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Weather and catfish bite returning to normal at Irvine Lake; 18-8 blue cat tops catches

September 30, 2010 | 11:15 am

Ramirez

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

Dramatic temperature swings caused Irvine Lake’s catfish bite to back off a few notches over the weekend, but as of Wednesday things had mostly returned to normal, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The weather here was pretty gnarly over the weekend," observed Getty. "We had a temperature swing of over 40 degrees in just three days; from the low 60s last Wednesday, to 103 on Saturday. The weather today [Wednesday] is in the 80s, just about what you would expect for this time of year."

Getty also gave some more detailed information about last week’s 55-pound monster blue catfish, which is the largest whiskerfish of the season so far. "Veteran saltwater angler Tim McAroy of Bellflower was fishing with a half-mackerel fillet in 40 feet of water along the west shore, exactly where he had caught a nice 8-pound wiper the week before. He fought the fish for 35 to 40 minutes using 15-pound test Berkley Big Game line and an 8/0 Gamakatsu circle hook. There was no net available, but the big fish was gently mouth-gaffed. It was weighed at 55-6, and released near the docks. It swam off perfectly."

Catfish action remained decent despite the weather, with channels ranging from 2 to 6 pounds being found near structure at depths of 1 to 30 feet. A few better-grade blue cats were also caught. Best baits included mackerel, shrimp, and chicken livers, with favored spots including the west shore, Santiago Flats, and Boat Dock Cove.

Skilled bass anglers will still able to locate their quarry, although the red-hot bite backed off to a degree. Daytime bassers did best with jigs and big plastic worms at 30 to 40 feet. Once dusk arrives, the fish move up, and can be caught on Senkos, crankbaits and various reaction techniques. Most largemouth are ranging in the 2- to 4-pound category, with the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point being productive locations. This weekend’s bass tournament using an "Ironman" double-limit format (10 fish) saw Monas Malachai top the field with 26.25 pounds, and Rick Merced take second with 26.0 pounds.  

A few 1- to 2-pound class crappie we caught by anglers targeting tight schools on their electronics and dropping down Rapala Ice Jigs. Bluegill, redear and wiper action was all curtailed by the warm temperatures, as was the bite in the Kids Lagoon. The surface temperature in the main lake is 77 degrees, and the lake level is receding slowly.

For anglers planning ahead, Irvine Lake’s 2010-11 Trout Season Opener will be Nov. 5, with over 20,000 pounds of trout stocked. A special limited-entry "VIP Fishing Day" will take place on Nov. 4; contact the Pro Shop, (714) 649-9111, for information on a great opportunity to beat the opening day crowds. 

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia, 18-8 blue catfish (released) on mackerel/shrimp at the flats.
-- Julian Ramirez of Artesia, 14-8 blue catfish (released) on mackerel at the west shore.
-- Stephan Dobrine of Corona, 5-6 channel catfish on mackerel/shrimp at the flats.
-- Monas Malachai of Orange, 5-5 largemouth bass (released) on a jig at the red clay cliffs.
-- Jimmy Getty of Silverado, 4-3 largemouth bass (released) on a Varmint Lures OD Rat at Rocky Point.

Photo: Julian Ramirez of Artesia lands a beauty blue cat weighing in at 14.8 pounds, caught on the West Shore on mackerel. Credit: Irvine Lake

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