Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Fishing tournaments

Big Bear Lake's 'Fishin' for $50K' Trout Derby registration open

A tagged trout similar to this could be worth $50,000.

Registration is open for anglers interested in participating in Big Bear Lake’s "Fishin' for $50K Trout Derby." The third annual tournament, scheduled Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., offers the chance for a lucky angler who catches the grand-prize tagged trout to net $50,000 (the tags will look similar to that in the photo above, from the inaugural tournament, though will be a different color to thwart possible cheating).

"We're calling all bounty hunters, or in this case bounty anglers, to come up to Big Bear to catch a tagged trout worth $50,000," said Big Bear Lake Resort Assn. Chief Executive Rick Shoup. "The grand prize is no pocket change."

There will be a total of 10 tagged trout planted, including the one particular fish worth the top prize. Prizes for the other nine fish include Big Bear lodging and adventure packages.

In addition to the tagged trout, anglers who catch the largest fish by weight in four classes -- adult male, adult female, male child younger than 16 and female child younger than 16 -- will be awarded prizes. There will also be a bonus prize of $500 awarded to the overall largest trout by weight caught using Berkley PowerBait.

The entry fee is $40 for adults and $25 for children under 16. The tournament is limited to the first 750 registrants.

Free entry will be given to those who stay at least one night June 10-12 at a participating Big Bear Lake Resort Assn. lodge, and to anglers who rent a pontoon boat at a participating marina in Big Bear Lake the weekend of the tournament. 

An awards ceremony will take place June 12 at 3 p.m. in the Big Bear Visitor Center parking lot. The ceremony will include a raffle, with thousands of dollars' worth of fishing gear, bait and tackle from national manufacturers up for grabs. Prizes for tagged fish that have not been redeemed, with the exception of the $50,000 grand prize tagged fish, will be donated to the raffle.

Read the rules, or go online or call (800) 424-4232 to register for the tournament. Registration may also be completed online, by mail or by fax.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A tagged trout similar to this could be worth $50,000. Credit: Dan McKernan / Big Bear Lake Resort Assn.

Los Suenos Signature Billfish Series begins Wednesday off Costa Rica

The eighth annual Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series begins Wednesday off Costa Rica.

The eighth annual Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series begins Wednesday off Costa Rica, and the call of "Hookup!" will likely be heard often throughout the tournament.

The strictly catch-and-release competition, fished out of Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Playa Herradura, Costa Rica, takes place in two legs -- January 26-29 and March 2-5 -- and targets all species of marlin as well as Pacific sailfish. The event is sanctioned by both the World Billfish Series and the International Game Fish Assn.

Points will be awarded for each successful release -- 500 for marlin and 100 for Pacific sailfish -- with the top three boats per tournament awarded trophies and cash prizes based on overall points.

Registrants can still sign up for one or both legs of the series. The entry fee is $7,000 per boat per tournament or $10,000 per boat for both events.

Last year, 43 teams from the United States, Nicaragua and Russia entered the tournament and ended up releasing a total 1,014 billfish during the six days of competition.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: The eighth annual Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series begins Wednesday off Costa Rica. Credit: Los Sueños Resort and Marina

Outposts looks back at 2010: Unusual news

With the year ending, it is worth looking back at memorable posts of 2010. Each day this week through Friday, Outposts will recount some of the records broken, the achievements reached, the notable passings and the downright unusual during 2010 in the outdoors, action and adventure world.

Toddler using Barbie fishing pole lands 20-lb. muskie

Ella Haag caught a 20-pound muskie with her Barbie fishing pole. Two-year-old Ella Haag was fishing with her grandparents at Round Lake near Randall, Minn., on May 15 when she landed her first fish, using her pink Barbie fishing pole.

Her grandfather grabbed a net and soon they pulled in a 30-inch muskie weighing in at a little under 20 pounds -- a fish bigger than the angler who caught it.

Screen grab: Fox 9 News Minnesota video


American adventurer crosses English Channel using helium balloons and a chair

American cluster balloonist Jonathan Trappe became the first person to cross the English Channel in a chair attached to helium balloons. In a stunt definitely from the "don't try this at home" category, American adventurer Jonathan Trappe crossed the English Channel on May 28 in a chair attached to a cluster of helium balloons, touching down safely in a French field.

When asked what had inspired him to make the journey, Trappe replied, "Didn't you have this dream, grabbing onto a bunch of toy balloons and floating off?"

Photo: Gareth Fuller / Associated Press


Wingsuit base-jumping video well worth watching

Wingsuit base-jumper displays some daring moves. This video, on YouTube since June, is awesome to watch. The wingsuit base-jumper displays some daring moves as he navigates cliffs and mountaintops before opening his parachute.

One thing I keep wondering is: How does one test such a suit to make sure it works as intended before jumping?

Screen grab: YouTube.com/JokkeSommer

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Illinois angler catches, releases 105-pound blue catfish

Jason Jackson and the 105-pound blue catfish he caught and released.

Jason Jackson had a fishing day he'll likely never forget -- during the River Bend Classic Tourney the Piasa, Ill., resident pulled a 105-pound blue catfish out of the Mississippi River.

"I knew it was a pretty big fish when I hooked into it," Jackson told The Telegraph, in Alton, Ill. The 23-year-old caught the lunker using 100-pound braided line and a river herring as bait, and took 20 minutes to land the fish.

While not the largest blue catfish ever caught, it's impressive nonetheless and is believed to be one of the largest ever landed. (The all-tackle world record is a 130-pounder caught July, 2010 on the Missouri River; before that the record blue weighed in at 124 pounds and was caught on the Mississippi River in 2005.)

"I think it was an inch shorter than the world record and the second-biggest blue catfish taken in North America in a tournament. We were pretty excited. It was definitely a century fish."

An environmental biologist, Jackson decided to release the lunker whiskerfish after it was weighed.

"We catch and release all of our fish," he said. "Something that big has to have some great genes and want to spread as much of that offspring as possible."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Jason Jackson and the 105-pound blue catfish he caught and released. Credit: Jason Jackson

Japan's Kona Game Fishing Club-Kusatu wins Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament

Out of the Blue angler Ted Morikawa hugs a 779-pound Pacific blue marlin, the largest fish boated of the 2010 Hawaiian International Billfish tournament. "Stop fishing, stop fishing, stop fishing," rang out at exactly 4:30 p.m. for the final time, and with those words Friday, the 51st annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament came to a close off Kailua-Kona.

This year’s tournament champion and recipient of the HIBT Governor’s Trophy was Japan's Kona Game Fishing Club-Kusatsu, finishing with 2,129 points. Fishing aboard Kila Kila, captained by long-time Kona skipper Teddy Hoogs, the team earned an additional 300 points on Friday, rounding out a week of fishing consistently and putting points on the scoreboard daily. By 8:30 a.m., angler Hiroyuki Murakami had tagged an estimated 200-pound Pacific blue marlin. 

But the story of the day, and the tournament, went to the team Out Of The Blue, from Waianae, Oahu. Fishing aboard the Miss Mojo, captained by Tio Kearney, angler Ted Morikawa boated a whopping 779-pound Pacific blue marlin on Friday, earning his team second place in this year’s competition. "I’ve been fishing in the HIBT for three years, and I guess you could say three’s a charm," Morikawa said. "Captain Kearney encouraged us to fish on live bait. We set up the bait, trolled for a bit and bingo!" With the largest fish caught all week, Out Of The Blue finished with 1,479 points. 

Boyd DeCoito, captain of the 46-foot Foxy Lady, won the tournament’s coveted Henry Chee Award, which goes to the charter boat captain on whose vessel the most number of billfish points have been scored.

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Japan fishing club takes lead on Day Two of the Hawaiian International Billfish tournament

Old South Marlin Club #2 teammates pose with 2010 Miss Billfish, Sonja Ascino, alongside their second tag of the 2010 
Hawaiian International Billfish tournament.

Only one fish was boated on Day Two of the Hawaiian International Billfish tournament taking place through Friday off Kailua-Kona, but it was enough to help secure the standings lead for the team landing it.

It only took 43 minutes for angler Hidemi Hayashi of Hilton Grand Vacations Fishing Club in Japan to land the 531-pound Pacific blue marlin, but the team realized the importance of landing such a big fish, having won the tournament in 2007.

Fishing aboard Marlin Magic, captained by Jason Holtz, Hayashi fought a good fight. "We were fishing way down south. The fish did not take out a lot of line, which made for some quick time," said Holtz. "At the back of the boat, she was jumping and splashing. It felt like being in a rodeo!"

With three minutes left before the end of fishing, Marlin Magic again radioed to headquarters, "Team 19 hooked up," and teammate Shuu Yamaguchi proceeded to tag a shortnose spearfish, propelling the team to first place.   

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Hawaiian International Billfish tournament underway

Angler and 
Olympian Dream Fishing Club team captain Yasuhiko Kagabu, center, poses with the 395-pound Pacific blue marlin he boated. With him is 
Hawaiian International Billfish tournament’s 2010 Miss Billfish, Sonja Ascino
, and JR’s Hooker crew member David Crawford.

The Hawaiian International Billfish tournament began Monday as it has for more than 50 years, with the now legendary phrase: "Start fishing, start fishing, start fishing!"

Taking place through Friday off Kona, the 51st annual "grandfather of all big game fishing tournaments" has 31 teams from around the world -- including five from Australia and Japan, four from New Zealand, U.S. teams from California, Hawaii, Florida and North Carolina plus teams from Canada, Korea, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and Tahiti -- competing for the prestigious HIBT Governor’s Trophy, awarded to the team scoring the highest number of billfish points.

By the end of Day One, 11 teams had put points on the scoreboard, with 15 catches including three boated fish and 12 fish tagged and released. HIBT teams do not boat Pacific blue marlin weighing less than 300 pounds, instead scoring points for their catch and then tagging and releasing them.

Early in the day, the Korea Game Fish Assn., fishing aboard Northern Lights, had a double hook-up. Not quite ready for the double, the team disqualified the first marlin and concentrated on the second. In just 50 minutes, angler Kim Sung Su had boated a 390-pound Pacific blue marlin, winning his team valuable tournament points. "This is my best personal record catch," said Sung Su. "And it’s only the first day of the HIBT!"

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Huge shark caught off Oxnard could be largest fish ever landed off California coast

Angler Sean Carlsen Gizatullin, left, reeled in this 1,098-pound mako shark off the coast of Oxnard. A mako shark caught by a Newbury Park man may be the largest fish ever caught off California's coast.

KTLA-TV reports that Sean Carlsen Gizatullin was taking part in a fishing tournament off the coast of Oxnard when he caught a shortfin mako shark weighing in at 1,098 pounds.

"It went under the boat a few times, came out twice with its jaws open towards the boat," Gizatullin said. "It didn't lunge out or anything crazy like 'Jaws,' but it was still intense."

Gizatullin said that it took him so long to reel in the shark that he was 45 minutes late for the tournament weigh-in and didn't win the event.

Pending verification, the shark is the largest fish of any kind ever caught off the coast of California.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Angler Sean Carlsen Gizatullin, left, reeled in this 1,098-pound mako shark off the coast of Oxnard. Credit: KTLA-TV

Irvine Lake anglers scoring on crappie, bass and catfish

Donny Peterson of Anaheim caught and released this largemouth bass weighing 7.10 pounds at Rocky Point.

Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Both the crappie and catfish action at Irvine Lake improved this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The catfish are still holding very tight to the brush," observed Getty. "Best bait for daytime catfish anglers has been the marshmallow/mealworm combo; they are only biting on mackerel at night."

Most catfish limits this week were made up of prime eating-size whiskerfish in the 2- to 6-pound class. The majority of anglers concentrated their effort on Santiago Flats. Favored baits were mackerel, bonito, shrimp, DuMong’s and Gulp!, with daylight fish responding best marshmallow/mealworm combinations. 

Crappie anglers found excellent numbers of slabsides to about a pound, using white Atomic Tubes or white 2-inch Gulp! Jigging Grubs rigged on 1/16 or 1/32 ball heads. Easy limits are being caught during late afternoon to early evenings by drifting or fishing the jigs around schools of shad. Night-time anglers setting out floating lanterns are scoring some fish, but massive amounts of shad fry are keeping the crappie filled up.    

The inaugural Crappie Classic tournament saw 53 anglers take home some great goodie bags from Berkley, along with numerous raffle prizes handed out by Bob Hoose of Berkley. The field was topped by Brandon Woodward, who had a five-fish stringer totaling 3-14. 

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Irvine Lake catfish and crappie on the chew

Crappie Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

The summer bite at Irvine Lake is going pretty well, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "Bass fishing slacked off a little from last week’s hot bite," Getty said. "It still goes from right at dark until about 9:30 p.m. The fish are biting jigs, big plastics, dropshot baits, and buzzbaits."

Getty continued, "The lake is chock-full of shad fry right now, which has got many of the fish stuffed beyond capacity. Once this shad bloom is over, things should really turn on. The crappie bite is still very good, and the wipers are being caught during daytime by watching for boils, and at nighttime they are biting on cut baits like chicken liver and shrimp."

Catfish anglers are finding their quarry holding very tight to cover, resulting in some large fishing getting away. At least one catfish in the 50-pound class was hooked and lost, despite the catfish specialist's tactic of using 65- or 80-pound test braided line and tying the hook directly to it. Mackerel, bonito and several commercial preparations are scoring nice stringers of eating-size cats in the 2- to 6-pound range. 

Irvine Lake Pro Team leader Marlon Meade found excellent action for crappie during the early evening hours. "We have been getting easy limits of crappie to over 2 pounds by drifting the flats between 4 and 8 p.m.," Meade noted. "Best depth has been 18 to 24 feet, and the best lures have been white Atomic Tubes or white 2-inch Gulp! Swimming Minnows. The winners of the Sport Chalet Outdoor University contest -- Neal and Jonathan Parson and Desiree Sanchez -- had a great time with me, catching a big mess of crappie on Thursday evening."

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Alaska angler catches same 200-pound halibut twice

Fairbanks, Alaska, resident Melody Dalbec with her twice-caught halibut. An Alaska angler had luck on her side recently when she landed the same 200-pound halibut not once, but twice to take top prize in a halibut fishing derby.

Fairbanks resident Melody Dalbec was on a charter fishing trip June 19 out of Valdez, Alaska, with her husband, Randy, when she hooked the fish. She was able to get it to the side of the vessel, where the captain harpooned it, but the halibut ran under the boat and broke the line.

She started fishing again, and soon Dalbec, her husband and another angler got their lines tangled and had to reel them in. And there was the 200-pounder, back on Dalbec's line beneath the tangle. 

"Sure as tootin', it was my fish," Dalbec told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The fish, weighing in at half-pound shy of 200 pounds, was the biggest halibut caught during the Valdez Fish Derbies 11-day "Halibut Hullabaloo" tournament, earning Dalbec two tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. The fish also gave Dalbec the lead in the overall Halibut Derby, and will be worth an additional $15,000 grand prize if it holds up as the largest caught until the contest ends on Sept. 5.

Even if she doesn't garner the top prize, Dalbec certainly is a winner, with an original fishing tale to tell.

"I’m just tickled," Dalbec said. "It's a story I’ll tell my grandkids forever."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Fairbanks, Alaska, resident Melody Dalbec with her twice-caught halibut. Credit: Valdez Fish Derbies

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Fish and Game Q&A: How can catch-and-release fishing be legal in no-take waters?

Angler fly-fishing catch-and-release on Hot Creek.

In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its efforts to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: To allow catch-and-release fishing in no-take waters is an interesting concept because it allows fishing after the limit is achieved. Under this philosophy an angler fishing a catch-and-release-only water (zero limit) would never be able to catch a fish since they would be in momentary possession of an over-limit. Bass tournament fishermen routinely will have a limit in the live well and cull to larger fish (legal or not). Most wardens I’ve talked to don’t like the idea of culling. They say you should stay one short of a limit, but they can’t justify that concept when compared with the zero-limit waters. It would be interesting to have a judge’s perspective. Your thoughts? (Greg P.)

Answer: In waters where the bag limit for trout or salmon is zero, fish for which the bag limit is zero must be released unharmed, and should not be removed from the water.

Given this, if a fish is accidentally killed or dies in the process of catch-and-release fishing in these zero-limit waters, a violation occurs. The fish must be released alive or in a condition where it will live or else it becomes a "take" and the angler can be cited (see Page 27 in the 2010 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet).

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.