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Big Pine students are loaded with worms for trout opener

April 25, 2013 |  6:31 am


For more than 40 years, the senior class at tiny Big Pine High School (enrollment 36) lines up outside the high school on Highway 395 to raise money for its annual senior trip.

They sell worms to eager fishermen who come in wave after wave for the Inyo County trout season opener.

This year's senior class of 12 will be lined up at 6 a.m. on Friday ready to welcome the visitors on their way to Bishop or Mammoth Lakes to fish for trout. 

They will be standing on the road next to the high school with lots of worms to offer. And they aren't leaving until they are out of worms.

It's an important tradition, because this year's senior class has booked a beach house in Oxnard and will spend grad night at Magic Mountain. Selling worms will help pay for the trip.

"We're very excited," said senior softball player Mary Rossi.

In the old days, seniors would dig for worms and pack the containers themselves. Now they order the worms and sell them to the "hundreds of people" who stop by, according to senior advisor Tim Steele.

The cost: $5.50 for a container of 10 worms.

There also will be coffee, doughnuts and a friendly smile from the students to greet those making the annual trip to launch trout season.

They'll be holding signs, such as, "Got worms!"

Several of the seniors played on Big Pine's eight-man football team.

Micah Bacoch, the center, is also a trout fisherman who might be spending his own money on worms.

"I caught a big one a couple years back," he said.

So all you fishermen headed to trout country, the senior students of Big Pine can't wait to welcome you. And, if you buy some worms, you'll be donating to a great cause -- a beach trip to Oxnard.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Buckets of worms are at the ready for sale from the Big Pine senior class before the trout opener. Credit: Parker Bear