Saturday, 13 April 2024

Mandujano, Pavoni reel in wins at annual Catfish Derby

Omar Mandujano of Cloverdale was this year's big winner at the Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Catfish Derby. Courtesy photo.


CLEARLAKE OAKS – A Cloverdale man armed with chicken livers won this year's Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Catfish Derby.

The Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association's annual derby ran Friday through Sunday, and attracted near-record numbers – 468 adults and 91 children – with organizers reporting it was a “resounding success.”

Omar Mandujano won the annual fishing event with a catfish that he caught on Friday in Cache Creek, according to derby organizers. The winning fish weighed in at 25.27 pounds and was landed thanks to Mandujano's use of chicken livers.

Mandujano took home a new fishing boat, motor and trailer package for his efforts, organizers reported.

In the children's division, Clearlake Oaks resident Richie Pavoni took the top prize. He used a chartreuse spinner bait with a black crawdad trailer and caught a 21.29-pound catfish on Sunday morning in the Keys canals.

He reportedly exclaimed, “I got a big one,” as he transported his catch via wheeled cooler to the weigh-in station. His reward was a new four-wheel ATV.



Richie Pavoni of Clearlake Oaks hauled in a big one -- which he later let go -- to win the derby's children's division. Courtesy photo.


Total payout in cash and prizes to other anglers totaled more than $9,000, the business association reported.

The waters were calm and the weather hot for the derby. Attendance this year was slightly below last year's record turnout, according to organizers.

The winning fish in the adult division this year was a few whiskers lighter than last year's winner, a 28-pounder hauled in by a Woodland angler, as Lake County News previously reported.

An estimated 70 percent of anglers participating in the derby came from areas outside of Lake County, including Oregon, Washington and Nevada – even as far away as Oklahoma, organizers reported. That's close to the percentage of visiting anglers that attended last year's event.

A total of 87 fish were caught – 61 by adults, 26 by children – weighing a total of 1,200 pounds, according to a derby summary. Eighteen fish were caught on Friday, 38 on Saturday and 26 on Sunday. All but five of the catfish were released back into the lake.

Mandujano's and Pavoni's winning catches were among those who were returned to the lake to live another day.

Popular spots for landing the fish included Cache Creek, and Rattlesnake and Indian Islands, with many anglers also fishing from the lake's shore, the business association reported.

The derby is the business association's major annual fundraiser, with proceeds donated back to the community for various projects as well as the annual July 4 fireworks display.

Organizers said they're already getting to work in order to plan next year's event.

For more information about the association, visit

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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