$55,000 fishing derby two weeks away

Nearly 1,000 fisherman are expected to take part in the hunt for a portion of the $55,000 in prize money being offered in the 33rd Annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby April 30 and May 1.

The event features 1,000 rainbow trout tagged for prize money.

Tagged fish in the derby, sponsored by the Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce, include two worth $10,000, one for $5,000, 150 at $100, and 850 worth $20 each.

Registration is $25 per person and $60 per family, with family registration limited to husband and wife, and up to three children under the age of 16.

All participants, except for children under the age of 16, must have a valid California Fishing License.

In order to qualify for prizes participants must be registered by 9 a.m. April 30, at one of the three Fishing Derby Headquarters - The Forks Resort, Millers Landing Resort, or Bass Lake Boat Rentals.

Registration forms can be downloaded at Participants can validate their advance registration at any of the derby headquarters.

In 2014, for the second year in a row, a tagged trout worth $10,000 was caught on the second day of the derby by Jerry Vang, then 21 years old, of Fresno. He was fly fishing at Brown’s Ditch at the east end of the lake near the dam, at about 3 p.m. when he caught fish No. 14447.

That year was Vang’s third to enter the derby, catching one $20 trout in 2012 and one in 2013. In addition to his brother, Vang was fishing with two friends. The foursome caught a total of 10 tagged fish during the 2014 derby - in addition to the “big” one, the fishing partners combined caught seven $20 fish and two $100 fish.

In 2013, a $10,000 fish was caught by Pete Antonino, then 84, of Fresno. In 2007, Terry Rickards of Oakhurst caught a $25,000 trout, and a $10,000 fish was landed in 1993.

A total of 855 fisherman participated in the derby last year, catching 260 tagged fish with the chamber paying out $19,180 in prize money.

The derby takes place regardless of weather conditions.

Details: (559) 642-3676,

Staff Report