Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Annual Catfish Derby reports record turnout

Gary Moore of Clearlake, Calif., shows off his winning, 24.55-pound Catfish at the 27th annual Catfish Derby on Saturday, May 15, 2010. Photo courtesy of Dennis Locke.


CLEARLAKE OAKS – This weekend's annual Catfish Derby in Clearlake Oaks had another record turnout, with participants coming from six states to take part in the family event.

The 27th annual event – known as “the largest catfish derby west of the Mississippi” – began Friday and ended on Sunday.

“We had one heck of a derby,” said event chair Gail Jonas.

There were 518 adult fishermen – eight more than last year – and 117 children, four more than the 2009 event, event officials reported.

Over the three days of competition, event organizers said approximately 124 fish were caught with a total weight of 1,515 pounds.

Gary Moore of Clearlake won the grand prize in the adult division with a 24.55-pound catfish, according to Dennis Locke of the Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association. Moore won a new fishing boat, motor and trailer.

In the children's division, Christopher Lombardo of Sacramento took home the top prize with a 14.61-pound catfish, which won him a Nintendo Wii system, Locke said.




Christopher Lombardo of Sacramento reeled in a 14.6-pound catfish shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday, May 16, 2010, which won him first place in the children's division of the annual Catfish Derby in Clearlake Oaks, Calif. Lombardo won a Nintendo Wii system. Photo courtesy of Dennis Locke.



More than $3,000 in cash prizes were awarded to other adult and kid participants, said Locke, and there also were numerous raffle prizes, most donated by community merchants and residents. He said food and entertainment at derby headquarters on Saturday and Sunday topped it all off.

Casting a shadow over the fun event was a boat sinking that reportedly occurred near Clearlake early Saturday morning and claimed one life, Jonas said.

She said Search and Rescue and the Northshore Fire boat from the Clearlake Oaks station were among those responding to the incident, and the derby organizers made an announcement about the accident during the event.

It wasn't clear if the people involved were taking part in the derby, and the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Patrol, when contacted Sunday, deferred statements to the sheriff's press officer, who will not be available for comment until Monday.

Jonas called the accident “very tragic.”

Locke said that, of the 633 entries this year, more than 64 percent – or 402 – were from outside Lake County. Participants traveled from locations around California and from Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii.

“Our goal is to make our event a premier visitor experience,” Locke said.

He added, “Fishing was a little slower than normal this year, and the fish a little smaller. But we had great weather, perfect conditions on the lake, and everyone had a grand time.”




Winner of the 2010 Catfish Derby, Gary Moore of Clearlake, Calif., shows off the boat he won with his 24.55-pound catfish, which he caught just after 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2010. Photo courtesy of Dennis Locke.



Once again this year there were many families taking part, Jonas said. “Everybody had such a good time.”

Now in its second year, the annual Catfish Cook-Off took place Saturday at the Clearlake Oaks Plaza, said organizer Ross Christensen.

Glenn Marks won first place for the second year with his catfish over pasta, Christensen reported. In addition to the trophies and cash awards a generous wine award was donated by local wineries and community members.




Glenn Marks' dish, catfish over pasta, won the second annual Catfish Derby Cook-off, held Saturday, May 15, 2010, in The Plaza in Clearlake Oaks, Calif. Photo by Linda Richmond.



Miss Lake County Scholarship Program and Pageant members judged the competition, and Chic Le Chef in Hidden Valley provided cooking supplies and soy-based biodegradable serving utensils, Christensen said.

Locke said that more than 50 community volunteers worked four straight days – some as long at 16 hours each day – to help make the derby a success.

The proceeds from the event go to the annual Clearlake Oaks fireworks display. Jonas said that they usually bring in about $15,000 to $16,000 with the derby, but they won't know the final tally for awhile.

Through its donations the Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association also supports local schools, parks, senior and youth services, nonprofit organizations and a graduating senior scholarship program, Locke said.




Miss Lake County Scholarship Program and Pageant members judged the second annual Catfish Derby Cook-off competition, held Saturday, May 15, 2010, in The Plaza in Clearlake Oaks, Calif. Photo by Linda Richmond.



The event's full rankings follow.

Catfish Derby adult rankings

1. Gary Moore, Clearlake; 24.5 pounds

2. Keith Roddy, West Hills; 24 pounds

3. Owen Sunke, Forestville; 22.6 pounds

4. Jerry Bybee, Yuba City; 21.3 pounds

5. Zachary Becker, Carmichael; 20.1 pounds

6. Dow Walton, Clearlake Oaks; 19.6 pounds

7. Harold Dodson, Live Oak; 19.5 pounds

8. David Stewart Jr., Reedsport; 19.4 pounds

9. Joe McAtee, Winters; 19.2 pounds

10. Jared Lane, Hood River, Ore.; 18.2 pounds

11. James Hale, Kelseyville; 18 pounds

12. Carissa Beauchamp, Newcastle; 17.3 pounds

13. Mark Luevano, Clearlake; 17 pounds

14. Scott Enck, Sutter; 16.8 pounds

15. John Bybee, Yuba City; 16.690 pounds

16. Brian Lucas, Clovis; 16.660 pounds

17. Herman Gold, Napa; 16 pounds

18. Justin Lane, Hood River, Ore.; 15.8 pounds

19. Tom Wheeler, Sutter; 15.8 pounds

20. Howard Watts, Vallejo; 15.575 pounds

21. Casey Spencer, Arcadia; 15.530 pounds

Catfish Derby children's rankings

1. Christopher Lombardo, Sacramento; 14.6 pounds

2. Guy Boyd Jr., Clearlake; 14.3 pounds

3. Damien Bryant, Kelseyville; 13.6 pounds

4. Noah Lane, Hood River, Ore.; 13.1 pounds

5. Kevin Freeman, Grants Pass, Ore.; 12.8 pounds

6. Ryan Martin, Modesto; 12.2 pounds

7. Spencer Parker, Napa; 12.2 pounds

8. Christopher Lane, Hood River, Ore.; 12.1 pounds

9. Dylan Sanders, Clearlake Oaks; 11.4 pounds

10. Bradley Dale, Kelseyville; 11.1 pounds

More information and pictures will be available on Monday at www.clearlakeoaks.org.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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