Anglers cast lines into Lake Almanor to Fish For A Wish

  Anglers will be casting their lines into Lake Almanor on Saturday, Aug. 3, to Fish For A Wish.

  The ninth annual tournament, which is held at Big Cove Resort and Marina, raises funds to help fulfill the wishes of terminally ill children. As soon as the horn blows at 6 a.m., anglers will go head-to-head in a competition to catch the biggest fish.

  Anglers can register either individually or in teams. Team entry fees are $50 per adult entry, $40 for individuals aged 60 and over and $25 each for anglers 16 years old or younger. The entry fee includes a T-shirt, lunch and individual entry into the biggest fish category.

  Cash payouts will be awarded to winners in first, second and third place in team and individual categories.

  A team consists of one or more fishermen per boat, and one boat per team. Only registered participants may ride in the boat. Anglers may not fish off the shore — they must fish in their registered boat and their boat must launch from Big Cove to be eligible.

  Each angler can contribute a maximum of three fish to their team’s weight — the total of which will be considered as the team’s total weight. Each fish counted must be at least 12 inches long to be considered for weighing.

  For an additional $20 for one, or $50 for all three, a team is eligible to enter any of the various side pot competitions including heaviest rainbow trout, heaviest brown trout and/or heaviest salmon.

  All anglers must present their fish for weigh-in no later than noon. The weigh-in station is located at the resort and will be clearly marked the day of the race. Weigh-ins will not be accepted after noon.

  Pre-registration is available online at, or by calling Big Cove at 596-3349. Alternatively, registration can be completed by filling out the application located on the website and mailing it to: Fish for a Wish, Irene Faria, 442 Peninsula Drive, Lake Almanor, CA 96137.

  Registrations received prior to July 20 will receive two free giveaway tickets for a grand prize drawing. Additional tickets can be purchased for $5 each or five for $20.

  Tournament check-in and registration is available the night before the tournament, Friday, Aug. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday morning 4:45 to 9 a.m.

  Participants are encouraged to check in the morning of the competition between 4:45 and 6 a.m. Those who check in the night before should also do a simple name check with a tournament official the morning of the event.

  All fishermen wishing to participate must register at either time in order to qualify. If you register Friday night, you must also check in with a tournament official on the dock of the Big Cove Marina the morning of the event.

  Following the weigh-in, participants will enjoy a barbecue, silent auction and spinning prize wheel. Giveaway tickets purchased prior to the event will be entered into a grand prize drawing — winners need not be present to win. There will also be a “pick your prize” drawing the day of the event, with lots of great prizes.

  Three-tier corporate sponsorships are also available. Details can be found on the Fish For A Wish website.

  Anyone can give support and help wishes come true by registering to fish, becoming a volunteer or participating in the silent auction and prize giveaway.

  Complete tournament rules, entry forms and donation forms can be found at or by visiting Big Cove Resort.

  For more information call 596-3349.

Fish For A Wish history

  At the young age of 13, A.J. Casella founded the Lake Almanor tournament after witnessing the amazing impact a wish could have on a child. He immediately decided to dedicate the tournament to the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area chapter.

  The event started out as a small community tournament in Lake Almanor and became a rapid success. Casella said that the strong community support over the past eight years has helped raise almost $350,000 and granted wishes to more than 25 children.

  Last year $65,000 was raised and wishes were granted to five children, one of whom was able to fish for the very first time during last year’s competition. A record-breaking number of people — more than 500 — were present for the 2012 event, making it one of the most successful years yet.

  “I feel that the wishes help kids get through cancer treatments by giving them an opportunity to do something that they really want to do before they go through treatment,” said Casella in 2008. “I think it helps them when they can focus on their dreams and ultimately helps them through their treatments.”

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