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Irvine Lake whiskerfish to 8-0 biting; Labor Day Catfish Derby slated

September 1, 2010 |  5:17 pm

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

Weather conditions kept Irvine Lake catfish anglers on their toes this week, reported Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop. "The 30-degree temperature change between midweek and the weekend turned the catfish bite off," observed Getty. "We had a memorial catfish tournament on Saturday night for Dana Rea of Team 57, and had pretty fair action on eating-size fish. The overall winner was Steve 'Taper Steve' Christopher, who had a 4-14 channel cat. The funds raised went to Dana’s family."

Getty added, "We will have our big Labor Day Catfish Derby on Sept. 4, which will be the last chance to qualify for our 'King of the Cats' championship."

Favored catfish baits this week included mackerel, shrimp, Gulp! and bonito. Productive spots included Boat Dock Cove and Santiago Flats, with a key tactic being keeping the bait as close as possible to structure-like weeds and rocks. No blue cats were caught this week, and most of the channels on the stringers were in the 2- to 6-pound class.

Bass fishing results dipped a bit due to the unusually heavy pressure on the species. On Thursday evening, more bass anglers were in attendance than catfish anglers. Mixed numbers of 2- to 3-pound bass were caught on jigs, dropshot baits, and Carolina-rigged creature baits fished at the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point at 10 to 20 feet. Top producer for larger 4- to 9-pound bucketmouths was again the black/blue 10-inch Berkley Power Worm. Anglers are reminded that all bass species are catch-and-release only. 

Some 3-pound class wipers were caught incidentally by catfish anglers on mackerel and chicken liver. Crappie anglers were in short supply, so only a handful of half-pound slabs were checked in. Plenty of hand-size bluegill and redear were caught, with the primary bait being red worms. 

Families with children age 12 and younger were doing well on 1- to 3-pound catfish and small carp using fluorescent red Power Bait, an unusual choice for those species. The main lake surface water temperature is in the high 70s, and the lake level is holding steady. The Pro Shop now sells nightcrawlers in EarthSmart biodegradable cups. 

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 take place on Thursday, Nov. 4.

Outstanding catches of the week included:

-- Danny Huitzell of Norwalk, 9-8 largemouth bass (released) on a Power Worm at the flats.
-- Phil Hildebrandt of Anaheim, 8-0 channel catfish on mackerel at the flats.
-- 8-year-olds Caleb Frantao and Daniel Bruno, 20 catfish (4 limits) on Fluorescent Red Power Bait at the Kids Lagoon.
-- Phil Hildebrandt of Anaheim, 5-catfish limit totaling 26-12, on mackerel/shrimp at the flats.
-- Elaine Dickerhoof of Artesia, 5-catfish limit totaling 19-12, on mackerel/shrimp at the flats.

Photo: Danny Huitzil of Norwalk caught and released this 9-8 largemouth bass on a Power Worm at the flats. Credit: Irvine Lake

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