Warm weather draws anglers to San Joaquin River fish derby (video)

The Fresno BeeMarch 15, 2014 

San Joaquin Valley weather on Sunday will be more akin to late May than late March, with a high of 83 forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

What's behind the unseasonably high thermometer readings is a high pressure front keeping out cooler air.

Saturday's high in the upper 70s sent residents to area parks, saw them packing favorite picnic areas such as Roeding and Woodward Parks and inspired others to head for the foothills, mountains and area lakes.

The weather was perfect for a fishing derby on the San Joaquin River at Sycamore Island, where the quest was for trout or bass from three island ranch ponds. Both children and adults were awarded prizes for the largest trout and bass caught.

Prizes included annual passes to three fishing locations on the San Joaquin River, summer camp scholarships and canoe rides.

Grand prize winner for the event was Andrew A. Garcia, 10, who won a drawing for a lifetime California fishing license. Steve Thao of Trout Unlimited said that at Garcia's age, the prize's value was about $600. Derby officials said a 20-inch largemouth bass was the biggest catch of the day, while a 14.5-inch trout took the prize for biggest trout.

Between 350 and 400 people attended the derby, according to Roger George, who dubbed it the most successful derby of which he has been a part.

Sunday's high temperatures won't last, however. The front is expected to move through the region by Monday, bringing slightly cooler temperatures along with gusty winds in the Kern County mountains. While some high clouds are expected, it is unlikely that the region will experience any rainfall. Expect warm weather again by next weekend.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6339, jguy@fresnobee.com or @jimguy27 on Twitter.

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