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Irvine Lake anglers getting lots of action

July 29, 2009 |  4:10 pm

Donovan Swann of Fontana posed for this quick photo before releasing this 20-pound, 1-ounce blue catfish he caught.

Everything seems to be biting at Irvine Lake, including the huge catfish pictured above.

Donovan Swann of Fontana posed for this photo just before releasing the 20-pound, 1-ounce blue cat he landed using mackerel at Santiago Flats.

Other catfish anglers have had good results using mackerel, shrimp, DuMong's and Gulp baits. Most have been in the 2-to-6-pound range, though there have been some larger.

The bass are also hitting, with bites said to be bordering on the ridiculous.

Reports of anglers releasing up to 50 bass per boat were made, with most of the largemouth ranging from 1 to 4 pounds.

And the crappie bite is being described as spectacular.

"The nighttime crappie action was as good as it gets," said Jimmy Getty, Irvine Lake assistant manager. "As long as you had a floating lantern to set out and a little time to allow the food chain to build up under you."

"The big shad boils we had last week were put down somewhat by heavy pressure, but they were still happening, and fishing was really good when you got on them," added Getty.

Angler Marlon Meade found similar results during the day.

"The mornings and afternoons have been great for crappie," said Meade. "Use a 5-to-6-foot leader with a white Atomic Tube under a bobber and it can be just phenomenal."

Those bringing their own boats to the privately run, paid-entry lake must allow for a required 10-minute zebra mussel inspection prior to launch.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Irvine Lake