Big Cove hosts Fish for a Wish Derby at Almanor

James Wilson
Sports Reporter

A genie’s lamp isn’t essentially necessary to grant wishes. As is evident through the Fish for a Wish Derby, all one needs is a fishing rod.

This year’s eighth annual Fish for a Wish Derby was a huge success, earning a sizable amount for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The money raised at this year’s tournament will be used to grant the wishes of hopefully up to five children.

Eighty-two participants competed this year, all striving to catch the most fish. This year’s derby was split up into two categories: trout and bass.

The derby took place at Big Cove Resort on Lake Almanor. The lake was spotted with boats competing to land the biggest fish.

The first place winner in the trout category was the team of Doug Neal and Rod Overstreet with a total catch of 9 pounds, 14 ounces. The team of Alan Shepherd, Matt Goodrich, Mike Kibby and Page Procker placed second while Lalan Stahl took third.

Ken Sawyer and Tom Oxford took first in the bass category with a pull of 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Justin Botini and George Snook placed second and Gayle Brown took third.

More than 300 people were in attendance this year, supporting local anglers and the Make-a-Wish Foundation that made the event possible.

After the derby a spirited auction was held. Baskets of various liquors, fishing supplies and other gifts were all donated to the derby.

This year there was a special guest in attendance. Four-year-old Kyle Crawford, from San Mateo, was one of the children the Make-a-Wish Foundation helped out. This was the first time in tournament history that one of the recipients of the Make-a-Wish Foundation was in attendance.

Crawford has aplastic anemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Crawford’s condition leaves him with a lower blood cell count of all three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

When Make-a-Wish contacted him, Crawford only had one wish: to catch a fish. The foundation shipped him and his family out to Lake Almanor for the special event.

On Friday, the day before the derby, Crawford and his family were brought to Mount Lassen Trout Farms. With the private lake all to themselves, Crawford caught 10 fish that day while spending time with his family. The following day Crawford and his family fished off a boat while enjoying the beauty of Lake Almanor.

Those interested in donating to the Make-a-Wish Foundation or receiving more information on its charity work may visit

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