In all, more than 300 anglers were vying for a total of 50 tagged trout that were among 2,000 pounds of fish planted just prior to the weekend event.
“That’s the kind of thing that happens once in two or three lifetimes. I’ve become a celebrity,” joked the 82-year-old real estate agent afterward.
He caught the fish while trolling with a double-bladed spinner rig that had 16 inches of leader and a night-crawler.
Two other tagged trout were also brought in, netting more than $1,500 each for Greg Viveiros of Merced and Joe Candelaria of Fresno.
The largest fish for the derby was hauled in by Tuake Casiano from Manteca and weighed 32.5 ounces. This year’s fall derby was held on Oct. 7 and 8. Some 365 anglers registered for the competition. For the popular derby, 50 trout were tagged with numbers ranging from 51 to 100. Tags 51 to 53 were set aside for first, second and third prize in the respective amounts of $2,000, $1,000 and $500. Anyone catching a trout with a tag between 54 and 100 received an equal share of the prize pool. Greg Viveiros brought in tag 88. Joe Candelaria brought in tag 85. Each of the two anglers will receive $1,557, splitting a prize pool of $3,114.
The next Lake McSwain Trout Derby is expected in spring of 2018. Meanwhile, nearby Lake McClure continues to have four trout worth $1,000 each through the Gold Tagged Trout promotion. For additional information, click here or visit www.LakeMcClure.com
“Lake McSwain is consistently receiving trout plants,” said MID Parks Director Bret Theodozio. “Folks are doing well from the banks as well as trolling in boats. The weather is beautiful and there are still plenty of fish to be caught. This is the perfect time to come up to Lake McSwain.”