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Atascadero teen snags biggest fish at the Optimist Club’s Santa Margarita Lake derby

Brandon Brownell, 14, of Atascadero won the “biggest fish” prize at the Optimist Club’s Free Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 26, at Santa Margarita Lake.
Brandon Brownell, 14, of Atascadero won the “biggest fish” prize at the Optimist Club’s Free Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 26, at Santa Margarita Lake.

Santa Margarita

Brandon Brownell, 14, of Atascadero won the “biggest fish” prize at the Optimist Club’s Free Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 26, at Santa Margarita Lake.

Brandon had been fishing a few times before but never caught anything. He was happy and surprised to not only reel in his first fish, but also the biggest catch of the day — a 2.1-pound, 14-inch bass.

This is the 18th year for the fishing derbies under the leadership of Del Bishop, Paso Robles Optimist Club. The kids won prizes for many categories including the “weirdest fish,” which went to a very young angler who reeled in an old fishing pole.

The next derby is Saturday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Santa Margarita Lake. The event is open to children age 15 and younger. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The derby provides loaner poles (or bring your own), tackle, bait, instruction, prizes for every child and lunch — all for free. There is a $10 per car fee charged by the county to enter the lake.

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