If you enter the Family Fishing Derby at Lake Piru on Saturday, you just might hook a trout worth $500.
Six trout stocked in the lake before the derby bear special tags.
Five are worth $100, and a sixth nets the angler a $500 prize.
But don't let your hopes get too high. In the three years Soroptimist International of Fillmore has sponsored the derby, no contestant has reeled in a tagged fish.
That's not to say they haven't walked away with some prizes. This year there are cash prizes of $100 each for fishermen 16 years and older who land the heaviest bass and trout, as well as the biggest catches of bass, trout and crappie.
Children in three age categories--12 to 15 years old, 6 to 11, and under 5--could win a rod and reel for their catches. They also are eligible for cash prizes if they haul in a tagged fish.
The fishing is good now at Lake Piru, said Doug West, who manages the recreation area. Anglers are pulling in trout averaging 1.5 pounds and bass that range between 3 and 5 pounds. And the campground is open.
For the derby, fishermen can start fishing as soon as the gate opens at 6:30 a.m. Children will weigh their catch at 2 p.m., and the adults at 3:30.
"We also try to give funny prizes, like for the biggest weed caught," said Sarah Hansen, chairwoman of the derby.
Here are the fees to enter the derby: a family ticket (two adults and unlimited children) is $35, single adult ticket, $17; senior citizen, $10; youths 12 to 15 years, $12; 6 to 11 years, $6, and 5 years and under, free. You can register the morning of the derby at the lake near the marina. Contestants can fish anywhere on the lake.
The derby is a fund-raising benefit in memory of Imogene Vest, a longtime local Soroptimist member and avid angler who died of cancer four years ago, Hansen said.
The organization awards a $1,000 scholarship each year to a graduating senior at Fillmore High School.
Children who enter will receive a packet of free fishing gear: hooks, sinker, bobber, bait and stringer.
In the morning, experienced anglers will show the kids how to cast, tie on hooks, and bait their line.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., youths can test their abilities in a casting contest.
The winners will get a rod and reel.
The derby, which has grown for three consecutive years, drew nearly 200 anglers last year, Hansen said. The end of the drought may have helped.
"Fishing is a whole lot more fun when there is water in the lake," she said.
* WHAT: Family Fishing Derby.
* WHERE: Lake Piru, outside Piru.
* WHEN: Saturday. Lake opens for fishing at 6:30 a.m. Weigh-in for kids is 2 p.m., for adults, 3:30 p.m.
* COST: Family ticket, $35; single adult, $17; senior, $10; youths 12 to 15, $12; 6 to 11, $6, and 5 and under, free.
* FYI: Call 524-0132.