Anglers Gearing Up for Isabella Lake Fishing Derby March 31-April 2

By: FishRap Staff

LAKE ISABELLA — With the appeal of more than $250,000 in prizes, the 23rd annual Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is on track to bring some top angling talent to Kern County March 31-April 2.

Berkley and Shakespeare will sponsor two of the 10 $10,000-tagged trout, and the Kern River Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a trout worth $20,000.

Adding even more to the prize payout, if the $20,000 Chamber of Commerce fish is caught while the lucky angler is wearing an “official” 2012 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby T-shirt or hoodie, the prize will be doubled to $40,000.

Last week, the California Department of Fish and Game came out to check the derby trout. Part of the process is to weigh the fish and provide fish-rearing expertise and pathology services, in case of disease outbreaks or other problems associated with the trout in the derby net pens. The fish were given a clean bill of health, and the weight of the trout was surprising: The fish at the time of the weigh-in came in at an average of 1.5 pounds, with a good number tipping the scale at more than 2.5 pounds.

Countless participants look forward to this annual event, and one dedicated derby contestant, Anita Bartlett of Quartz Hill, has some fond memories of the derby.

“My husband and I have been going to the derby every year since 2007,” she said. “He actually proposed at the derby in 2009.

“It’s something special that we do together, or with friends, every year,” she added.

For more information, call (760) 379-5236 or visit

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