Colvin's fourth annual fishing derby at Walker Lake on April 1

Hey, wanna do something different on April Fool's Day?

I mean other than play a practical joke on one of your friends or relatives.

Do you wanna go trout fishing?

And, while you're doing it, how would you like to also win an impressive amount of money?

Well, if I now have your attention, April 1 is the date of the fourth annual Colvin's Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Fishing Derby.

Yep, it's on April 1 - April's Fools Day.

That derby will be held at Walker Lake, just north of Hawthorne.

It is sponsored by the El Capitan Resort Casino.

That one-day derby is offering a total of $5,000 in cash prizes in two different two categories: one for adults and one for kids under the age of 12.

Not too shabby!

In the adult category, the largest cutthroat caught in the derby will win $2,000. The second largest wins $1,000, the third place "Cutt" takes home $750 and fourth place is worth $500. All four winners will also receive trophies.

In the kids category, the largest cutthroat will win $100, the second largest wins $75 and the third place "Cutt" gets $50. All four of the kids' winners also receive trophies.

There is a $30 registration fee for adults and $10 for kids. That fee includes one raffle ticket and a buffet dinner on Saturday night at the El Capitan.

Registration forms are available from Ed's Bait and Tackle Store in Hawthorne at (775) 945-2525 or the 19th Hole Lounge at the Fallon Golf Course in Fallon at (775) 428-1902.

You can pre-register until March 25 by mailing your registration form to Colvin's Sportfishing, 1223 Charleys Way, Fallon 89406 at (775) 423-0522 or to Mike Colvin, P.O. Box 813, Hawthorne 89415 at (775) 945-1407.

You can also register at the Sportsmen's Beach boat ramp at Walker Lake on the day of the derby during the hours of 5-9 a.m.

On April 1, the official derby fishing hours will begin at 6 a.m. that morning and end at 4 p.m.

Be advised that the official fish weighing scales at the Sportsmen's Beach boat ramp will close at 4 p.m. sharp! So don't be late that day because if "you snooze, you lose."

As a contestant, you can fish either from shore or from a boat.

If you fish from shore, some of the better locations for catching nice cutthroat trout are Sand Point, Rock Point, Sportsmen's Beach, the "Cliffs" and Barlow's. The most popular, by far, is Sand Point. So, if you plan to fish from shore at that location, be prepared for a crowd.

The shore fishermen have been doing best with either various colored Tor-P-Do lures or with different colors of Power Bait.

If you fish from a boat, you can launch bigger boats at the boat ramp at Sportsmen's Beach. If you have a small boat or a car-top version, you can launch at a number of different beaches along the lake.

Boaters normally troll with lures. They will troll at locations such as right in front of Sportsmen's Beach, between Sand Point and Rock Point, along the buoy line on the south end of the lake, back and forth in front of "The Cliff's or way over on the east side of the lake.

They will normally troll with Tor-P-Do, Flatfish, Kwikfish, Apex or Rapala lures.

Some of the more popular combinations of colors and lures are: silver, frog or fire tiger-colored, U-20 Flatfish, the same colors on the Kwikfish, pearl Apex or black/gold, black/silver or fire tiger Rapala.

In the most recent derby held at Walker Lake on the President's Day weekend, the largest cutthroat trout weighed in at 7.4 pounds.

So far this season, the three largest "Cutts" are a 10.5-pounder, 10.2-pounder and a 9.8 pounder.

Following the close of the derby, there will an awards dinner at the El Capitan and all winners must be present to win their prizes. That evening will include an open bar beginning at 5:30 p.m., hors de' ouvres, the buffet dinner, a special raffle for a free fish mount, a casting contest, door prizes and various raffle prizes.

All of the raffle proceeds will go to the "Save Walker Lake" fund.

As a special feature for contestants, the El Capitan Resort Casino is offering a special room rate of $30 per night, double occupancy, for the nights of March 31-April 2. For room reservations, call (800) 922-2311.

For information, call Jim Bennett, president of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce in Hawthorne at (775) 945-3321.

Don Quilici is the Nevada Appeal Outdoors editor.


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