Locals honor loved ones with Family Fishing Fun Day at Sunbeam Lake

Haleigh Townsel (left) and her mother, Jennifer Townsel, pose at the 9th Annual WCT Memorial Fishing Day Saturday morning at Sunbeam Lake.

SEELEY – The Townsel family held their Ninth Annual Wes, Cody, and Tanner (WCT) Family Fishing Fun Day at Sunbeam Lake Saturday morning to celebrate the sport of which the man and his boys were so passionate about.

“The purpose of the event is to honor Wes, Cody, and Tanner that were killed in a car accident eight years ago on their way fishing, so we do this event to honor them,” said Jaimie Hoffman, the sister-in-law of Wes.

At 6 a.m., eager fishing experts and first timers alike cast their lines out into a previously stocked Sunbeam Lake with hopes of hooking up a lunker amidst the 500-plus pounds of transported catfish.

Aside from the free fishing day, participants also took home approximately 100 free fishing poles, baits, weights, and hooks.   

“We’re giving away three scholarships in their names (Wes, Cody, and Tanner). We gave one to Illiana Torres, an Imperial High School swimmer, one to Krysten Quiroz, a Central High School swimmer, and one to Haleigh Townsel, (the surviving daughter of Wes) from the proceeds raised,” added Hoffman.

Brandt Beef donated meat for the event, and Hawaiian Shaved ice gave a portion of their proceeds back to the scholarships, while Alfred Distributing provided drinks and donated their proceeds as well.

“It’s not a fishing derby per say, more like just a fun day to come out and fish for free,” said Hoffman. “There are even guides to help rig up poles and assist with hooks and knots. We thank the Imperial Valley for the support they give to this event.  It’s the ninth year, and it’s getting bigger and better every year to remember our boys,” commented Hoffman.