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March 27, 2014 | by Dan McKernan

Big Bear Municipal Water District (BBMWD) opens The Carol Morrison East Launch Ramp on Tuesday, April 1 for the 2014 season. The public boat launch ramp, which has been closed for the winter gives boat owners the opportunity to launch onto the lake for boating and fishing. This is especially good news for anglers that prefer trolling over shoreline fishing. In addition to the public launch ramp opening five Big Bear Lake marinas are now open for the 2014 season. On May 8 the Duane Boyer West Launch Ramp will open for the season offering even more public access to the lake. Both boat launch ramps are located on the north shore. The West Launch ramp will stay open through October 5, 2014, and the East Launch Ramp will remain open through November 30, 2014.

"The lake currently offers approximately 2,550 surface acres, which is a great amount of surface area for lake activities," said BBMWD General Manager Scott Heule. "We encourage fishermen who enjoy fishing from a boat to take advantage of the great spring weather we are having. We expect fishing to be off the hook this spring and early summer."

Big Bear Lake is a first-rate trout fishery where thousands of rainbow trout thrive. In fact, the alpine lake is famous for its "pink-meat holdovers." In addition to the great trout action, Big Bear Lake has both largemouth and small mouth bass, making it a popular fishing retreat for bass anglers. Other varieties of fish include catfish, crappie, pumpkinseed and bluegill.

"This is one of the only places in Southern California where you can enjoy a genuine alpine fishing experience," said Ed Shaw, president of Pleasure Point Marina. "Why travel five or six hours to the Sierras when you can get the same quality of trout fishing here in Big Bear Lake?"

Fishermen looking for boat rentals are amply served by five marinas that offer fishing and pontoon boats. Some marinas offer fishing licenses and tackle for purchase. Licensed fishing guides offer a more in-depth fishing experience for trollers and down riggers. The lake is also accessible from all shoreline vantage points for easy fishing from shore.

In May and June the BBMWD will plant several trophy sized trout for two of the lake's prime fishing tournaments. The Fishin' for 50K Trout Derby on June 7 and 8 gives anglers an opportunity to reel in a tagged fish worth $50,000. In addition to the grand prize there are fourteen other tagged trout worth cash prizes. Participants of Fishin' for 50K who rent a pontoon boat at a participating marina receive up to four free entries into the trout derby. Also, in May is the Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic on May 17 and 18. Participants of the May Trout Classic who catch the biggest fish are awarded with cash prizes. To learn more about these trout tournaments or to register log onto or call 800-424-4232.

Big Bear Lake will once again honor the Department of Fish & Game’s Free Fishing Days this year on Saturday, July 5 and Saturday, September 6. A fishing license is not required to fish the lake on these dates. Big Bear Lake is one of few lakes in Southern California to offer this unique bonus for boaters and fishermen.

To find out more about Big Bear Lake fishing, boat rentals, free fishing days, and lodging, or to request a Big Bear Lake Visitors Guide, visit or call 800-424-4232.

Big Bear Lake Quick Facts: Big Bear Lake is a fresh water lake that stretches seven miles long and is approximately one mile across at its widest point. Its maximum water depth is 72 feet 4 inches.” The average depth is 35 feet. There are 22 miles of shoreline. Big Bear Lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains at 6,743 feet altitude.

March 27, 2014

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