Sure, Sacramento-area anglers can try their skills (and luck) at any number of nearby lakes, but there's nothing quite like wetting a line in Lake Tahoe itself. The mountains, the clear water, the fresh air, the blackjack tables...
Bonus: Major-size fish live in Lake Tahoe, and they're always hungry. Here's a chance to go after them, possibly win some cash and help a good cause at the same time. The 18th annual Jake's On the Lake Charity Fishing Derby is this Sunday, with competitive fishing starting an hour before sunrise and ending promptly at noon.
Prizes are substantial: $1,000 to the angler with the biggest mackinaw trout (known as the "great white shark" of Lake Tahoe); $500 for the biggest brown trout; and $250 for the largest rainbow trout. The weigh-in always attracts a crowd on the lawn and deck at Jake's, a lakefront restaurant on the North Shore, well-known for its deck dining.
The $50 derby entry fee includes a T-shirt, buffet brunch and raffle. If you're not a contestant, the brunch is $18 for adults, $12 for ages 12 and younger. The derby benefits Boy Scouts Troop No. 266 in Tahoe City.
For registration, rules and regulations, tickets and more information: (530) 583-0188 or www.jakestahoe.com. Or show up in person by 5 p.m. Saturday in Tahoe City, at either Jake's On the Lake (in the Boatworks Mall, 780 N. Lake Tahoe Blvd.) or Pete 'n' Peter's tavern (395 N. Lake Blvd.).