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Irvine Lake catfish active; largemouth to 10-6 continue to sizzle

August 18, 2010 |  1:43 pm

Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia shows off two huge cats weighing in at 10.2 and 9.8 lbs. Elaine caught both in the Santiago Flats on a mackerel/shrimp combo. Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Anglers heading for Irvine Lake this week focused mainly on catfish or bass, and mostly caught plenty of both, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The catfish bite is still very good, and catching a limit is pretty easy if you are fishing near structure and can hold the fish out of it."

Getty continued, "The bass fishing is probably the best and most consistent it has ever been. Now is the time to be out on the lake chasing bass -- I’ve worked at the lake for 12 years, and caught my 'Irvine Lake personal best' bass this week, a 10-6 that hit on a custom Varmint Lures OD Rat topwater bait. Eric Miller of the Longfin Tackle Shop released 15 largemouth running 3 to 6 pounds using a 10-inch black Berkley Power Worm."

Most of the catfish on the stringers are prime eating-size channels in the 2- to 6-pound class, with a few larger-grade channels and blues to 13 pounds keeping things exciting. Favored baits are mackerel, shrimp, bonito, barracuda, DuMong’s and Gulp! Good whiskerfish catches were reported from Boat Dock Cove, Santiago Flats and Trout Island.

Bass anglers are finding their quarry in a variety of depths, anywhere from 1 to 30 feet. The average grade of bass is very good, mostly between 3 and 6 pounds, and diligent bass anglers can release anything from 5 to 30 fish per day. Several lunkers in the 8 to 10 pound range were reported this week, along with numerous monster blowups on topwater lures. Productive spots included Rocky Point, the Red Clay Cliffs and the backside of Trout Island. A handful of hybrid striped bass (aka whiterock, wipers or sunshine bass) from 3 to 12 pounds were caught incidentally to the pursuit of catfish by anglers soaking shrimp or chicken livers.   

Crappie anglers were not to be found this week, as the floating lanterns used to attract the slabs around the boat are thought to spook catfish, with most anglers opting to go after the larger whiskerfish. Plenty of bluegill and redear are being caught in the shallows on mealworms or Gulp! Crickets under a bobber. Skilled deep trollers are still nailing a few 2- to 3-pound rainbow trout using six colors of leadcore line and cop-car color Luhr Jensen Needlefish lures.  

Families with children age 12 and younger are catching plenty of 1- to 3-pound catfish in the Kids Lagoon, along with a surprising number of half-pound juvenile carp on the marshmallow/mealworm combo. The main lake water level is receding slowly, and the surface water temperature is 78 degrees.

For anglers planning ahead, Irvine Lake’s 2010-11 Trout Season Opener will be Friday, Nov. 5, with a special limited-entry VIP Day on Thursday, Nov. 4.  

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Chuck Mostero of Villa Park, 13-0 channel catfish on a swimbait at Trout Island.
-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia, 10-2 blue catfish (released) and 9-8 channel catfish, on mackerel/shrimp at the flats.
-- Octavio Rivas of Orange, 12-0 hybrid striped bass (released) on shrimp at Trout Island.
-- Jimmy Getty of Silverado, 10-6 largemouth bass (released) on a Varmint Lures OD Rat at Trout Island.
-- Randy Aamont of Newport Beach, 8-6 largemouth bass (released) on a Dug-E-Bug at the flats.

Photo: Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia shows off two huge cats weighing in at 10.2 and 9.8 lbs. Elaine caught both in the Santiago Flats on a mackerel/shrimp combo. Credit: Irvine Lake

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