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Irvine Lake catfishing topped by 23-8 blue

August 25, 2010 |  2:28 pm

Kenn Thi of Orange shows off a 23.8 pound Irvine Lake blue catfish that hit on shrimp at the west shore.

Here's this week's Irvine Lake fishing report, written by veteran angler Steve Carson:

Plenty of catfish and bass were the story this week at Irvine Lake, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "Catfish limits are being caught by people fishing near the right stuff: rock piles, brush, trees, and other structures. The smaller catfish are in the shallows down to about 15 feet, and the bigger fish are deeper. The bass fishing just won’t quit."

"We have changed our nightcrawler containers over to the new EarthSmart biodegradable material that was shown at the recent ICAST Show," Getty added.  "These bait cups are made with the leftover fibers from manufacturing sugar cane, and we feel it is an important step for the future of fishing and reducing litter at the lake. We expect that the same type of cups will be available for red worms and meal worms within the next six weeks."

The majority of catfish on the stringers were in the two- to six-pound range, with some nice fish spicing things up. Productive spots included Santiago Flats, Boat Dock Cove and Trout Island. Whiskerfish chasers tossed out the usual assortment of baits including mackerel, shrimp, bonito, barracuda, DuMong’s and Gulp!

Bass anglers are still catching substantial numbers of largemouth in the two- to seven-pound class, although no 10-pounders were caught this week. Topwaters (plus follow-up baits), creature baits, 10-inch worms, jigs and other large-profile lures are the best bet. A large population of yearling-class bass means that dropshotters using small baits will catch mostly smaller fish. 

A moderate number of three- to four-pound hybrid striped bass (a.k.a. whiterock or wipers) are being caught incidentally by catfish anglers on mackerel or chicken livers. Anglers are reminded that all bass species are strictly catch-and-release at Irvine Lake.   

Crappie anglers have been mostly absent, as the floating lanterns used tend to spook the larger and more desirable catfish. Plenty of hand-size bluegill and redear are being caught on meal worms and Gulp! Crickets under a bobber.  

Families with children age 12 and younger did well on 1- to 3-pound catfish and half-pound carp on the marshmallow/mealworm combo in the Kids Lagoon. The main lake water level is receding slowly, and the surface temperature is 77 degrees.

For anglers planning ahead, Irvine Lake’s 2010-11 trout season opener will be on Friday, Nov. 5. A special limited-entry VIP fishing day will be held on  Nov. 4.   

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Kenn Thi of Orange, 23-8 blue catfish on shrimp at the west shore.
-- Phil Hildebrandt of Anaheim, 10-4 blue catfish (released) and 7-10 channel catfish on mackerel/shrimp at the flats.
-- Nick Sepulveda of Silverado, 7-6 and 7-0 largemouth bass (released) on a Zipper Worm at the Red Clay Cliffs.
-- Dennis Saiki of El Cajon, 6-1 largemouth bass (released) on a 10-inch worm at Rocky Point.
-- Will Arms of Corona, 3-1 hybrid striped bass (released) on chicken liver at the flats.

Photo: Kenn Thi of Orange shows off a big Irvine Lake blue catfish that hit on shrimp at the west shore. Credit: Irvine Lake

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