., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315; Big Bear Lake Visitor’s Bureau – 630 Bartlett Rd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

HOW TO SIGN UP: Sign up for TroutfesT 2019 online by visiting WONews.com and clicking on the ‘WON EVENTS’ tab, or call TroutfesT Tournament Director Billy Egan at (949) 366-0248.

ENTRY FEES: $75 for Adult entries and $50 for kids under the age of 16 (includes Blind Bogey ante, $15 toward the lake’s trout stocking and a free barbecue during Sunday’s awards ceremonies).

GRAND RAFFLE PRIZE: 15-foot Klamath Advantage aluminum boat with Suzuki 20hp tiller motor and EZ-Loader trailer.

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