Saturday marks the opening of trout season, and for more than 40 years the senior class from tiny Big Pine High — enrollment 36 — has tried to cash in.
Outside the school on U.S. Highway 395 starting at 6 a.m. Friday, the 12-member senior class will line up to welcome fishermen and visitors headed toward Bishop and Mammoth Lakes.
They will offer coffee, doughnuts and a friendly smile. And worms. Lots of worms.
Selling the worms — a container of 10 goes for $5.50 — is the way the students pay for their senior trip. This year, they plan to head to a beach house in Oxnard, then spend grad night at Magic Mountain.
"We're very excited," senior softball player Mary Rossi said.
In the old days, the seniors would dig for worms and pack the containers themselves. Now they order the worms and sell them to the "hundreds of people" who stop by, said senior advisor Tim Steele.
You can't miss them, since they'll be holding attention-grabbing signs such as "Got worms!" until the last of the slimy bait has been sold.
Several of the seniors played on Big Pine's eight-man football team. Micah Bacoch, the center, is also a trout fisherman who might be spending his own money on worms.
"I caught a big one a couple years back," he said.
We think he was referring to a fish.