Kern Angler Spring 2011
Your year-round guide to fishing in the the Kern River Valley
FREE No. 4
2011’s will be biggest Derby ever $250,000 in prizes offered Mike Devich Kern Angler
Michael Batelaan/Kern Angler
Shelly Askew of Bakersfield caught a tagged trout worth $10,000 at last year’s Isabella Lake Fishing Derby. The fish was sponsored by California Land Management, and with her is a representative of CLM.
The Isabella Lake Fishing Derby is well over 20 years old, and has for years offered a $10,000 tagged trout to be caught, but just in the last few years it has mushroomed into what some are calling the biggest amateur trout derby in the world. Now there are at least 11 $10,000 trout, plus one that could be worth $40,000. The Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the derby, will have a trout valued at $20,000; if the registered angler who catches that trout is wearing an official Isabella Lake Fishing Derby shirt at the time, the value of the prize doubles to $40,000. (Note: derby shirts will be in limited supply.) For the last few years, the derby has offered $200,000 in total prizes. The 2011 derby, to be held April 16-18, will feature a quarter of a million dollars in prizes. There are many new contests and prize categories. There are many more national sponsors. (This year’s derby is sponsored by Berkley.) The number of local merchants sponsoring $100 trout has jumped to 62. In addition, a fully-equipped bass boat will be raffled off, courtesy of Galey’s Marine Supply in Bakersfield. You must be registered in the derby to win almost all of the prizes. Derby registration closes at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 16. Once that time has passed, it is too late. When the derby begins, there are no more registrations. Registration costs only $20 for an individual and a bargain price of $45 for a five-person family – only $5
See DERBY, Page 2
Truckloads of trophy trout tantalize tourists Mike Devich Kern Angler
One of the big stories in February was the big deposit of trout in the upper Kern River by the California Department of Fish and Game’s Kern River Planting Base. This huge planting didn’t receive the publicity it should have because it was done just prior to Whiskey Flat Days, the big annual Old West celebration in Kernville where the town revisits its 1860s roots when it was called Whiskey Flat. But the great news is that the weather was not good during that period, and many of those trout are still waiting to be caught. Along with several truckloads of normalsized trout were about 1000 pounds of trophysized trout in the 4 to 6 pound class. If you’re a trout angler, get that Power Bait ready this year and prepare yourself for some exciting fishing. (Photo by Mike Mencarini)
You bet your bass Photo courtesy KRV Chamber of Commerce
This bass boat will be raffled off during the Isabella Lake Fishing Derby, which takes place in April, 2011.
Isabella Lake Fishing Derby Historical Data 2010: 258 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $75,810*** 2009: 182 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $30,640** 2008: 116 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $6,510 2007: 253 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $13,230 2006: 311 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $25,140* 2005: 224 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $10,360 2004: 275 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $14,280 2003: 208 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $10,700 2002: 183 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 8,870 2001: 44 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 2,330 2000: 148 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 6,920 1999: 269 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 9,500 1998: 305 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $15,380 1997: 138 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 6,500 1996: 85 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 4,020 1995: 250 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $15,000 1994: 247 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $23,000* 1993: 104 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 8,860 1992: 235 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $13,600 1991: 303 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 8,910 1990: 348 tagged fish caught, three-day prize total $ 6,160 * One $10,000 fish caught during derby three-day weekend ** Two $10,000 fish caught during derby three-day weekend *** Six $10,000 fish caught during derby three-day weekend Total entries: 2010: 2009: 2008: 2007: 2006: 2005: 2004: 2003: 2002: 2001: 2000:
6,547 8,820 5,082 4,608 3,906 3,835 3,289 2,643 3,473 3,833 4,702
1999: 1998: 1997: 1996: 1995: 1994: 1993: 1992: 1991: 1990:
4,191 4,898 4,080 5,021 5,800 3,790 5,355 4,315 3,014 4,704
DERBY continued from page 1 more for each additional child). Tickets for the boat are $20 each or six for $100. In-person pre-registration will be held at the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce office at 6404 Lake Isabella Blvd. until noon on Thursday, April 14.
Beginning Friday, April 15, Derby headquarters moves to the Moose Lodge at 6732 Lake Isabella Blvd. You can also register by mail to KRVCC, P.O. Box 567, Lake Isabella CA 93240 or go online to http://www.isabellafishingderby.c om
Kern Angler The Kern Angler is produced by KRV Publishing, P.O. Box 1145, Wofford Heights CA 93285
Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written consent. All rights reserved.
Publisher Michael Batelaan Contributing Editor
The Kern Angler is a division of KRV Publishing
Photographers Michael Batelaan, Mike Devich, Mike Ludiker, Murdoc Douglas Ad Production Michael Batelaan, Mike Ludiker Advertising Sales Valerie Minoux Business Office Sara Wakeman Advertising policies Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertising at any time. Cancellations or rejection shall not preclude payment on similar advertising previously run. KRV Publishing is not liable for errors in copy or an advertisement beyond the cost of the actual space occupied by the error. Publisher reserves the right to place the word “advertisement” on any ad copy that appears to resemble editorial matter. Reproduction policies The entire contents of the Kern Angler are copyrighted ©2011 by KRV Publishing.
Kern River Courier Whiskey Flat Claim Jumper Kern Angler
Mailing: P.O. Box 1145 Wofford Heights, CA 93285 Office: 6392B Wofford Blvd. Wofford Heights (next to WH Post Office) Phone: 760-376-2860 FAX: 760-376-2862 E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointment. ©2011 KRV Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
FISH FINDER: Game fish of the Kern River and Isabella Lake A quick identification guide Rainbow Trout Lateral band on the sides is reddish to violet. Quite silvery except on the back. No small red spots on the sides.
Brown Trout Dark brown or olive brown on the back, shading to golden brown on the sides and white or yellow on the belly.
Little Kern Golden Trout Highly colored with distinctive shades of red and yellow on lower sides and belly.
Large Mouth Bass Upper jaw extends past a vertical line drawn through rear margin of eye. Dorsal fin deeply notched compared to small mouth bass.
Small Mouth Bass Dark vertical barring on sides. Upper jaw does not extend to rear margin of eye and dorsal fin not deeply notched.
Black Crappie Silvery with irregular dark green or black mottling. Length of dorsal find about equal to front of dorsal fin to eye.
Blue Gill Dark spot at rear base of dorsal fin, vertical bars on sides, body very deep and compressed, mouth small, pectoral fins long, pointed.
Red Ear Sunfish Opercular lobe stiff, with broad red or orange margin below and behind. Gill rakers short and stout. Pectoral fins long and pointed.
Channel Catfish Small irregular spots on sides. Tail deeply forked, with pointed lobes. 24 to 29 rays on anal fin. Narrower head than white catfish.
Black Bullhead Fin membranes usually black. Pectoral spine weakly barbed on rear edge. Tail squarish and is not deeply forked.
Kokanee Salmon Has elongated, torpedo shaped body, bluntly pointed snout. Typical coloration is bright red with a pale green head.
Carp Body ranges from brassy green to golden to silver. Humped appearance, large scales. Long dorsal fin.
Kern River Valley information Recreation Info U.S. Forest Service Lake Isabella office: 4875 Ponderosa Dr. (enter from Hwy. 155 just over the hill from Hwy. 178) (760) 379-5646 Kernville Office: 105 Whitney Rd. (around the corner from the museum) (760) 376-3781 (760) 379-5236
General KRV Info Kernville Chamber of Commerce 11447 Kernville Rd. Kernville Corner Sierra Way & Kernville Road Toll Free: 866-KERNVILLE Local: (760) 376-2629
Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce 6404 Lake Isabella Blvd. Across from Senior Center Toll Free: 866-KRV4FUN Local: (760) 379-5238
Emergencies - call 911 Kern Valley Hospital McCray and Laurel, Mt. Mesa (760) 379-2681 Kern Valley Substation Sheriff’s Department and CHP 7050 Lake Isabella Blvd. (760) 549-2100 Weekdays only, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Isabella Lake Boating Regs • Speed Limit: 5 mph (no wake) within 200 feet of shore, within 100 feet of swimmers (other than waterskiers), near docks, marinas or within South Fork Wildlife Area. • Alcohol or Drug Use: Alcohol or drug use is illegal while operating a boat and is a felony if such use causes death or serious injury. Conviction of intoxication while operating a boat may bring a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. • Age and Safety Gear Requirements: Boat operators must be at least 16 years old. Each person aboard must have US Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD); water skiers and personal watercraft riders must wear PFDs at all times. • Towing Rules for Waterskiers, Inflatables, Etc: A tow boat must qualify to hold at least 3 people, including an observer at least 12 years old, capable of rescuing an injured waterskier. The observer must raise a red flag whenever a line is out or a skier is preparing to ski or a skier is down. • Right-of-Way Rules: These rules apply to everyone on the water, including windsurfers. As with driving a car, passing is on the right, yielding at a crossing gives the go-ahead to the vessel on the right and overtaking another vessel requires a wide berth. Anchored and sailing vessels usually have the right-of-way. • Avoidance Measures: Waterskiers, personal watercraft riders and windsurfers often seek the calmer waters near the Auxiliary Dam. These people may reach speeds from 35-70 mph, posing a hazard to each other as well as to boaters. Attempting to judge the speed of an oncoming person is difficult, particularly in a glare or mist; better to simply avoid congestion.
Camping is plentiful in the valley.
Michael Batelaan/Kern Angler
Valley camping information Campgrounds in the valley and the shoreline around Isabella Lake are controlled by the U.S. Forest Service, with two offices in the valley. As of spring 2010, camping fees are in effect in most campgrounds. Check with the Forest Service offices for details. Also, as a reminder, camping in
one spot is limited to 14 days out of a 30-day period. For more camping information, visit the U.S. Forest Service’s offices in Lake Isabella or Kernville. The telephone numbers for the U.S. Forest Service’s offices in Kernville and Lake Isabella are (760) 376-3781 and (760) 379-5646.
Isabella Lake boating information Mike Devich/Kern Angler
Mike Mencarini, a volunteer at the Kernville Fish Hatchery, displays one of the huge trophy trout that they planted early in the year.
What to do when the fish are not biting If the fish just aren’t biting, here’s some things to try. Sometimes the sluggish have to be coerced. • Change your bait. The only way to catch a fish is to use the right bait. If all your neighbors are using salmon eggs, use stinkbait. It’s like an advertising sales campaign. When responses starts to flounder, take a look at your offer. Are you giving your prospect an incentive to bite? Or are you simply saying, “Here is my product or service. Let me know if you want it.” • Change your tackle. Inexperienced fishermen often use hooks and line that are too heavy. Try a lighter approach. • Go where the fish are. Fishermen go back to the same spot again and again because they have success there. Ask the marina or bait shop owners
where there’s a good spot. There are lots of bait shops in the area and they’re all willing to help you find the right spot. • Cast your line in new waters. When your fishing spot goes dry, it’s time to move to a different spot. Cautious testing can reveal a hot spot. If it doesn’t pan out, try yet another one. • Fish when the fish are hungry. Timing is everything. The most successful fishermen cast their lines at the crack of dawn when the fish are hungry and more apt to bite. Resist the urge to have that extra cup of coffee and get out there. • Be patient – and persistent. A successful fisherman may cast his line and reel it in a dozen times before a fish will bite. It’s patience and persistence that brings in a limit at the end of the day.
If you brought your boat to Isabella Lake, you’ll need a permit for it. Boat permits must be purchased, according to the Kern County Parks and Recreation Department, which licenses boats on the lake and patrols the surface of the lake with a Boat Patrol vessel. Also, regulations must be strictly followed. Citations may be issued to those violating boating regulations. Permits are available at any marina and at several convenience stores in the Lake Isabella
area including James Sierra Gateway Markets in Southlake and Kernville. Unmarked underwater hazards, such as submerged fencing (particularly near the South Fork area), tree snags, rock outcroppings, sand spits and islands appear and disappear with Isabella's ever-changing water level. Be aware that Isabella Lake has sudden winds that come up that can gust to 60 mph. When in doubt, get off the lake! Keep in mind that the law limits boating to the daytime - one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.
Scotty’s TEXACO & Mini Mart Open 5am to 8pm Derby weekend
•Gas •Food Snacks •Hot & Cold Drinks •Water Toys •Camping & Fishing Supplies
6701Wofford Blvd., Wofford Heights
TH ERAPY HOUSE Chair Massage by Patricia Arellano Starting at $5.00 - Deep Tissue $35.00
Fri., Sat. & Mon. 9am-7 7pm
6074 Lake Isabella Blvd. Same lot as Downtown Storage & Gators Garage
2011 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby $100 Trout Sponsor
2011 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby $100 Trout Sponsor
Get in... get out... get back to fishing
760-4 417-9 9044
Make an appointment to ensure parking
Your Lumber, Masonry, Hardware, Paint, Tool & Plant Nursery Place Hardware
L&M LUMBER INC. 4700 Lake Isabella Blvd. Lake Isabella 760-379-4631 Monday through Friday 7:00 to 6:00 Saturday & Sunday 8:00 to 5:00 Ace Rental - Ace Contractor Center
Satisfaction Guarantee: Your Satisfaction is our goal... We Guarantee! Note: L&M Lumber is not responsible for printing errors. Some merchandise may be subject to stock on hand. L&M Lumber however will make every effort to honor most out of stock items with a rain-check.
www.campkernville.com “Now Taking Online Reservations”
You can find us between Ewings Rapid and the Kernville Bridge with over 1,000' of Private Shoreline! Every site is equipped with water and electric (most include sewer)... no generators here! Our downtown location is easy and convenient for our guests to explore the restaurants and shops. Come visit us today to take a look around and book your next vacation to the Kern River Valley!
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Full Hook-Ups Shaded Campsites 30/50 Amp Service Tents Welcome Table & Fire Ring/Grill Hot Showers (Included) Air Compressor Station Dump Station Ice & Firewood For Sale Laundry Available Year Round Camping RV Storage
24 Sirretta Street Kernville, CA 760-376-2345
RiverView RV Park
■ Ewings Bridge
Circle Kernville Road Park
Monthly (Long term) Sites are Available
Fishing Derby Specials* “The only bait and tackle store on the north shore”
Camping Supplies Picnic Items
Free Bag of Ice
Firewood & Ice
With Purchase of $20.00 or more
Beer and Wine Ice Cream Groceries & Snacks
18pk 12oz. Cans Bud, Bud Light or Coors
Hats, Caps & Visors Life Jackets (PFDs) Full line of Fishing Bait & Tackle Salmon Eggs, Power Bait & Live Worms
SR100 Rod & Reel
Special Derby Hours: Friday 8 to 8 Saturday & Sunday 6 to 8 Monday 8 to 7
*Special offer items while supplies last
H&E General Store 6498 Wofford Blvd. Wofford Heights 760-376-6409 In the Post Office Shopping Center